Anyone standing in the Parliamentary Triangle will notice the High Court of Australia. A towering building of concrete and glass that rises 130 feet, the court is an award-winning piece of architecture on the shores of Lake Burley Griffin. The glass is meant to symbolize transparency in Australia’s judicial process, and visitors are welcome to sit on proceedings whenever court is in session. Many of Australia’s most notable cases have been conducted here in this building, and the laws that govern the entire nation are handed down from these halls.
Three different courtrooms and a public hall are accessible to courthouse visitors, and even during times when court isn’t in session, the public hall can host cultural events or even afternoon concerts. Informative placards highlight events that have shaped the court system’s past, and with the exception of marble that has been imported from Italy, all of the timber and beams in the courthouse are made from Australian wood. Part functioning legal facility and part design attraction, the High Court of Australia is a noble stop when visiting downtown Canberra.
The High Court of Australia is open for visits on Monday-Friday, 9:45am-4:30pm, and admission is free. Court is usually in session for two weeks out of every month, with the exception of January and July when the court is in recess. For visitors who do end up sitting in court, it’s customary to bow upon entrance and exit and to sit for a minimum of 10 minutes.