"High Court of Australia" Top 5 Page for this destination High Court of Australia Tip by tiabunna

High Court of Australia, Canberra: 4 reviews and 10 photos

  The High Court and its ceremonial ramp
by tiabunna
  • The High Court and its ceremonial ramp - Canberra
      The High Court and its ceremonial ramp
    by tiabunna
  • High court seen from a balloon - Canberra
      High court seen from a balloon
    by tiabunna
  • concrete angles overlooking the lake - Canberra
      concrete angles overlooking the lake
    by tiabunna

Although I suspect this tip will mainly interest lawyers, try to hang in there, folk! Australia?s ultimate judical body is the High Court. Here?s how the system works - the politicians make the laws, the other courts apply them, appeals on legal interpretation are taken to the High Court. The results sometimes can be surprising! Depending on the issue, the matters may be heard by a single judge or by a panel of judges.

Reflecting its importance, the High Court building has a prime position in the Parliamentary Triangle, near the lake. It was opened in 1980: part of the terms of the design contest were:In its siting and in its form, the High Court building imparts a sense of strength and security. The visitor is made to feel aware of the rights, privileges and responsibilities of the Australian judicial system. Which, I?d have to admit, sounds a lot of words for saying we want an imposing building. It is! Built of concrete and glass, and standing 40 metres high, the front with its glass fašade is meant to give the impression of a waterfall, continued in the flowing water down the ceremonial ramp in front. That ceremonial ramp conceals the carpark! The rear of the building is just concrete brutalism.

Inside the building you will find a large public hall with a 24metre ceiling, and three court rooms. There also is a licensed cafeteria. It?s worth a quick look inside, but for a tourist I?d say the inside hardly rates as a ?must see?. Yes, visitors are allowed to enter the courtrooms when the court is sitting to watch the proceedings ? but I think that gets back to the idea that this tip is likely to appeal most to lawyers!

Open daily 0945 ?1645 Monday-Friday, except public holidays.

Main photo: the front fašade, with the cermonial ramp and watercourse
Second photo: from the hot air balloon, you even get to see the judges? private rooftop garden!
Third photo: the rear of the building, concrete angles overlooking the lake.

Address: Parkes Place, Parliamentary Triangle, Canberra
Directions: Alongside Lake Burley Griffin, in front of Old Parliament House (to the right)
Phone: (02) 6270 6811
Website: http://www.hcourt.gov.au

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Nov 20, 2006
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Comments (2)

  • tiabunna's Profile Photo
    Mar 2, 2016 at 6:32 PM

    I'd have to admit it's a great example of the 'concrete brutalism' school of architecture.

    • wabat's Profile Photo
      Mar 2, 2016 at 10:58 PM

      It is but that's a style I more associate with the former Soviet Union and North Korea!

    • tiabunna's Profile Photo
      Mar 3, 2016 at 12:49 AM

      I think it's more a 'passing architectural fashion'. Sadly, many major buildings were going up when it was in vogue - the National Gallery (not quite as bad) and ANU School of Music come to mind.

  • wabat's Profile Photo
    Mar 2, 2016 at 4:58 AM

    Personally I think this is one of the ugliest buildings in Australia if not the world. Add to that the hideous orange carpet and its a must see!!

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