​ሕግንና ደንብን በተመለከተ እርዳታ ማግኘት ይፈልጋሉን? - Amharic | هل تحتاج لمساعدة قانونية؟ - Arabic | ܤܢܝܼܩܵܐ ܝ݇ܘ̤ܬ ܠܗܲܝܵܪܬܵܐ ܩܵܢܘܿܢܵܝܬܵܐ؟ - Assyrian | Need Legal Help? - Auslan | Treba li vam pravna pomoc? - Bosnian | Burmese â Need Legal Help? | 需要法律帮助吗? - Chinese Simplified | 需要法律幫助嗎? - Chinese Traditional | Trebate li pravnu pomoć? - Croatian | ضرورت به کمک قانونی دارید؟ - Dari | Wïc Kuɔɔny në Wɛ̈t Löŋ? - Dinka | آیا به کمک حقوقی نیاز دارید؟ - Farsi | Gadreva na Veivuke Vakalawa? - Fijian | Kailangan ninyo ba ng tulong na panglegal? - Filipino | Besoin d’aide juridique ? - French | Χρειάζεστε βοήθεια σε νομικά ζητήματα - Greek | क्या आपको कानूनी सलाह चाहिए? - Hindi | Butuhkan Bantuan dalam Masalah Hukum? - Indonesian | Hai bisogno di assistenza legale? - Italian | ត្រូវការជំនួយលើបញ្ហាផ្លូវច្បាប់ឬទេ? - Khmer | 법적인 도움이 필요하십니까? - Korean | Ви треба ли помош со правни работи? - Macedonian | कानूनी सहयोग चाहिएको छ? - Nepalese | Necessita de ajuda com questões jurídicas? - Portuguese | Вам нужна юридическая помощь? - Russian | E Manaomia Fesoasoani i Mea Tau Tulafono? - Samoan | а ли вам треба помоћ у правним питањима? - Serbian | Ma u baahan tahay Caawimmad xagga sharciga ah?- Somali | ¿Necesita ayuda con cuestiones jurídicas? - Spanish | சட்ட உதவி தேவையா? - Tamil | ท่านต้องการความช่วยเหลือทางด้านกฎหมายไหม? - Thai | Fiema’u ha tokoni Fakalao? - Tongan | Yasal Danışmaya İhtiyacınız mı var? - Turkish | Cần Được Giúp Đỡ Về Luật Pháp? - Vietnamese |

Arguing your case

The magistrate will usually ask the applicant to present their case first. This will either be the police if they made the application on behalf of the protected person, or the protected person if he or she made the application themselves.

The magistrate may allow you both time to:

  • outline your case
  • point out evidence that supports your case
  • tell the court which witnesses you will call
  • point out any parts of the other party's witness statements (if any) and evidence that you disagree with or dispute.

If the magistrate doesn't allow you time to do this, they will simply direct the first witness to enter the witness box and start listening to the evidence.

    ​Applicant's e​​vidence

    The applicant may have to stand next to the witness box and make an 'oath' or 'affirmation'. Both are promises to tell the truth. An oath has religious meaning and an affirmation does not. The court officer will read the oath or affirmation and the applicant should then respond 'I do'.

    Usually, the applicant would have provided their 'evidence in chief' (the evidence they want to rely on) by way of written statement, so the case will start by you or your solicitor 'cross-examining' (questioning) the applicant. The magistrate may also hear oral evidence if they give leave (permission).

    After you cross-examine the applicant, you will also get a chance to cross-examine the applicant's witnesses.

    When asking the applicant and the applicant's witnesses questions, you should:

    • use direct questions that require a yes or no answer. Don't ask questions that allow them to offer a detailed explanation.
    • if you think the witness is lying say something like "I put it to you that you did not see any bruises on the protected person", or, if questioning the protected person, something like, "I put it to you that you made up the threatening messages you say you received."

    It is important that you don't interrupt the applicant or their witnesses when they are responding to your cross-examination questions. If they are not answering your questions you can ask the magistrate to direct them to do so. You can also make some notes of anything you want to comment on or clarify, and put it to them when they finish answering.

    Don't speak rudely or abusively about the applicant or their witnesses. Stick to the facts and the evidence and be calm and polite.

    Your evidence

    After the applicant's evidence, the magistrate will give you a chance to give your evidence. You may have to stand next to the witness box and make an 'oath' or 'affirmation'. The court officer will read the oath or affirmation and you should respond 'I do'.

    Usually, you would have provided your 'evidence in chief' (the evidence you want to rely on) in your statement, so you will start by being 'cross-examined' (questioned) by the applicant. This may be the police prosecutor if they applied for the AVO on behalf of the protected person, or if they made a private application, the protected person themselves or their solicitor.

    The magistrate may also hear oral evidence if they give leave (permission).

    During cross-examination you should:

    • listen carefully and think about each question before you answer
    • ask that a question be repeated if you don't understand it
    • admit if you don't know the answer to a question
    • speak loudly, clearly and slowly
    • give exact details, for example if the person swore tell the court the words that were used
    • try not to get angry, even if the applicant or the solicitor seems to be rude or aggressive
    • ask for a break if you get upset.

    If there are any issues you want to clear up that are raised in the cross-examination you may be able to give further evidence later. This is called 're-examination'.

    You may get a chance to tell the court your version of what has happened, and why you believe the AVO is not necessary, but only if the magistrate gives you leave (permission).

    You can only give evidence about what you saw or what was said to you directly. The magistrate may ask you questions or ask you to explain some things in more detail. The magistrate may also ask you to move on to another point if they feel you have said enough about a certain issue or you are speaking about something that is not relevant to the case.

    Your witnesses evidence

    Although your witnesses may have prepared witness statements before the hearing, those witnesses will still have to come to court.

    A court officer will bring your witness into the courtroom and take them to the witness box where they will make an oath or affirmation.

    The applicant will usually cross-examine each witness.

    After the cross-examination, you may have a chance to ask the witnesses any further questions. This is called 're-examination'. You should only re-examine your witness if you want to clear up issues raised in the cross-examination.

    After the evidence

    Sometimes, when there is a lot of evidence or are many witnesses, the magistrate will not be able to finish the hearing in one day. If this happens, the magistrate will have to adjourn the hearing until the rest of the evidence can be heard. Depending on when the magistrate is next available, the adjournment may be for a few weeks or for a few months.

    The magistrate will give you and the applicant instructions on when to come back to court and who should come to court on that day. In some cases, your witnesses and the applicant's witnesses will all have to come back to court for the rest of the hearing.

    If the hearing is adjourned, the applicant may ask the magistrate to make an Interim AVO to protect them until the day of the hearing.

    If the magistrate has heard all the evidence, the magistrate may then make a decision.​

    Step by step guide: For more information about what happens after arguing your case, see Presenting your case at the hearing - Step by step guide.