Guidelines for attending an online hearing
This information is provided to assist with your attendance at an online hearing via Webex.
Online hearings via Webex
It is your responsibility to ensure that:
- you have the correct link and necessary audio and visual technology to participate.
- you can log in from a suitable private location.
- you can link in at your allocated time.
- you remain with your camera and microphone off until the matter is called for hearing*
*If you fail to do so, you may be removed from the online hearing and required to attend court at short notice.
Before an online hearing
There are several things you can do to prepare for an online hearing.
- Test your technology and internet connection before the hearing to check there are no issues with connectivity, vision and audio.
- Make sure your device is charged.
- Make sure you can be heard clearly through your speaker or microphone. Where possible, wear a headset.
- Turn your phone on silent.
- Make sure you are in a private, closed-door space. If at home, make sure there is no background noise or distractions from other people.
- You can blur your background in the Webex program.
- To blur your background: In self-view window, select Video options, select Change Virtual Background, select Blur.
- Dress like you are going to a courtroom in-person.
During an online hearing
It is important to comply with all court requirements and protocols during an online hearing. Even though you are not physically in the courtroom, an online hearing is an extension of the courtroom, and the same guidelines and conventions apply.
- You MUST follow the directions given by the presiding judicial officer or bench clerk, including turning your camera on or off when asked. If you do not comply, you may be removed from the hearing or required to attend court at short notice.
- You must identify yourself when requested to do so by the judicial officer.
- Be aware that the bench clerk can mute your sound. Please do not unmute yourself unless asked to do so by the judicial officer.
- Do not eat or drink on camera.
- Do not move around during the hearing. Remember, you would need to ask for permission to move around a courtroom – the same applies in an online hearing.
- Be aware that when the Webex program launches, microphones and cameras will be off.
- If the matter has not started yet, please be patient.
- If you are a media representative, you must enter your surname and organisation to appear online.
- If you are a legal representative, please enter your appearance in the chat function and ensure your client has the appropriate audio visual capability to appear online.
- If you are an observer, please enter your name and remain on mute with your camera off unless requested by the judicial officer.
WARNING: It is a criminal offence under Section 4A and 4B of the Courts Security Act 1980 for anyone to take photographs, record or transmit any portion of a proceeding including taking screen shots on either the device you have connected from or another device. All hearings are recorded according to the Magistrates' Court Act 1989. The standard application process to obtain recordings applies.