Court Officer

Summary

Court officers assist in the effective operation of courts.

Duties & Tasks

Court officers may perform the following tasks:

  • announce the beginning and end of court sessions
  • call on witnesses and administer the prescribed oath to jurors and witnesses
  • administer the jury roster and post court lists on notice boards
  • keep records of court processes served
  • enforce court decisions by executing court orders, and serving legal orders and documents such as summonses or subpoenas
  • maintain the orderly conduct of court and hearing rooms and adjacent areas
  • attend to judges or magistrates, escorting them from chambers to the courtroom
  • record and protect exhibits tendered in court and pass them to participants during the hearing
  • maintain security, care and control of jury panels
  • liaise with the judiciary, police department and legal professionals, and advise the public on legal procedures and practices
  • run the court registries and maintain the court files
  • open and close court and hearing room proceedings
  • organise furniture for court and hearing rooms
  • allocate rooms for use by legal practitioners
  • prepare audiovisual equipment for court and hearing rooms
  • escort prisoners to and from courtrooms
  • summon potential jurors to court.

Specialisations

Bailiff

A bailiff attends to the needs of the jury throughout a trial and 'swears in' the jurors and witnesses during court proceedings. They may also serve writs, summonses and other court orders.

Clerk of Court

A clerk of court prepares documentation of court proceedings, actions and decisions; attends court sessions; and assists judges and magistrates.

Court Registrar

A court registrar prepares the daily court list, maintains court records and handles the accounting and distribution of money paid to the court.

Sheriff

A sheriff is responsible for providing court security and support services, managing the jury system and serving the orders issued by courts and tribunals. They also undertake administrative tasks, such as processing people appearing before the courts for trial or sentencing.

Working Conditions

Court officers are required to liaise between the magistracy, legal practitioners and members of the public.

Personal Requirements

  • high level of maturity
  • good character
  • able to communicate with a range of people
  • aptitude for clerical duties
  • feel comfortable in a legal environment
  • able to exercise a high level of responsibility.

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