My courtroom observation was completed at Supreme Court of New South located at Phillip Street, Sydney. The proceeding that I chose to attend within the Court was listed in the Commercial List, at courtroom 11C. On arrival to the court, I was stopped at the security checkpoint where guards checked my books and asked me to go through a metal detector. I was very surprised to find out that being a simple member of the public is sufficient and entitles everyone to enter a court room and join a trial. The security guards did not ask me for permit to attend either a court trial and/or listen to the court proceedings. Furthermore it did not take a special function like being a law student or a member of a research team.
The physical organization of the courtroom was highly unusual compared to most everyday settings. The courtroom layout had significant levels of environmental cues relating to the power of the active individuals in the courtroom. The Judge’s bench was elevated and Coat of Arms was placed behind him, the bar table for the lawyers and barristers was at the same elevation as each other, there was deliberate positioning of the court staff between the judge and all others in the courtroom. The components of the setting and use of traditional wooden furniture made the courtroom exude a sense of importance, and propriety and explicitly perpetuate the symbolism in the environment. Such design appears to aim at symbolizing the legitimacy of the power attributed to legal representatives by the society.
The courtroom was crammed with mainly legal officials standing with together with their clients, who were easily recognizable, as they were wearing suits and carrying law books and notepads. There was no other spectator beside myself within the courtroom. The court room main participants were the Plaintiff’s solicitor Brian Gillard, the Defendant’s solicitor Ted Tzorvaras, and the Plaintiff, Mihir Dave, Defendant Mark Gray and the Judge, Justice...
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