Courts Open Day 2018 – Saturday 19 May

April 19, 2018

The County Court is open to the public every sitting day, but one day a year we bring people behind the scenes with a free program of tours, mock hearings, talks and exhibitions.

Join us at the County Court of Victoria on Saturday 19 May for Courts Open Day, as part of Law Week.

Tickets for all tours are available from the County Court on the day of the event. Places are limited, and will be distributed on a first-come-first serve basis.

Join us for:

Courts of the Future

12.30-1.30, Waldron Hall

How will digitalisation and innovative technology change the justice system? Join one of Australia's top digital influencers, Peter Williams, for an interactive talk about courts in the future followed by a panel discussion.

Booking not required. Seating on a first come first served basis.

'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.

Tickets available from the Ticket Desk on the ground floor. Places are limited, and will be distributed on a first-come-first serve basis.

Tickets for the 10.00 and 11.30 sessions will be distributed the Ticket Desk on the ground floor from the time doors open at the Court at 9.45. Tickets for the 2.00 session will be distributed at 1.30 from the Ticket Desk on the ground floor.

 

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 the accused await their matter to be heard.

Tickets available from the Ticket Desk on the ground floor. Places are limited, and will be distributed on a first-come-first serve basis.

Tickets for the 10.30, 12.00 and 1.00pm sessions will be distributed from the time doors open at the Court at 9.45. Tickets for the 2.30 session will be distributed at 1.30 from the Ticket Desk on the ground floor.

"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.

Line up 15 minutes before the event outside Courtroom 3.3 to get a seat.

Civil Jury Empanelment Session

10.30am - 11.30am 

Be part of a mock empanelment of a civil jury. In Victoria, jurors are now empanelled by numbers and not name. You'll get to take an number when you arrive and see if you're selected, or watch the process in action! Afterwards, a civil judge will answer questions about the process, and the work of the Common Law Division which deals with over 30 per cent of the finalised cases in the County Court.

Line up outside Courtroom 4.3 to get a seat. Doors will open 15 minutes before the start time.

Mock County Koori Court Plea Hearing

11.00am – 12.00pm.

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.

Line up outside Courtroom 4.3 before the event to get a seat. Doors will open 15 minutes before the start time.

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.

Line up outside Courtroom 4.3 before the event to get a seat. Doors will open 15 minutes before the start time.

Parole, you decide – Adult Parole Board

12.00pm-1.00pm

The Adult Parole Board will take part in Law Week 2018 with the aim of educating the community about parole and the Board.

At the County Court of Victoria on Saturday 19 May, the Board will take the audience on a journey through the parole process with its event Parole, you decide. The mock hearing will follow the story of a prisoner from when he is sentenced to when he applies for parole. The audience will learn about parole, including how the Board makes its decisions.

Parole, you decide will be presented by His Honour Peter Couzens, Chairperson of the Board. The panel will include three Board members - Her Honour Judge Sue Pullen, judicial member and County Court Judge; Kieran Walshe, community member and former Deputy Commissioner of Victoria Police; and Stephen Farrow, full-time member and former CEO of the Sentencing Advisory Council.

The audience will also get the opportunity to say if they believe the Board should grant parole to the prisoner.

Line up outside Courtroom 4.2 before the event to get a seat. Doors will open 15 minutes before the start time.

Bailed out – The role of the barrister

2.30-3.30pm

Have you ever considered a career as a barrister, or just wondered what exactly barristers do?

The Victorian Bar presents a special performance showcasing the skills of counsel against the background of a bail application, from client advice through to appearing in court. After the performance you’ll have the opportunity to meet practicing barristers and ask questions. Students especially welcome.

Line up outside Courtroom 4.2 before the event to get a seat. Doors will open 15 minutes before the start time.

Other all day activities

  • Take a journey around the County Court with our self-guided tour
  • Associates will be leading Behind-the-Scenes tours throughout the day. Join in to learn about the architecture, court rooms, artwork, jury facilities and more.
  • Talk to award-winning court illustrator Faye Plamka about her life in crime.
  • The Court Network information stand can inform you on how its volunteers support those in court.
  • Find out about the law library at their stand and learn how they support the administration of justice in Victoria.

For more information on Courts Open Day and Law Week, head to the Everyday Law website: https://www.everyday-law.org.au/law-week