The hearing day
Where to go
On the hearing day, go to the courthouse where your case is being heard with plenty of time to find the right courtroom. The courthouse foyers have notice boards and television screens showing which cases are being heard in which courtroom and when. You can also ask at the registry counter.
The daily law list can also tell you what’s on in the Land Court on a particular day.
Where to sit
Once inside the courtroom, sit at the bar table in the centre of the room facing the member’s bench. The applicant/appellant sits in a chair on the left side of the bar table and the respondent (other party) sits on the right side.
Introduce yourself to the other parties sitting at the bar table.
A deputy registrar enters the courtroom before the case starts to explain the procedure and answer any questions.
If you’re representing a party as an agent, give the registry officer your written authority from the party and ensure you have enough instructions to deal with all matters that may arise.
The registry officer assisting the member usually sits to the right of the member. They record the proceedings and hand up any exhibits or documents from the bar table.
How your case commences
- When both parties are ready to proceed, the deputy registrar advises the member.
- When the registry officer opens the court and the member enters, everyone in the courtroom stands until the member is seated.
- The member asks each party to identify themselves. When the member calls on you, stand and give your name, and state that you’re representing yourself, e.g. ‘Your Honour, my name is Tom Brown. I am the appellant in this matter and I am representing myself’. If you’re representing an applicant or respondent, state this also.
- stand whenever the member enters or leaves the courtroom (when the registry officer calls ‘all rise’)
- bow your head to acknowledge the member whenever they enter or leave the courtroom
- call the member ‘Your Honour’
- stand when addressing the member or when the member speaks to you
- listen to advice or directions given by the member
- never interrupt or speak over the member.