Courts Open Day 2014

02 April 2014

On Saturday 17 May 2014 (from 10am to 3pm), courts and tribunals in Melbourne will open their doors to the community on Courts’ Open Day for a unique opportunity to go behind the scenes of the Victorian legal system.

Courts’ Open Day is held during Law Week, an annual festival of events which makes learning about the law easy. Held in May each year, the seven-day program has something for everyone.

The Supreme, County and Magistrates' Courts will be open for guided tours, discussions and mock hearings, while the Coroners’ Court will hold a special exhibition on the collapse of the West Gate Bridge and VCAT will provide tips on how to prepare for a hearing.

All Courts’ Open Day activities are free.  A full program of Courts Open Day events is listed below.

For more information about other events, visit the Law Week website at http://www.victorialawfoundation.org.au/law-week/program

Courts Open Day Program

Supreme Court

210 William Street, Melbourne

Special Events

11:00am - I Object, Your Honour! A Judge’s Guide to a Supreme Court Trial

Find out what happens in a real Supreme Court trial when a judge shares their experiences and insights into the trial process. This session will offer a fascinating glimpse into life as a Supreme Court judge, the complexities of a trial and the many people who take part in the trial process.

12:30pm - Report for Jury Service: Your State Needs You!

In this discussion, the Juries Commissioner will demystify jury service and talk about the very important role that Victorians play in our legal system.

Court Tours

Heritage and History Tours - All day (every half hour)

Explore the splendid heritage and history of the Supreme Court of Victoria. The courthouse was built in the 1880s and is today listed on Victoria’s Heritage Register.  Bookings essential (on the day). These tours are popular and numbers are limited. Large groups cannot be accommodated.

Bookings only

Dungeons Tours - Bookings Only

Take a tour of the historic dungeons that lie beneath the Supreme Court of Victoria, which held the state’s most notorious criminals, and the innocent accused, for more than 70 years. As you descend the narrow stairs you will be transported back in time to an era when prisoners were kept in cells directly below the courts in which their lives often hung in the balance.

Bookings only: http://www.trybooking.com/84193

On Display

Honouring the Legal Profession - All day

Members of the legal profession served in WWI in various ways, in rank from private to general. They held positions as drivers, pay clerks and staff officers and served in the artillery, flying corps and infantry battalions. On Courts Open Day, an exhibition will tell some of the stories we have traced of the 159 men whose names are inscribed on the honour board at the entrance to the Court.

County Court

250 William Street, Melbourne

Special Events

10:00am - Willowmarin Quintet

Enjoy a welcome music performance by Willowmarin Quintet in the forecourt.

12:00pm - One Punch - A Lifetime of Consequences Panel Discussion

One hit, one punch, one thoughtless moment can change lives forever. In this forum, judges from the Supreme, County and Coroners’ Courts will discuss the law, the experience of the courts, and the devastating unintended consequences of one-punch assaults. The Panel Discussion will be held in Court 3.3. Bookings are essential as seats are limited. To reserve your seat, visit: www.countycourt.eventbrite.com.au

12:00pm–2:00pm  Forecourt Barbeque

All donations will support Berry Street.

1:00pm - Victorian Bar Community Choir and Melbourne Lawyers’ Orchestra

Come and enjoy a special legal musical concert in Waldron Hall. Hear the Victorian Bar Community Choir (lead by Choir Master Michael Leighton Jones) perform a 150th anniversary tribute to Banjo Patterson; and the Melbourne Lawyers’ Orchestra (conducted by Robert Dora) perform pieces by 19th century composer Franz Peter Schubert and the Honourable George Palmer AM QC.

2:00pm - Mock Trial

Join the trial of DPP v Telfani in Court 3.3 to hear the trial of Elmo Telfani who has been charged with aggravated burglary and intentionally causing serious injury. Hear Dyson Hore-Lacey SC and Jane Dixon SC argue their cases before Judge Gaynor. Join the jury to decide whether Telfani is guilty or not guilty. Bookings are essential. To reserve your seat, visit: www.countycourt.eventbrite.com.au

Court Tours

All day - Behind the Scenes Tours

Join a behind the scenes tour of the jury facilities and the court rooms, to see where major trials are held. Learn about the artworks around the Court. Tours begin in the Court’s foyer from 11:00am.

On Display

Victoria Law Foundation Information Booth

Find out more about the legal sector at the Victoria Law Foundation information booth.

All day

Court Network Information Booth

Visit the Court Network information booth to learn about how its volunteers support those in court.

All day

Magistrates’ Court

233 William Street, Melbourne

Special Events

10.15am - All Stand – Magistrates' Court Mock Hearing

A mock criminal court hearing, where you get the opportunity to look behind the scenes of a criminal case. Who is there to help and how a magistrate makes their decision. Why not participate as the magistrate or the accused and see how the hearing unfolds...

11.30am - Career as a Court Registrar

Interested in a career as a Court Registrar? Come and hear from a registrar about their role and get an insight into building a career in the courts.

1.00pm - Saying No to Family Violence

One of the community’s most concerning issues at present is discussed in detail by magistrates and other community leaders to raise awareness about family violence and to give an insight into how the Court and other agencies are working together to say no to family violence. Bookings are essential as seats are limited. To reserve your seat, visit: http://magistratescourt.eventbrite.com.au

2.00pm - CISP / CREDIT Bail Information session

Learn about this ground-breaking court program, from a case worker and a magistrate.

Court Tours

11.00am and 2.15pm

'Walk in her Shoes' Tour

Experience the process of applying for a family violence intervention order.

All day (every 30 minutes from 10am)

Court Tours

On Display

All day

Stakeholder Information Stalls

Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal

at William Cooper Justice Centre, 223 William Street, Melbourne

Special Events

1.30pm - Taking it to VCAT

Are you taking a matter to VCAT, or has a claim been made against you? Tips on how to prepare for the hearing, what to bring and how to present your case. Learn how a hearing works and get your questions answered.

Bookings essential. To reserve your seat, visit:  www.vcat.eventbrite.com.au

Coroners’ Court

at William Cooper Justice Centre, 223 William Street, Melbourne

On Display

Catastrophic Collapse: A Look Back at the Collapse of the West Gate Bridge

Few of the thousands who traverse the West Gate Bridge daily give thought to its dark beginnings when 32 lives were lost on a fateful day in October 1970. The Coroners’ Court of Victoria will open its archives to mark the 44th anniversary of the fall of the West Gate Bridge, with historical photographs and documents instrumental in the coronial investigation into the catastrophic collapse.