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High Court of Australia

The High Court of Australia decides important questions of law for the nation.

See the High Court in action

The High Court of Australia is the most senior court in the Australian judicial system. Tours of the building bring to life the powerful history and contemporary function of the High Court in upholding Australia's democracy.

Tours take students into courtrooms where the High Court interprets and applies the law of Australia and where cases of national significance are heard, including challenges to the constitutional validity of laws.  During sitting weeks, students view barristers presenting their oral argument before the Justices and observe Court etiquette as they watch a case unfold.

Students engage in discovering the importance and relevance of the Australian Constitution through interactive learning in the Australian Constitutional Centre Exhibition.  The Exhibition, created in collaboration with the Constitutional Education Fund of Australia, celebrates the Australian Constitution as the “heartbeat of our country”, uniting us all, providing justice, and building our nation.  Students will gain an understanding of why our democracy demands the separation of powers and what is meant by the Rule of Law. 

The building is open from 9.45 am to 4.30 pm on weekdays, and 12:00pm to 4:00pm Sundays. The Court welcomes all students, but those in Year 5 and above will benefit the most from the visit.

Tours of the building

The High Court of Australia is one of Canberra’s major tourist attractions, and is situated in the Parliamentary Zone in Parkes Place on the shores of Lake Burley Griffin. The High Court/National Gallery precinct was added to the National Heritage List in November 2007. Groups are asked to book via the Court’s online booking system hcourt.gov.au/about/tour-bookings. 

A typical tour takes one hour.  Group size is limited to 50 people per group.

Students may take photographs inside the building except in sitting courtrooms.  Sitting dates are posted at hcourt.gov.au/registry/courtcalendars.