Indigenous Courthouse and Courtroom Design in Australia: Case Studies, Design Principles and Issues

Elizabeth Grant, Kelly Greenop, Kelly, Albert L Refiti and Daniel J Glenn (eds), The Handbook of Contemporary Indigenous Architecture (Singapore: Springer, 2018): 495-525

Posted: 4 Sep 2018

See all articles by Julian R. Murphy

Julian R. Murphy

University of Melbourne, School of Law

Thalia Anthony

University of Technology Sydney, Faculty of Law

Elizabeth Grant

School of Architecture and Urban Design, RMIT University; University of Queensland - Indigenous Design Place; University of Canberra - Faculty of Arts and Design

Date Written: July 01, 2018

Abstract

Around the world, the design of courthouses (and the courtrooms within them) has become a powerful medium through which to convey a vision of justice and cultural agency to Indigenous peoples. These symbolic architectural gestures derive from a belief in the communicative force of architecture, and from an understanding that the courthouse and courtrooms are the canvas upon which societal priorities as to law and justice are writ large. In Australia, commissioning bodies and architects have been considering ways courthouses and courtrooms can be designed to: 1). symbolically and physically acknowledge Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the First Peoples of Australia; 2). rectify past wrongs; 3). increase Indigenous participation; 3). allow Aboriginal peoples to engage meaningfully with court processes; 4). reduce the stress felt by Indigenous users; and 4). promote Indigenous ‘ownership’ of courthouses and courtrooms. This chapter examines the design outcomes for three Australian courthouse developments of national and international significance: Port Augusta (South Australia), Kununurra and Kalgoorlie court complexes (Western Australia).

Keywords: court architecture; Indigenous Australians; access to justice

JEL Classification: K49

Suggested Citation

Murphy, Julian and Anthony, Thalia and Grant, Elizabeth, Indigenous Courthouse and Courtroom Design in Australia: Case Studies, Design Principles and Issues (July 01, 2018). Elizabeth Grant, Kelly Greenop, Kelly, Albert L Refiti and Daniel J Glenn (eds), The Handbook of Contemporary Indigenous Architecture (Singapore: Springer, 2018): 495-525, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3237373

Julian Murphy (Contact Author)

University of Melbourne, School of Law ( email )

University Square
185 Pelham Street, Carlton
Victoria, Victoria
Australia

Thalia Anthony

University of Technology Sydney, Faculty of Law ( email )

Sydney
Australia

Elizabeth Grant

School of Architecture and Urban Design, RMIT University ( email )

University of Queensland - Indigenous Design Place ( email )

Brisbane
Australia
0404365833 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://https://researchers.uq.edu.au/researcher/21192

University of Canberra - Faculty of Arts and Design ( email )

Australia
0404365833 (Phone)

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