Court Room Etiquette

Court Room Etiquette Article

Following the recent sugary faux pas at the Adijah (Vybz Kartel) Palmer Trial, it seems necessary to provide a few guidelines on Court Room Etiquette in order to prevent any further mishaps, especially for those who may be seeking summer employment.

  1. When you enter a Courtroom, if Court is already in session (meaning the judge is present), then you must bow when you enter to show deference to the judge. If Court is not yet in session, when the judge enters the room, you are required to stand and bow. Similarly, when leaving, if the judge is present, bow when you reach the door, and should you re-enter, you must bow again.

  2. Always dress professionally. This does not necessarily require a suit. But look presentable. Depending on the Court you are attending, your attire may be limited to certain colours. If you are before the Resident Magistrate’s Court you can wear any colour of your choosing. However, before the Supreme Court you are expected to wear only somber colours.

  3. Refer to a Resident Magistrate as ‘Your Honour’ but to a Supreme Court judge as ‘M’ Lord’ (My Lord) or ‘M’Lady’ (My Lady).

  4. Do not interact with the detainees even if you know them, unless directed to do so by your attorney.

  5. Do not use your phone during court. Ensure that it is off, or at least on silent.

© Makene Brown 2014


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