The High Court building is one of Canberra's major tourist attractions and is situated in the Parliamentary Zone in Parkes Place Parkes, on the shores of Lake Burley Griffin between the National Science and Technology Centre (Questacon) and the National Gallery of Australia. The High Court-National Gallery precinct was added to the National Heritage List in November 2007. The building is accessible by ACTION buses (routes 2 or 3 weekdays and 934 or 935 on weekends) and is also close to the lakeside cycle path.
The building is a unique structure. Forty metres tall and constructed mainly of concrete and glass, it has four main elements: a large public hall, three courtrooms, an administrative wing, and Justices' chambers. Public visitors may view:
- the Great Hall, which includes an educational display and video area, and often features exhibitions or performances by cultural organisations; and
- the three courtrooms, which are the focus of the building's activities.
Court Guides are on hand to introduce you to history, role and operation of the High Court and its building.
Please check the Court calendar before planning your visit. If the Court is sitting, you are welcome to watch proceedings. We request your cooperation in respecting Court etiquette when watching proceedings.
The building is surrounded by parkland which provides an ideal venue for lunch on fine days. Many school groups bring their lunch and enjoy it on the shores of the lake.
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Court Sittings and Building Opening Hours
The calendar of Court sittings is determined by the Court and is usually published in the September prior to the start of each year. See the Court Calendar.
Normally, the Court sits in Canberra for two weeks of every month, except for January and July when it is in recess. High Court sittings are open to the public. Normal Court sitting hours are from 10.15 am to 12.45 pm and 2.15 pm to 4.15 pm.
The building is open to the public from 9.45 am to 4.30 pm Monday through Friday, except public holidays, and Sundays from midday to 4.00 pm. Admission to the High Court building is free of charge.
When you visit the High Court we request your cooperation in respecting Court etiquette and Building Conditions of Entry.
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Bookings are essential for groups of visiting school students or other organised tours. Please visit our tour bookings page to access the online booking system, risk assessment and insurance certificate.
Independent visitors do not need to make a booking.
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Talks by Court Guides
Visitors are welcome to visit the building at any time during ordinary opening hours. A Court Guide is available in each courtroom to provide information about the history, role and function of the High Court and its architecture. On sitting days, visitors are welcome to view the sitting Court.
Please consult the Court calendar for the sitting schedule.
Show MoreThe judiciary is an arm of government responsible for administering justice. This system of courts seeks to resolve conflict arising out of the operation of laws; this involves the application of remedies and the retribution of offenders.
Trinidad and Tobago operates by a traditional common law legal system based on that of the United Kingdom. The concept of precedent applies and the judgements of the Supreme Court and Judicial Committee of the Privy Council are requisite; those of the United Kindgom and Commonwealth are highly persuasive.
The structure of the legal system in Trinidad and Tobago is as follows; Magistrate Court, High Court, Court of Appeal, House of Lords/ Privy Council.
The Magistrates’ court is a lower court handling…show more content…
I was shown the different court rooms; it appeared that there was a pattern in the assignment of cases to the different court rooms. I visited two (2) 4th Court and one 6th Court rooms on the 1st floor. Magistrate Quamina heard matters related to assault, obscene language, and missile throwing. The case heard by Magistrate Mohammed was related to the unlawful possession of arms. Matters of drug possession and robbery were heard in court 4a by Senior Magistrate Gail Gonzales. Evidence was placed in boxes with a clear covering; detailed descriptions of the items were given for the record of the court. The complainant in all of the witnessed cases was law enforcement officers. The defendants were either called upon by the marshal, or were present in a sectioned off area, reserved for those in custody. I witnessed two defendants represented by an attorney, while others opted to represent themselves. Magistrate Gail Gonzales became deeply perturbed when addressed by the defendant as ‘love’; Magistrates are to be addressed as ‘your worship’. Next to each magistrate sat a clerk who was responsible for recording the facts of each case. Each case was heard swiftly, with a decision being taken for adjournment or penalty within minutes.
The atmosphere in the High Court was formal and orderly. Attorneys are to adorn themselves with bands and address the Judge as “my Lord”.
In the case of the December 2006 murder of business woman