Representing Yourself in Court

“He who represents himself has a fool for a client”  –  Abraham Lincoln

Unless you have a good understanding of the law we never recommend representing yourself in court. However, those with good oratory skill and who are charged with minor matters, may be able to deal with the matter themselves.

  • Make sure you dress appropriately. You should not wear a work uniform if you can avoid it. Hats, sunglasses, thongs, running shoes, shorts, jeans, tracksuits and short dresses should be avoided at all costs. If you have tattoos you should cover them up where possible
  • Men should wear a suit, tie and dress shoes where possible, or at least a shirt and tie.
    Women should wear a nice suit or dress.
  • Make Sure you arrive at Court on time. Allow extra time for possible delays with traffic or public transport delays. Aim to arrive at least fifteen (15) minutes early and go straight to the Court official in the foyer of the Court to inform them of your arrival; this is especially important when you are representing yourself.
  • Loud talking or even whispering whilst court is in session is unacceptable.
  • Make sure you turn off your mobile phones before entering Court premises.
  • When addressing the Judge or Magistrate you should use “Your Honour” instead of Sir or Mam; (i.e: yes/no Your Honour to answer a question).
  • Remember to bow slightly upon entering and leaving a Court when it is in session (this shows you have respect for the Court and their authority).