This post is designed to assist teachers who are organising a court excursion to the Downing Centre in the Sydney CBD. There have been some concerns about school groups visiting the Downing Centre. The Insitute has been liasing with court staff and the below advice is the result.

Please ensure the following when visiting the Downing Centre Court with students:

  • that you have exhausted all practical options of visiting 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.

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

  • No Year 9 students are to visit the Downing Centre
  • No more than 50 students from a single school should visit the court on a single excursion
  • Students are adequately briefed before attending court about security protocols – see our guide
  • 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 us directly if you have any queries regarding your planned excursion.