Court proceedings need to be conducted in a safe, secure and orderly environment. There are therefore certain restrictions and requirements which apply to those attending court premises.
All visitors to the Court must submit to a scanning or pat down search in order to gain entry. Firearms, explosive substances, offensive weapons and items that are likely to affect adversely the security, good order or management of the court premises (including items that could pose a security risk) are prohibited items. Authorised officers undertaking scanning may seize such items or require that they be surrendered upon entry for collection at departure.
CCTV is used throughout the Court for security purposes.
Authorised officers may require those on court premises to provide name and address details, evidence of identity and their reason for attending. They may also give reasonable directions to those on court premises for the purpose of maintaining or restoring the security, good order or management of court premises.
Authorised officers may refuse entry or remove an individual from court premises if they refuse to comply with a requirement made or direction given to the individual under the Court Security Act 1980 or if they believe on reasonable grounds that the person is likely to affect adversely the security, good order or management of the court premises.
There are strict limitations regarding any form of recording/photography on court premises. Unauthorised recording, photography or transmission of court proceedings is an offence. If an authorised officer suspects that that an individual may have breached the restrictions they may direct them to stop, require that the individual allow them to view a recording on a device and require them to delete the recording.
The Chief Justice has issued an express written permission in relation to certain recordings made publicly available by the Court..
As a condition of entry photography and recording on court premises generally is prohibited unless express permission is granted. General permission is granted for the taking of personal photographs in the courtyard before or after admission ceremonies and for personal still photography with the Supreme Court Library at any time. Those photographs may be published. Visitors are however asked to be respectful of others attending court, and particularly those who may be attending in distressing or stressful circumstances, by ensuring that they are not inadvertently photographed or recorded.
Requests for commercial photography should be directed to the CEO’s Office.
It is an offence under the Court Security Act 1980 to:
- carry or possess on court premises firearm or an explosive substance or an offensive weapon
- fail to give your name, address and evidence of identity or reason for being within the court premises when requested to do so by an authorised officer
- refuse to comply with the direction of an authorised officer given under the Court Security Act 1980
- make a recording of a proceeding (including a photograph, an audio or audio-visual recording) unless authorised to do so under the Court Security Act 1980
- publish or transmit any recording of a proceeding (including a photograph, an audio or audio-visual recording) unless authorised to do so under the Court Security Act 1980
Support for Court attendees
Attending court can be overwhelming for many people, particularly victims of crime, witnesses and families.
The Supreme Court and the OPP provide a range of support services designed to help.