Court Room Etiquette

Here are a few tips on how to behave in court

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Important business is conducted in court and the outcome of proceedings can have a dramatic effect on the lives of those involved. For those reasons, everyone in court is expected to behave reasonably and respond to any instructions given by the judge or court officials. Failure to follow some simple guidelines could lead to a finding of contempt of court, which may result in a fine or even imprisonment.

Tips for good courtroom etiquette include:

  • Arrive in good time for your case, dressed appropriately and not under the influence of drink or drugs.
  • Remain quiet until your case is called.
  • Be polite and courteous to the judge, other court users and court officials.
  • Smoking, eating and drinking are not allowed in courtrooms.
  • You should not read in the courtroom unless asked to by the judge.
  • Taking audio or video recordings or photographs is not allowed in courtrooms.
  • Other than guide dogs, pets are not allowed in courtrooms.
  • Do not bring unnecessary items or items that could be used as a potential weapon to court as they will be liable to confiscation.
  • Children under 14 are not normally allowed in a courtroom unless they are giving evidence, or have the court’s prior approval to attend for educational purposes.
  • You are expected to stand up when the judge comes into or leaves court. You will know this is happening when the macer announces ‘court’
  • And please don’t forget to switch your mobile phone off.

Message from the Lord President

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Welcome to the judicial website. We hope that you find this website both helpful and informative. It is our intention to publish as much information as we can, as quickly as we can. We believe it is vital in a democracy that justice is not only seen to be done, but that it operates in an open and transparent way and contributes to public understanding and awareness of what takes place in courts each day across Scotland.

Lord President

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