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Court Officer

No Formal Qualifications On The Job Training Year 12 Preferred VOC Course University Course

Also known as Clerical Officer (Local Courts).

Court officers assist in the effective operation of courts.

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


    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


  • 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

Interest Area

Clerical/Administrative Influencing/Personal Contact


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

Court Registrar - prepares the daily court list, maintains court records and handles the accounting and distribution of money paid to the court.

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.


No Formal Qualifications On The Job Training Year 12 Preferred VOC Course University Course

You can work as a court officer without formal qualifications. You will probably get some informal training on the job. The courts prefer you to gain your HSC/ACT Year 12.

Entry to this occupation may be improved if you have qualifications.

You may like to consider a VOC qualification in legal services, legal practice or justice. As subjects and prerequisites can vary between institutions, you should contact your chosen institution for further information. You may be able to study through distance education.

You can also become a court officer by studying justice, criminology or legal studies at university. To get into these courses you usually need to gain your HSC/ACT Year 12 with English.

A number of universities in Australia offer degrees in these areas.

Universities have different prerequisites and some have flexible entry requirements or offer external study. Contact Open Universities Australia or the universities you are interested in for more information as requirements may change.

To work as a court officer in the courts of NSW and the ACT you must be a state or territory public servant. See the Public Servant - State Government entry for details. Specialised training is given on the job.


Most court officers work in the metropolitan area, although there are some positions in country areas. Court officers are employed by state, territory and federal governments in courts such as the Federal Court, Supreme Court, Family Law Courts, Magistrates Courts, and district and local courts, as well as some tribunals.

Experienced court officers may find opportunities for advancement in administration and management within the court systems, as well as in the state or territory and Australian public services.

There are opportunities for temporary and casual work in this field.

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More Information - External Links

Job Outlook for Court Officer ACT Magistrates Court Department of Justice (NSW)

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