What to Wear to Court in Australia?

suit trial

It is important to present yourself in a tidy and presentable manner when attending court. Your court clothes should not be too laid-back, instead, it should be more formal than casual. Torn clothing or flip-flops may result in the court denying you entry. Your clothing choice reflects your respect for the court and your attitude towards the gravity of the situation.


In New South Wales, it is expected that people appearing in court will dress in conservative, clean clothing to demonstrate respect to the court a sincere effort in handling the issue, especially when representing yourself in court.


This should include subtle colours, long trousers and button up shirts for men. For what to wear to court for females, dresses, dress pants or skirts that are below the knee are appropriate. Bright colours, singlets or strapless tops, transparent clothing, provocative graphics, denim skirts or wearing shorts above the knee, thongs, sunglasses, hats and caps are not appropriate. It could be seen as disrespectful to the judge or magistrate presiding over your case. The below guideline on how to dress for court applies to all courts in Australia.


  • Dress Conservatively: This means dressing in a way that is not flashy, provocative, or overly casual. Avoid wearing anything that is too revealing, such as shorts or short skirts, low-cut tops, or clothing with offensive slogans or graphics.
  • Wear clean and ironed clothes: Make sure your clothing is clean and free from wrinkles, stains, or tears.
  • Choose subdued colours: Darker colours are generally considered more appropriate for court, such as black, navy, grey, or brown.
  • Avoid wearing hats, sunglasses, or other accessories that could obstruct your face or make it difficult for the court to see and hear you clearly.
  • Consider the type of court: If you are appearing in a higher court, such as a Supreme Court, you may need to dress more formally, such as wearing a suit and tie or a conservative dress for women.

Remember, the court is a formal setting and you should dress in a way that reflects this. It’s always better to err on the side of caution and dress more conservatively than to risk offending the judge or magistrate.

What to do when you Enter the Courtroom?

When you enter any courtroom in Australia, there are a few things you should do to ensure that you are prepared for your case and that you show respect for the court. These include that you do the following;


Arrive at Court on Time


Plan to arrive at the courthouse at least 30 minutes before your scheduled court appearance. This will give you time to go through security, find the courtroom, and prepare yourself mentally for the proceedings.


Dress in Courtroom Attire


As mentioned earlier, it’s important to dress conservatively and respectfully for your court appearance, consistent with court etiquette. Make sure your clothing is clean, ironed, and free from any offensive or provocative slogans or graphics.


Turn Off all Mobile Phones


Before entering the courtroom, make sure you turn off your phone or put it on silent mode. It’s considered disrespectful to have your phone ringing or buzzing during court proceedings.


Be Polite and Respectful


When entering the courtroom, address the judge or magistrate as “Your Honour” and stand when they enter or leave the room. Avoid making any unnecessary noise, such as coughing or rustling papers. In addition, be respectful to the court staff and other parties involved in the case. Do not approach the bar table unless asked to do so.


Be Prepared


Make sure you have all the necessary documents and evidence with you when you enter the courtroom. If you have a criminal defence lawyer, they will likely have prepared you for what to expect. However, it’s important to be mentally and emotionally prepared as well.

What to do when you Leave the Courtroom?

When you leave any courtroom in Australia, these are a number things you should keep in mind. Firstly be respectful to everyone. Whether your case went well or not, it’s important to be respectful to everyone in the courtroom, including the judge, court staff, and other parties involved in the case.


This means refraining from making rude comments or gestures and avoiding any confrontations. Secondly, wait until you are dismissed. In most cases, you will need to wait for the judge to dismiss you before leaving the courtroom. Once you are dismissed, you are free to leave. Thirdly, follow any instructions given: If the judge or court staff give you any instructions before you leave, make sure you follow them carefully. This might include filling out paperwork, paying fees, or obtaining a follow-up court date.


Finally, avoid discussing the case. Once you leave the courtroom, avoid discussing the case with anyone who was not involved in it. This includes friends, family, and the media. You may also be subject to court orders prohibiting you from discussing the case. This is known as a non publication order, so be sure to check if this is the case.


If you are going to court any reason, be sure to contact our criminal lawyers in Blacktown immediately. At Lyons Law Group we have represented clients in court hearings for both traffic and criminal law matters.

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