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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 highest court in the Australian judicial system. The Court hears appeals from federal, state and territory courts on all areas of law, and is the final court of appeal for the nation. The Court also adjudicates on disputes over whether particular laws passed by Parliament comply with Australia’s Constitution.

The building is open to the public and visiting school groups from 9.45 am to 4.30 pm daily, and noon to 4 pm Sundays. The Court welcomes all students, but those in Year 5 and above will benefit most from a visit.

Tours of the building

The High Court of Australia building 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 45 minutes and includes an overview of the history, role and powers of the Court, as well as an explanation of the workings of the courtrooms visited. Shorter tours can be arranged by talking to the Senior Guide. Photographs may be taken inside the building except in any courtroom where the Court is in session.

Sitting dates for 2015 are posted on hcourt.gov.au.