Open Court

Definition - What does Open Court mean?

Open court is a court in which spectators are allowed. This means that members of the public are allowed into the court and can bear witness to the events of the trial. Open court is an alternative to closed court, in which members of the public are not allowed to be spectators.

Justipedia explains Open Court

Most trials occur in open court. This is because the judicial system is designed to be public. However, this is not the case with all trials. For example, cases in which the defendant is a minor are typically closed. This is done to protect the identity of the child. Additionally, very high-profile cases, or cases in which identities need to be protected for safety, may be closed to the public.

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