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
Date Written: July 01, 2018
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: Suggested Citation