SAVE Melbourne's Old High Court Building

A question mark hangs over the heritage-listed 1928 building in Little Bourke Street, earmarked to make way for the extension of the Supreme Court next door.

The Supreme Court of Victoria has a number of buildings within its precinct.

- The main building at 210 William Street (Courts 1 to 15)
- The Court of Appeal building at 459 Lonsdale Street (Green, Red and Blue Courts)
- The Old High Court at 450 Little Bourke Street, where Old High Courts 1 to 3, Court of Appeal Registry and Board of Examiners.
- The Supreme Court Registry, comprising the Prothonotary's Office, Probate Office and the Funds in Court section, at 436 Lonsdale Street. Masters' Courts 1 to 6 are also located on the Ground Floor.

The Juries Commissioner's Office, including the jury pool room where jurors are asked to attend before being called for service, is located on the Ground Floor, 250 William Street (County Court building).

Hours
The Supreme Court is open from 9.00am until 5.00pm, Monday to Friday. The building is not open on public holidays or weekends. The Supreme Court Registry hours are from 9.30am to 4.00pm. The Court of Appeal Registry hours are from 9.30am to 1.00pm and 2.00pm to 4.00pm.

Barristers appeal to save historic building
By Fergus Shiel and Royce Millar - The Age
December 1, 2005

Leading barristers and the National Trust are fighting a State Government plan to demolish Melbourne's Old High Court Building.

A question mark hangs over the heritage-listed 1928 building in Little Bourke Street, earmarked to make way for the extension of the Supreme Court next door.

Heritage Victoria director Ray Tonkin yesterday confirmed he was considering an application from the Justice Department to demolish the building.

Both the department and Heritage Victoria are accountable to Rob Hulls in his dual role as Attorney-General and Planning Minister. A spokeswoman for Mr Hulls said no final proposal had been approved.

Law Institute chief executive John Cain said if the price of modernising the Supreme Court was the demolition of the Old High Court, it could be worth it. "What we have in the current Supreme Court is an inadequate facility for running modern litigation and there is universal agreement that those facilities need to be improved to run trials," he said.

But the plan faces stiff opposition from a group of prominent barristers, including Frances O'Brien, SC, who told The Age that the Old High Court was a site of national significance because of the constitutional battles fought there from 1928 to 1980, including Ben Chifley's bid to nationalise Australia's banks and Robert Menzies' attempt to ban the Communist Party.

National Trust chief executive Stephen Hare called on the Government to consider other options, including the conversion or demolition of "less significant" buildings in the legal precinct. "If they demolish it we will look back on it and regret it in 50 years," he said.

Links & Sources

www.supremecourt.vic.gov.au

Barristers appeal to save historic building
By Fergus Shiel and Royce Millar - The Age

A complex problem - March 2004
By Chris Dale, Past President, Law Institute of Victoria
The state's top court needs a new building if it is to handle the demands of justice in the 21st century.

Walking Melbourne - Former High Court


❊ Location ❊


SAVE Melbourne's Old High Court Building450 Little Bourke Street  Melbourne Victoria 3000 |
Map


❊ Web Links ❊


SAVE Melbourne's Old High Court Building 




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