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Seven new courtrooms have opened at the William Cooper Justice Centre, providing additional facilities for a range of hearings.

The Supreme Court will be able to expand the types of hearings it conducts at the William Cooper Justice Centre following the construction of seven new courtrooms.

The new facilities will be used by the Court to hear commercial and common law matters, as well as some Court of Appeal hearings.

William Cooper Justice Centre Courtroom
Courtroom 10, on level 7, in the William Cooper Justice Centre.

The new courtrooms feature wheelchair access to the witness boxes, with one courtroom boasting the ability to accommodate six jurors for civil jury trials.

Another courtroom has been fitted out to hold Court of Appeal civil hearings with up to three judges seated at the Bench.

The Supreme Court now occupies several floors of the William Cooper Justice Centre, including courtrooms, mediation rooms, chambers, and administrative areas. The construction of these spaces followed the closure of the building at 436 Lonsdale Street in 2021, which had been used by the Supreme Court for similar functions.

William Cooper Justice Centre Courtroom with bench
Courtroom 11, also on level 7, in the William Cooper Justice Centre.

Chief Justice Anne Ferguson said, “The new facilities are a further step towards aligning the Court’s operations with the needs of the community.

“The new courtrooms expand on the Court’s capacity to conduct hearings and provide court users with greater access to justice in an accessible and modern setting.”

Associate Justice Mary-Jane Ierodiaconou, who was involved in the planning, said the new facilities were the result of a cooperative approach involving various stakeholders.

“The new courtrooms are up and running and working well,” she said.

“We have wonderful chambers, mediation spaces and courtrooms at William Cooper Justice Centre.

“The project is a great example of how collaboration and collegiality can result in optimal design.”

William Cooper Justice Centre Courtroom Associate Justices and colleagues
Associate Justices Goulden, Ierodiaconou and Irving, with colleagues

The completion of the courtrooms follows the opening of the Supreme Court Mediation Centre in the William Cooper Justice Centre, which became operational in early 2023.

Court Services Victoria’s Built Environment team managed the project with support from judicial officers and staff from the Supreme Court of Victoria.

Published on 09 April 2024
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