A quick reference guide for teen victims and witnesses giving evidence in the QLD criminal justice system

If you are reading this, you may have seen something happen or someone has hurt you in a way that is against the law. This wasn’t your fault, but because you are involved, you will need to give evidence in a court of law.

To help ease your burden, you have been assigned a PACT volunteer who is there to help you with any questions you may have and to support you along the way.

Your PACT Support Person is there to:

Before you give evidence:

Before you go to court to give evidence, there are a number of steps that will happen first. Don’t worry if it takes many months or years until you give evidence. This is normal, so it is important to be patient.

Legal words and terms are often confusing, so please click on our GLOSSARY OF TERMS to find out what each step means. You can also ask your PACT volunteer for more information.

You have already been courageous and taken steps to get your job of giving evidence started by:

               1) Telling someone what happened or what you heard or saw

               2) Speaking with an officer from Queensland Police Service (QPS) and giving a statement

               3) Meeting your PACT volunteer

Now, the next steps before you give evidence are likely to be:

               4) Reviewing your police statement (also called a “93A”)

               5) Touring the court building and room where you will give evidence 

               6) Meeting with the prosecutor – also called a “Prosecutor’s Conference”

               7) Receive a subpoena to attend court on a certain day and time 

Day of court:

1. Your PACT volunteer will meet you near the courthouse at a place you have decided on beforehand.

2. You will be taken through the Director of Public Prosecutions area to help prepare you to give evidence.

3. You wait until you're called to give evidence. As it can take a long time for the proceedings to commence, it is a good idea to bring something warm (like a jumper), your phone and charger, a book to read, a water bottle and a snack.

Giving Evidence:

Children and young people under the age of 18 can usually give pre-recorded evidence from a private room using a video link, away from the main court. This means you will probably give your evidence from the pre-recording room.

The pre-recording room has comfy chairs and a table, a video screen with a camera and microphone where you will talk to the judge, prosecutor and defence lawyer. It's a safe room and your PACT volunteer will be next to you while you give evidence.

Here are some tips to remember when giving evidence:

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