Magistrates Court of Western Australia

Technical Information

The courtrooms in which the Magistrates Court sits are equipped with technology designed to facilitate the presentation of evidence in a manner that enhances the quality of justice delivered by the Court and the efficiency with which the Court is able to do so.

The practices described herein relate primarily to Central Law Courts (CLC) Perth but in principle should be applied to all Magistrates Court where the trial is being held. For clarification of specific technical facilities in a particular Courtroom please contact the court location where the trial is being held.

Courtrooms in which the Magistrates Court sits have capacity to display electronic Video and Audio Evidence. This material can be provided to the court to present this evidence in the courtroom.

This can be provided on a USB, CD or DVD disc. When providing a USB, CD or DVD disc the submitting parties to a matter (including the practitioner/prosecutor) must ensure it has been tested for viruses and provide it to the court prior to the day of the sitting to ensure it can be played in the courtroom.

Otherwise a submitting party can use their own laptop or notebook computer to present the evidence to the court. The laptop will need a HDMI output and the submitting party will also need to supply a copy the evidence onto a USB, CD or DVD disc so that it can be tendered to the court as an exhibit. Parties wishing to use their laptop to present evidence should test the connections prior to the day of the sitting.

The court will provide the HDMI cable for the connection.

Testing arrangements can be made by contacting the Court location where the trial is being held.

Parties to a matter (including the practitioner/prosecutor) may wish to use their own laptop or notebook computer to present evidence to the Court so as to control the presentation. The evidence must be copied onto a disk so that it can be tendered to the court as an exhibit and it must also be in a format that can be replayed by the Court.

There are many courtrooms in the CLC in which practitioners can connect their laptop into the courtroom audio visual presentation system (court AV system). The same capability currently exists in some other metropolitan and regional courtrooms.

The majority of courts use a HDMI connection to connect to a laptop. However a few courts still use an analogue 15 pin female socket (commonly called a VGA socket) with a 3.5mm audio socket.

Practitioners wishing to use their laptop to present evidence should test the connections prior to the day of the sitting.

Testing arrangements can be made by contacting the court location where the trial is being held.

Most Courtrooms are also equipped with a document camera. This can be used by the parties to display objects, for example a weapon, or documents to all participants in the Court.

Printed photos can be displayed in Court rooms on a document camera. If a party wishes to present images in electronic format, they should arrange for the photos to be supplied on a USB, CD or DVD disc. The photos should also be made ready to be tendered, and so become the exhibit.

Each photograph should be marked for identification with a unique identification number. This is to ensure that the relevant exhibit can be subsequently identified entered in ICMS and identified in the transcript.

Courtrooms at CLC, metropolitan and regional courts are equipped with audio and video conference capabilities, including the ability to video link to remote witness rooms (often referred to as CCTV). The best method for appearing in court by video conference is to appear from a dedicated video conference system such as one from another Courthouse or from a Telecentre or like facility.

If these facilities are not available then a video conference can be made with a laptop or mobile device using Cisco Webex Teams. This is free software that can be used to connect directly to the court. For instructions to set up and use Cisco Webex Teams see Cisco Webex Teams External Party Guide.

There are a number of Courtrooms in the CLC equipped for conducting eTrials. An eTrial will typically involve:

  • All exhibits and potential exhibits being entered into the Court's ICMS database.
  • The linking of documents within the database in transcripts.
  • Presentation of documents in an electronic format.

The Magistrates Courts have adopted an approach common with higher courts with respect to eTrials. The Supreme Court has a page on their website that outlines the process and procedure for Electronic Trails.

Practitioners wishing to conduct an eTrial should seek a directions hearing at which specific orders can be made for the trial to be an eTrial. In a Magistrates Court criminal trial, the application for a directions hearing should be made as soon as possible after the plea of not guilty is entered and before the matter is listed for trial.

In a civil trial, the parties should confer as to when to seek specific trial directions. In some cases, it may make sense for the discovery to be undertaken electronically to facilitate the trial being an eTrial. At the very latest, the application for specific directions for the eTrial should be made at the first listing conference.

It is likely that the Court would allocate the trial Magistrate shortly after the listing conference with the intent that the trial Magistrate will manage the pre-trial processes and subsequent directions.


Last updated: 11-Jun-2020

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