​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 |

Presenting your case at the hearing - Step by step guide

There are a number of things that you will need to consider before the hearing and during the hearing. You can use the following step by step guide to assist you if you are representing yourself.​​

Step by step guide icon Presenting​​ your case at the hearing - Step by step gui​de​

Step 1: B​​efore the hearing

When should I get t​​​here?

Even though your case may be listed at a certain time, it is a good idea to try to get to court half an hour earlier so that you can find out what courtroom your case is in. If you think you are going to be late, you should ring the court registry and let them know. If you are not there the court can decide your case without you.

There are often many cases listed on the same day and you may have to wait until your name is called. You can take a seat in the courtroom or, if the courtroom is full, you can wait outside.

Make sure you do not leave the court building and are close enough to the courtroom to hear your name called.

>Will there b​e breaks?

The judge may close the courtroom for morning tea (usually around 11:30am) and lunch (usually from 1:00pm to 2:00pm). You will have to leave the courtroom during these breaks. The court officer or the registry can tell you what time the courtroom will reopen.

​How long will it take?

It is possible that you could be at the court for a few hours, and sometimes for most of the day, so you should make arrangements with your work or child-care if necessary.

Alert IconDon't forget to turn off your mobile phone before going into the courtroom.

At the hearing you should make sure that all your witnesses attend. If you don't know if they will attend, you should subpoena them. If your witnesses do not attend court their evidence may not be considered.

For more information about witnesses and gathering evidence, see Preparing for the hearing - Step by step guide.

​Step 2: W​hat to do and say in the courtroom

If there are other cases listed at the same time, sit at the back of the court and wait for your case to be called.

Where sh​ould I sit?

Once your case is ready to be heard, you should sit at the bar table at the front of the courtroom. Get out your papers and arrange them so you can find things when you need them during the hearing. Only put items on the table that you need. Do not leave your bags on the bar table.

What should I s​ay?

The hearing is your chance to tell your story and to convince the judge that your version of events is true. Remember that the judge is interested in the evidence that supports your case and this is what you should focus on.

For more information, see the Evidence and Gathering evidence.

​What shoul​d I call people in court?

You should refer to the judge as 'Your Honour'. You should stand and bow when the judge enters or leaves the courtroom. Refer to the other party or their lawyer as Mr/Ms and their surname.

For more information, see Who's who in court.

Step 3: Adjournme​nts

Sometimes you or the respondent may need to ask the court to postpone the hearing to another date. This is called an 'adjournment'. The judge may not agree to this unless there is a good reason. There may be an adjournment if either you, the respondent, or an important witness, has a good reason for not being able to make it to the hearing.

If the judge agrees to an adjournment, they may make a costs order against the party who needed the adjournment.

​Step 4: The h​earing

Who gives their evi​dence first?

Once your case is called, and if everyone is ready to start the hearing, the judge will first want to hear from you (because you made the application). They will want to know what your case is about and what your evidence is.

For more information on how to present your evidence, see Arguing your case.

What if it takes too l​ong?

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

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

If you forget to write down the judge's instructions, you should call the court and ask them to tell you what they were.

​Step 5: The deci​sion

The judge may give their decision straight after the hearing, or after a short break. Sometimes, the decision of the judge will be 'reserved'. This means that a decision is not given on the day of the hearing and the court will contact you when the decision has been made.

The judge will give reasons for his or her decision. For more information, see The decision.

If you lose the case, do not argue with the judge. It may be possible to appeal the decision.

For more information about appeals, see After the case.

For further information, see Going to Federal Circuit Court - Frequently Asked Questions.​