New joint courts precinct celebrates major milestone

Released 11/10/2018

Criminal cases in the ACT are set to be heard in the new joint court precinct from Monday, with stage 1 of the $160 million court upgrade now officially complete.

Attorney-General Gordon Ramsay said the first stage of the ACT’s new courts bring our criminal justice system into the 21st century. The new facilities will help deliver a more timely, transparent, and accessible justice system, which is especially important as Canberra’s population continues to grow.

“Stage 1 of the ACT Courts project features six new courtrooms, chambers, a library, a new public entry and contemporary jury facilities designed to maximise comfort during court deliberations,” Minister Ramsay said.

“New technology is a major feature of the new court facilities, with all courts equipped with state of the art systems that allow multimedia evidence to be broadcast to all participants and the public gallery simultaneously.  We are now able to ensure that everyone involved in a particular case is quite literally on the same page.

“Another unique design characteristic is the continuity of natural light throughout the new precinct.  The building also features a new dedicated remote witness zone with seven new video conference suites and waiting areas, for comfort, privacy and safety of those giving evidence.

“Work will continue in the new entry area over the next few months to refurbish the public lobby of the old Magistrates Court. However, this will not impact on the move of the Supreme Court into the new facilities.

“The courts will continue to transform, with two feature artworks to be installed next month, further work to be done around the fa├žade, and landscaping to be completed around the court precinct.

“The existing heritage court building will undergo a refurbishment under Stage 2 of the project, and two court rooms, mediation suites, hearing rooms and spaces for justice support groups will be constructed during this phase.

“Ongoing works will not disrupt the courts’ functions. It is anticipated that stage 2 will be completed in mid-2019.

“The ACT Courts upgrade program is being delivered under a Public Private Partnership arrangement, with the design and construction component of both Stage 1 and Stage 2 representing a $160 million investment.”

- Statement ends -

Section: Gordon Ramsay, MLA | Media Releases

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