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What is the job of a witness?

As a witness your job is to inform the court about what happened to you. Even though you have already given a detailed statement to police, usually, for legal reasons, the judge and jury do not see your statement. You need to tell the court what happened by answering questions. Your job is to answer the questions truthfully so that the magistrate, or judge and jury can learn about what happened.

The prosecution or the defence lawyers can call you as a witness.

Being a witness does not mean you are in trouble. You just need to tell the truth to help the court decide if the law has been broken.

The court usually hears from all the witnesses and looks at all the evidence presented in court before coming to a decision about whether the person or people accused of the crime is guilty or not guilty.

It is important to remember that what you say is only part of the whole case against the accused.

Remember, it is not your responsibility to prove the case. This is the role of the prosecution. Your job is to tell the truth.

How do you know when it's your turn to give evidence?

As a witness you are not allowed to go into the courtroom until it is time to give your evidence. This is because you are not allowed to hear what other witnesses say.

When it is your turn, the court officer comes to where you are waiting and calls your name. They will then take you and your support person, if you have one, into the courtroom.

If you are a child or a victim of a sexual assault you may be able to give your evidence in a separate room without going into the courtroom. This is called the Remote Witness Room or Closed Circuit Television Room (CCTV).