Welcome to a Virtual Law Day Out
This Virtual Law Day Out will give you a taste of what it is like to visit a court room.
The courts are an essential institution for upholding the rule of law. They represent the judicial arm of the separation of powers, provide an avenue for the law to be open to criticism from the public, and model the presumption of innocence and administer the law independently.
Through this virtual experience, you will
- hear from a security officer about the process of entering a court and what to specifically expect when you arrive at court
- hear from two different judges about their experience working in the legal system
- visit a court room or two, and see who sits where and what the various roles involve
While this does not replace an in-person excursion to the court, our hope is that we might be able to give you a taste of how the rule of law is being upheld in the NSW Court system.
What is a Law Day Out?
Watching the law in action helps students value and trust the legal system and appreciate how the rule of law is upheld in Australia.
What is the rule of law?
The rule of law is a concept that comes from the Magna Carta: that all people, including the government should be ruled by the law, be willing to live by its expectations, and obey it.
Introduction to the courts
This Virtual Law Day Out takes you around the King Street Courts and Downing Centre in the city of Sydney.
The Downing Centre holds both the Local and District Criminal Courts. The King Street Court is part of the Supreme Court and hears serious criminal trials.
Meet the Judiciary
The opportunity to chat and ask questions to a judicial officer has a profoundly positive impact on students and their teachers.
When students come on our Law Day Out excursion to the courts, they have a personal and life changing interaction with a judge. Students are given the opportunity to chat with a judicial officer and to hear about the various aspects of their work and the challenges of trial process, sentencing, law reform, the role of juries and judicial discretion. At times, the Judge or Magistrate has even stopped proceedings to explain what is happening in the case. Students are often awestruck and walk out of the courts with a newfound respect for the judiciary and the legal system.
We are very grateful to those Judges and Magistrates who generously speak to school students. In particular, we would like to thank Hon Bellew and Hon Culver for their support and tireless work encouraging Australian school students to love and follow the law.
Meet Hon Justice Bellew of the Supreme Court of NSW
Meet Hon Judge Culver of the District Court of NSW
The Hon Justice Geoffrey John Bellew of the Supreme Court of New South Wales talks about the rule of law, bail, sentencing and his path to become a Justice in the Supreme Court.
Explore the court room
The layout of the Courtroom has been well thought out over the centuries and reflects the bedrock values that underpin the Magna Carta, judiciary and the rule of law.
Watch the below video, try the role play and complete the attached court room worksheet to understand the different participants and sections of a court room.
Virtual tour of the court room
Come on a tour around the court room with your guides Hon Bellew and Hon Culver.
What will you see at court: see the participants, the design, layout and use of technology.
Role Play for Local Court
Introduce students to the criminal trial process and court personnel through a role play developed by Her Honour Magistrate Jacqueline Milledge