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Courts Open Day

29 April 2016

Courts and tribunals in Melbourne will throw open their doors and welcome the public in with a series of free events, tours, exhibitions and mock trials on Courts Open Day, Saturday 21 May 2016, 10am-3pm.

The Supreme Court, County Court, Magistrates Court, Coroners Court, the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) and the Federal Court of Australia will all hold special events in the Melbourne CBD’s law precinct on the corner of William and Lonsdale Streets.

On Courts Open Day, judges and magistrates will be available to talk to people and answer questions about legal proceedings in a relaxed and informal setting. All events are free and designed to give members of the public, including students, an insight into the workings of the justice system.

At the Supreme Court, members of the public can get inside the elaborate Banco courtroom, where the first sitting of the High Court of Australia took place, visit the grand Supreme Court Library, and the beautifully restored courtroom 4 where many criminal trials take place.

  • Find out what really happens in a criminal trial in ‘All stand: A judge’s guide to a Supreme Court trial’ at 11am (bookings essential)
  • Get an insight into jury service in a myth busting session with the Juries Commissioner  at 2pm (bookings essential)
  • Join a ‘Behind the Scenes’ tour of the Court, every half hour from 10.30am (bookings only via EventBrite, from 1pm on 4 May 2016)
  • What lies beneath the Supreme Court? Take a guided tour of the historic cells and learn about the notorious figures who spent time in them (bookings only via EventBrite, from 1pm on 2 May 2016)
  • Explore the 175 anniversary exhibition in the Supreme Court Library, with historical items of significance on display including the black execution cap worn by judges when sentencing a prisoner to death and the Court book that records the fate of Ned Kelly.

All bookings can be made via EventBrite (External link), with events showing when the bookings are open.

The Supreme Court will also light up each night at 6pm until the end of Law Week (22 May 2016), illuminated in a swathe of red, gold and white lighting. Images of Lady Justice projected on the building behind the Library library can also be seen from the street. A fitting tribute to the Court’s 175-year contribution to the rule of law and the state of Victoria.

A special event for students studying VCE Legal Studies will also be held. Court staff and legal professionals will shed light on their work in the Supreme Court, before the floor is opened for students to ask their burning questions. Bookings (External link) are essential.

Courts Open Day is part of the Victoria Law Foundation’s Law Week program. With events right across Victoria, Law Week is jam-packed with free legal health checks, music performances, tours, mock trials, debates and more. Visit everyday-law (External link) for more information.

More Supreme Court news

Behind the scenes at the Supreme Court

ABOVE: Behind the scenes at the Supreme Court.

A special event has been organised for students studying VCE Legal Studies

ABOVE: A special event has been organised for students studying VCE Legal Studies.

See what lies beneath the Supreme Court

ABOVE: See what lies beneath the Supreme Court...

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