Courts Open Day - Saturday 20 May, 2017

April 22, 2017

As part of Law Week 2017, courts and tribunals in Melbourne will open their doors on Saturday 20 May to the community for a unique opportunity to go behind the scenes of the Victorian legal system. The County Court of Victoria has a range of free events, including tours, exhibitions and the Courts' Charity BBQ.

Tickets for all tours are available at the Count Court approximately 30 minutes prior to commencement and 15 minutes prior to the first event at 10am.

Register your interest on Eventbrite and bring your ticket on the day to go in the draw to win 1 of 6 gift vouchers, valued at $50. One entry per person.

Download the brochure

'Day in the Life of an Accused' Tour - Including Mock Hearing

10.00am - 11.45am; 11.30am - 1.30pm and 2.00pm - 4.00pm.

A behind-the-scenes tour where you will experience what it's like to be an accused person arriving at court in custody, being placed in a holding cell, and meeting your lawyer before entering a plea of guilty before a judge. This tour also includes a mock arraignment, plea hearing (including prosecution opening), defence submissions and a judge's sentencing of a person pleading guilty to an offence. Each participant will also talk about their roles in the hearing and within the criminal justice system, and answer any questions you may have.

"I Plead Guilty Your Honour" - Mock Hearing Only

10.30am - 11.45am, 12.00pm - 1.30pm and 2.30pm - 4.00pm.

Experience the mock arraignment, plea hearing, prosecution opening, defence submissions and a judge's sentencing of a person pleading guilty to an offence. Each of the participants will also talk about their roles in the hearing and within the criminal justice system and answer any questions you may have. 

Custody Cells Tours - Cells Tour Only

10.30am - 11.00am; 12.00pm - 12.30pm; 12.30pm - 1.00pm and 2.30pm - 3.00pm.

Take a tour of the custody cells that lie under the County Court and see first-hand where accused person's await their matter to be heard.

12 Good Citizens - Jury Empanelment Session

1.00pm - 2.00pm.

Join us for this myth-busting session, hosted by Juries Victoria.

As part of this tour, experience first-hand a mock jury empanelment in court. This will be a chance to gain an insight into how jurors are randomly selected from the start of the process right through to the end. Volunteers from the audience will be asked to play the role of jurors in the courtroom.

Having the Sentencing Conversation - Mock County Koori Court Plea Hearing

1.30pm – 2.30pm.

Experience the unique style of sentencing in this mock County Koori Court plea hearing where the accused is charged with armed robbery and assault. The County Koori Court aims to ensure greater participation of the Aboriginal community in the sentencing process through the role played in that process by the Aboriginal Elders or Respected Persons and others such as the Koori Court Officer.

The Koori Court is a division of the County Court of Victoria, which respects Aboriginal culture and has a less formal environment than a regular court. Aboriginal Elders or Respected Persons sit with the judge during the Koori Court process. Only pleas of guilty can be heard in this court. 

Gowns and Wigs Display

All day.

Ever wondered why judges wear robes and wigs in court? Come along to the County Court Wigs and Gowns Display in Waldron Hall to learn the history of the jabot, bar jacket, money bag, bench wig and other fascinating items that comprise judicial attire in the County Court.

Courts' BBQ for Charity

11.00am - 2.00pm

Enjoy a sausage sizzle in the County Court forecourt in exchange for a gold coin donation, which will go towards Berry Street (an independent child and family welfare organisation).

Other highlights: 

  • Join a Behind-the-Scenes Tour to learn about the architecture, jury facilities, courtrooms, artwork, history of gowns and more;
  • Take a self-guided tour of the County Court and learn some interesting facts;
  • See international, award-winnning court sketch artist, Fay Plamka work her magic;
  • Find out about the Victorian Government Reporting Service (VGRS) and see a stenographer in action;
  • Chat with practising barristers about appearing in court and life at the Bar.

Tickets for all tours are available at the Count Court approximately 30 minutes prior to commencement and 15 minutes prior to the first event at 10am.

Register your interest on Eventbrite and bring your ticket on the day to go in the draw to win 1 of 6 gift vouchers, valued at $50. One entry per person.

Download the brochure

For more information about Law Week, please visit: www.lawweek.net.au