The service the County Court provides to the Goulburn Valley and Hume regions has been greatly enhanced with the opening of the new Shepparton Court.
This modern, multi-jurisdictional building will improve access to justice outcomes in the region, and it will dramatically enhance court users’ experience of coming to court.
The County Court is Victoria’s principal trial court, hearing most criminal trials and serious civil cases. Criminal trials in the County Court often include difficult sex offence matters, culpable driving and home invasion cases.
The County Court was very closely involved in the development of the new Shepparton Court, and through this work we’ve helped create a safe, secure and calming environment for all users. It is also critical regional Victorians have access to modern technology-enabled court facilities, and the new Shepparton Court is an exemplar of what is required.
The Shepparton Court has been designed with the needs and safety of users being paramount. Indeed, it is the first court in Victoria to have a dedicated entrance for victims of crime and vulnerable witnesses. It also has separate, safe waiting areas, ensuring peoples’ safety, and the courts are equipped with automated screens behind which victims of crime can give evidence. Meanwhile juries have access to comfortable, contemporary areas in which to wait and deliberate, including an outdoor balcony.
I would like to acknowledge and thank everyone involved in the development of this outstanding new court facility, including the local legal community. It will serve Victoria well for decades to come.
Peter Kidd Chief Judge of the County Court