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Who's Who in the Courtroom

Who's Who in the Courtroom

Learn Who's Who in the Courtroom.

The aim of this module is to introduce you to the people you will find in a courtroom.

In class you will be asked to identify and discuss the roles of the various people involved in a court case.

Have you watched the video on the previous slide?  If you have, you should now have an idea of the various roles that people fulfill in the courtroom.

The next slide also describes the function of the various people you'll see, including:

  • The Judge
  • The Court Registrar
  • The Defendant
  • Solicitors
  • Barristers
  • The Jury
  • Witnesses

Move to the next slide when you're ready.

The Court Registrar

The court registrar has many responsibilities essential to the running of the court including the preparation of the judge’s papers, calling each case in court and assisting witnesses in taking the oath or affirmation.

The registrar will also take the verdict from the jury foreman.


The Accused 

Also known as the defendant, the person accused of the crime. 

He or she does not have to prove their innocence – it is for the prosecution to prove that they are guilty. 

If the accused person is in custody, they will be escorted to court by a prison officer.


The Lawyers

The case is usually presented by barristers (also referred to as ‘counsel’). There are barristers for the prosecution representing the State who bring the case (known as 'counsel for the prosecution') and barristers for the accused person (known as 'counsel for the defence'). The barristers receive their instructions from solicitors who sit facing them.

The prosecution barristers address the court.  It is their job to present the evidence against the defendant.  They explain to the court what the defendant is accused of doing and are responsible for presenting the case against the defendant

Defendants can appoint their own defence team, or, if they are unable to afford it, have state-appointed counsel to represent them.

Counsel for the defence represents the person accused of the offence or offences.  They do this by questioning the prosecution case and presenting evidence on behalf of the defendant. 


The Witnesses

A witness is a person who gives evidence in the trial either on behalf of the prosecution or the defence.

They may be cross-examined by the opposing side as to the accuracy of their evidence.


Members of the Public

Anyone can come in to the courtroom to view a case except where the case is being held ‘in camera’ (private).  See more in our Visit a Courthouse page.

Members of the press are often in court to report on the case for radio and television broadcasts or publication in newspapers.

Proceed to the 'Who's Who in the Courtroom Quiz'