It may go without saying to some, but still the reality of Webex is that people appear in Court from home and so, inevitably, bring home into the Court room. Over the past 18 months, we have seen various and many strange things happen as people appear from home. There have been people eating sandwiches. People smoking vape and people who, quite literally, are not wearing pants. So the following is a timely reminder that Court is still Court, we must all have standards, and these are the standards that we expect from our clients (and people generally, but particularly our clients):

  1. Dress for Court – Just because you are appearing from home or your lawyers office does not mean you shouldn’t dress for Court. This means a suit and tie or office wear, including pants! Showing respect to the Court is important.
  • Turn off your video and microphone until called – Hot tip – all Webex appearances are recorded. What you do and say over Webex cannot be undone. When you enter the meeting, ensure that your camera and microphone are off. This means that the icons for the camera and microphone should have a red line through them. Only turn on your camera when your matter is called on. Leave your microphone on mute. Your lawyer will do the talking. When your video is on, everyone in the Court can see you (up close and personal). So,
  • Do not answer phone calls;
  • Do not talk to other people in the room;
  • Only speak when addressed by the Magistrate, e.g “Do you understand Mr. Smith?”;
  • Respond to the Court with “Yes, Your Honour” or “No, Your Honour”;
  • Do not gesture or do anything that you would not do in physical Court;
  • Do not try and get the attention of any other person waiting in the meeting room; and
  • Certainly, do not try and record the proceedings. This is a criminal offence.
  • Do not interrupt – you may not like what is being said. You may wish to interrupt and have your say. However, it is impolite and damaging to interrupt in Court when legally represented. If you need to instruct your lawyer, use the communication avenues provided, including text and private chat on the Webex link.