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29 Apr 2023

The High Court Of Australia

The Best Of Canberra: The High Court of Australia

Canberra is a city of national significance, which is why it is the capital of the nation. It is home to some of the most iconic buildings in the country, including the High Court of Australia, which is located in the National Triangle. The High Court is the highest court in the land to which you can appeal for any legal action in Australia, and it is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in the country’s legal system.

The High Court Of Australia

History and Beginnings

The High Court of Australia was built in 1980 after the Privy Council in London was cut off as a means of resolving legal matters in Australia. Located on the side of Lake Burley Griffin, the building was designed between 1972 and 1974 by Australian architect Christopher Kringas. The building is of a style called brutalism and is largely made of concrete. Although it is a divisive building, it is a powerful and imposing structure that is an integral part of Canberra’s skyline.

The High Court of Australia plays a crucial role in the country’s legal system. It is where constitutional issues get resolved when there is a dispute that is a constitutional matter. This means that if a legal matter involves the Constitution or its interpretation, it must be heard by the High Court. The decisions made by the High Court have a significant impact on the country and its citizens, and they are closely watched by legal experts and the general public alike.

Symbolic Architecture and Design

One fascinating feature of the High Court building is its architectural style called brutalism. Brutalism is a style that emerged in the 1950s and was characterized by the use of raw, exposed concrete and geometric forms. The High Court building’s design is a prime example of this style, with its dominating presence and stark, imposing appearance. While it may not be to everyone’s taste, it is an iconic building that represents a particular era in Australian architecture.

Another interesting fact about the High Court building is its height. The building is very tall for its location, and one suggestion for this is that the High Court judge’s position in their offices had to be at the same level as the Prime Minister or higher than the Prime Minister in his office. This is symbolic, as the High Court is the final destination for resolving constitutional issues in Australia. It is the court of last resort, and its decisions are final.

The High Court’s Entry Into Pop Culture

The High Court of Australia gained some notoriety when it was featured in the popular Australian movie, The Castle. In the movie, the High Court is the last court of appeal that the main character can go to, to resolve a legal issue that threatens to take away his family home. The movie helped to bring the High Court to the attention of the wider public and demonstrated the importance of the court in Australian society.

The High Court has also been featured in other forms of media, including books, documentaries, and TV series such as Rake, an American comedy-drama television series and an adaptation of the Australian series of the same name, both of which are created by Peter Duncan which follows the life of a criminal defense lawyer, and featured some scenes set in the High Court. The show brought attention to the workings of the court and its importance in the Australian legal system.  These depictions in popular culture have helped to increase public awareness and understanding of the High Court and its role in Australian society.

In addition to its significance, the High Court building is also a popular tourist attraction. Visitors can take guided tours of the building and learn about its history, architecture, and the role it plays in Australia’s legal system. Canberra Guided Tours, the longest-running tour company in the ACT, offers a range of tours: from wine to wildlife to the highlights of Canberra.

If you are planning a trip to Canberra and would like to experience the best of the city and its surroundings, book an expert-led tour with Canberra Guided Tours today! Our knowledgeable guides will take you on a journey through the history, culture, and natural beauty of the region. Visit our website at to browse our range of tours and make a booking. We look forward to showing you the magic of Canberra!

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