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.
- 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.
- Also, at the entrance, there is infrared sensor which can detect body temperature, all the results are displayed on a large LED screen instantaneously.
- The security guard will scan our baggage and we were required to walk through a metal detector door.
- 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.
- Inside the building, everyone including the judges, the lawyers and other staffs has to wear a mask.
- 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.
- 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