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The Courtroom

The Court is set up to work for people who are not used to being there.

Every day witnesses come to court for the first time. Every courtroom has a basic layout, which includes a public gallery and media gallery.

Take a Tour

To learn more about what a criminal courtroom looks like, you can take a court tour here.

Public Viewing

Most courts are open so that the public may see their justice system at work. The public gallery is where the public sits while watching a court proceeding. Nonetheless, the judge can make exceptions to viewing under certain circumstances. This decision may be based on several things, including:

  • the nature of the case
  • the age of the witness
  • the type of evidence
  • the impact of the presence of members of the press and public on the ability of the witness to testify.

Reporters from the newspaper or television stations may take notes of court proceedings. Reporters can sit in the public gallery or in seats provided for them in the area of the courtroom called the media gallery. Although artists may draw court happenings, no cameras or tape recorders are permitted unless the judge allows them.

Start and End Times

Daily start and end times may vary depending on witness availability or as ordered by the trial judge. However, Supreme Court hours are typically as follows:

  • Morning session - from 10:00am to 12:30pm, with a 15 minute adjournment (break) in between
  • Afternoon session - from 2:00pm to 4:00pm, with a 15 minute adjournment (break) in between.

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