The SCQL offers an educational program for student visitors to the Queensland Courts. Each year, the Library hosts more than 8,500 students at the Brisbane Law Courts and provides tailored programs to suit curricula and learning requirements. Programs can be developed to cater for primary and secondary school groups of up to 50 students.
Depending on the size of your school group, and the amount of time you have available to spend at the Courts, programs can include a legal research seminar, a tour of the Library’s historical displays and exhibitions, and a visit to a live courtroom. Sessions can also be booked for the students to attend an informal information session with a judge.
You will be taking part in a guided tour of the Sir Harry Gibbs Legal Heritage Centre the ground floor of the Queen Elizabeth II Courts of Law. Your guide can also talk to you about the history and work of the Court and what you will observe in the court rooms during your visit.
Further information about these activities is detailed below. Teachers may also wish to view Visiting the Brisbane Law Courts: A Guide for Teachers and a Student's Guide to Court Etiquette before making a booking.
The Library offers introductory legal research seminars for students visiting the Courts. Seminars are designed to introduce students to primary and secondary legal resources and to provide an overview of legal research methodology. Emphasis is placed on using free legal websites to find cases, legislation and other useful material for researching assignments.
Seminars can also be conducted in conjunction with a hands-on workshop, which allows students to research an assignment or study topic using the Library’s extensive collection of legal resources.
Students are encouraged to contact stud...@sclqld.org.au for legal research assistance.
Sir Harry Gibbs Legal Heritage Centre
The SCQL curates the Sir Harry Gibbs Legal Heritage Centre, a museum quality exhibition space open to the public and located on the ground floor of the Queen Elizabeth II Courts of Law.
The inaugural exhibition traces 150 years of Queensland's legal history, with a focus on the concept of the Rule of Law. This legal maxim requires government and individuals to abide by particular laws and holds that no man can be made to suffer punishment for any conduct not forbidden by law.
The Centre features an interactive touch table with a detailed timeline of the Court's history and five matrix screens showcasing Queensland judges and courthouses, the work of the Incorporated Council for Law Reporting and 'A Day in the Life of the Court'. Another section is dedicated to the Rt Hon Sir Harry Gibbs GCMG AC KBE, former Chair of the Library Committee (1963 to 1967) and the second Queenslander to serve as Chief Justice of the High Court of Australia (1981 to 1987).
The Court's treasures are also on display and include a ceremonial Staff and a commemorative book, which records the names of all Supreme Court judges from 1859 to present. These items were presented to the Court by the Bar Association of Queensland and the Queensland Law Society respectively, to celebrate the sesquicentenary of the Supreme Court in 2011.
Almost all Court cases are open to the public and usually start at 10am, with a break in the afternoon from 1.00 – 2.30 pm. The Law List, which is published daily in The Courier-Mail and on the Queensland Courts website, provides information on the cases that will be heard that day. When you arrive at the Court, the Security Officers can provide you with a copy of the List, including details of the court room and, if it is a criminal case, the nature of the offence. It is important that students read and understand the Student's Guide to Court Etiquette before visiting the Courts. The number of student visitors to the Courts each day has been restricted to minimise disruption to proceedings.
Please note that viewing cases may not be suitable for primary school students, due to the nature of criminal proceedings and the fact that it is impossible to know what matters will be heard in the courts on any given day. Bookings can still be made, but please be aware that young students may be distressed by matters they see in court.
Information Session with a Judge
The Library can arrange for students to attend an informal information session with a Judge, subject to availability. These sessions usually last 20 minutes and can only be offered at 9am sharp. It is an excellent opportunity for students to learn about the Queensland Court system and to participate in a question and answer session with a Judge.
Visiting the Magistrates Court
Schools may also be interested in visiting these Courts
Magistrates Court, Arrest Court 240 Roma St Ph 3247 4760
Magistrates Court 363 George St Ph 3247 5598 email@example.com enquiries to Jodie Wigley.
The Brisbane Magistrates Court is no longer, as of October 2011, conducting formal tours or taking bookings for visits, but groups are still welcome to attend the court.