I am summoned as a witness

What should I do?

If you come to testify in court, take your summons and identity card with you. You will wait for your turn in a room outside the courtroom. Witnesses are called one by one, so that they are not influenced by other persons’ statements.

As a witness, you must answer the questions orally. This allows to find out more about what you saw or heard personally. All questions must be asked via the president of the court. Only the president can address the witnesses directly.

The hearings are public, except in exceptional cases.

After your testimony, you can leave the courtroom. You can also stay to follow the rest of the trial.

Do I have to take an oath?

Before testifying, you take an oath. You swear to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Children under 15 do not take an oath. The person under oath who does not tell the truth gives a false testimony. This is a serious offence that can be punished by imprisonment.

Can I get a certificate for my employer?

Yes: you can ask for it to the person who will accompany you to the courtroom (known as the "court usher") or to the clerk’s office (which is in the building where the Court of Assizes holds the hearings).