New Brisbane Supreme and District Court
Court operations have begun in the new Supreme and District Court at 415 George St, Brisbane.
The new courthouse is linked to the Brisbane Magistrates Court by a public square and creates a unique new legal precinct. The new precinct will deliver a new era of justice with greatly enhanced facilities for victims of crime, witnesses, jurors, lawyers, judges and members of the public.
With 60,000 square metres of floor space spread over 19 floors, the building is one of the largest court buildings in Australia.
The building has:
- a total of 39 courtrooms (with the capacity to expand to 45), including a large ceremonial court, Court of Appeal, 23 criminal courts and 14 civil courts
- accommodation for up to 68 judges over four levels of chambers
- mediation rooms
- separate internal circulation systems and access for judges, jurors, prisoners, vulnerable witnesses and members of the public
- a secure public garden
- an entire floor for the Supreme Court Library
- a basement cell block for people in custody
- closed-circuit television facilities and accommodation to enable child and vulnerable witnesses and victims to give evidence in a private and secure environment
- a jurors assembly area and lounge
- registry and administrative accommodation
- one plant level.
The new courthouse is located in walking distance to the Roma Street Station and King George Square busway station.
The new building has a number of features to contribute to the cost effective and efficient operation of the new building.
- rooftop solar panels
- heat deflection via automatic blinds
- maximising natural light
- low energy, movement sensitive lighting
- underfloor air-conditioning
- rainwater harvesting and storage (1.2 million litres) for air-conditioning, toilets and irrigation
- energy usage monitoring via building control systems; and
- modern waste management practices.
Throughout construction, approximately 80 per cent of site waste was recycled.
Modern courthouse technology
The new courthouse will incorporate the latest justice technology, including a state-of-the-art recording suite to take evidence from children and other vulnerable witnesses, digital audio for transcription services and free wireless broadband access for lawyers and other court users.
State-of-the-art information technology systems will be used throughout all aspects of the building to facilitate security, digital recording, secure data transmission, and voice/video-conferencing facilities for all court proceedings. The high-tech management of data will improve efficiencies in operations and increase the quality of every user’s experience, including the public, staff, jurors, and sensitive witnesses.
There is also structural capacity for future technical innovation to keep pace with new forms of evidence and legal procedure over the life of the building.