This post is designed to update teachers who are organising a court excursion to the Downing Centre and other courts in the Sydney CBD. The Institute has been liaising with the court and the Office of the Sheriff regarding the booking process for court excursions. As further information is provided we will update this post.

As of the 29th of March 2019 the process will be as follows:

All school excursions to the courts are to be booked through the Rule of Law Institute. Schools that have booked an excursion with the Court Service Centre will have their bookings honoured by the court as part of the transitional arrangements. 

  • This can be done by Schools going directly to Rule Of Law Institute website or going to the Local Court website where a link will be placed for School excursion bookings (redirected to the Rule of Law Institute website – we will notify schools when the link is live).
  • The maximum number of students per day in the Downing Centre is 120. Preference will be given to Year 11 and Year 12 students.
  • The Rule of Law Institute will supply a facilitator and a judicial speaker for one group of 40 students, bookings can still be made for schools to attend providing 120 students is not exceeded.
  • Any Schools that have not made a booking through Rule of Law, whether a facilitator is provided or not, will be turned away from the Downing Centre.
  • A statement will be provided by the Office of the Sheriff of NSW regarding the conduct of court excursions and will be distributed to schools.
  • The Rule of Law Institute will be charging a fee for court excursions from the 1st of July 2019 – please download the pricing structure for details. 

Please ensure the following prior to booking an excursion to the Downing Centre Court with your students:

  • Year 10 students should visit a Local Court closer to your school. The District Court also sits at some Local Court locations. The Rule of Law Institute in conjunction with the Local Court may assist you arrange for a Magistrate/Judge  to speak to the students in your area where possible.
  • Links to Local Courts locations and District Court sitting dates at Local Courts are provided below.

http://www.localcourt.justice.nsw.gov.au/courtlocations

http://www.districtcourt.justice.nsw.gov.au/Pages/courtlists/sitting_dates_crim.aspx

  • Bookings for Year 9 students will not be accepted.
  • No more than 40 students from a single school should visit the Downing Centre, 20 students the Supreme Court and 25 students to any Local Court on a single excursion.
  • Students are adequately briefed before attending court about security protocols – see our guide and the Sheriff’s statement 
  • Students are actively supervised – teachers to student ratio needs to be 1 to 15 for Year 10 and 1 to 20 for Years 11 and 12
  • Teachers need to be on the same floor/s as their students at all times
  • Ensure the students have been well prepared with a syllabus relevant focus for their court visit
  • When visiting any courtroom and in particular the Local Courts on levels 4 and 5  students need to spend a minimum of 15 minutes sitting in a court before moving onto observing other courts
  • Students are not to ride up and down in the lifts without a purpose as this is disruptive to the work of the court
  • Students and teachers need to ensure that they treat members of the public and court staff with courtesy at all times.

Please contact Jackie Charles our Education Manager if you have any queries.