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Why is a courtroom so formal, and why do we have to stand up when the judge walks in?


A: Our system of justice has developed to the point where we, as a democracy, respect the rule of law. It is only through that respect that laws can be followed and obeyed. In the event those laws are broken, there are consequences. Standing up when a judge enters the courtroom is a sign of respect- that he or she is the sole arbiter of the law in that room. The courtroom is controlled by the judge and he or she has wide discretion as to what happens in that room. Of course, if the judge oversteps their bounds, a higher court can review the events and overturn an improper decision.