People in the courtroom

Generally you see the following people in the Court of Appeal courtroom:

  • judges—about 3–5 depending on the matter. They may be members of the appeal court and/or judges of the trial division of the Supreme Court. The judges sit at the high bench at the front of the court room and control the hearing and the court room
  • judge’s associates—one for each judge. They sit in front of the judges and provide clerical assistance to the court
  • bailiff or court staff
  • the public—sitting in the public gallery at the back of the court unless the court directs otherwise.

There is no jury in the Court of Appeal.

In criminal matters

Generally representatives from the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions are in the court for criminal matters. A barrister (wearing robes) and a solicitor or instructing clerk appear for the prosecution.

The prosecution always sits on the right-hand side of the bar table; the other party sits on the left-hand side.

If a self-represented litigant is in custody, they usually sit in the dock and a Corrective Services officer sits next to the dock. The dock has a seat within an enclosed area near the bar table.

In civil matters

Applicants/appellants sit on the left-hand side of the bar table when they represent themselves. There will usually be a barrister and solicitor or instructing clerk on the right-hand side representing the other party.

Bringing a friend

You will need to seek leave of the court if you are self-represented and would like a friend to help you at the bar table.

However, your friends may sit in the public gallery of the courtroom.