Hearings at the Court of Appeal during the RMCO

Pupillage Repository

It was my first-time visiting the Court of Appeal and I have been privileged enough to be given this chance to visit it during the RMCO, hence, there are a few rules we had to abide by. My first court experience was everything I imagined and more. I witnessed first-hand how counsels present their cases right before the judges. Moreover, I even got to assist my colleague, Miss Ng in handing over the submissions to the court. Below gives you a little insight as to how the COA is operating during the RMCO.

  1. At the entrance, just like it is everywhere else, everyone is required to scan the QR code provided and fill in their personal information to ‘check in’, alternatively, there is a notebook for visitors without smartphone to record their personal information. The information that was required of me were  my name, home address, IC number and phone number.
  2. Also, at the entrance, there is infrared sensor which can detect body temperature, all the results are displayed on a large LED screen instantaneously.
  3. The security guard will scan our baggage and we were required to walk through a metal detector door.
  4. Everyone within the Court of Appeal area has to follow the social distancing rule, that is to keep at least 1-meter distance with other people. Red crosses were put on every two seats to ensure that people won’t violate the social distancing measures.
  5. Inside the building, everyone including the judges, the lawyers and other staffs has to wear a mask.
  6. On the Ground Floor, four temporary registration counters for each court were set up at main pathway for the lawyers to register and check the hearing times.
  7. To avoid having too many counsels in the courtrooms at any one time, only counsels for the prior three matters are allowed to enter the courtroom
  • The counsel whose case is to be called first will be seated at the front row of the counsel table.
  • The counsel for second case will be seated at the last row of counsel table to ensure the social distancing.
  • The counsel for third case will be seated at the public gallery.
  • The rest will be waiting at either the cafeteria or the library.
  • Once a hearing has been completed, the court interpreters will phone the counsel for the coming matter to occupy the public gallery.

Ting Bee Ren
University of Leeds

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