The multi-jurisdictional Bendigo Law Courts is now complete, realising a state-of-the-art building that puts people and community first.
Designed with users, for users, the Bendigo Law Courts are designed and equipped for operational excellence with functional multipurpose spaces; advanced technological capabilities; robust sustainability credentials and scope to further respond to changing needs.
For the first time in the region, specialist courts and key service agencies are available under one roof.
A Specialist Family Violence Court is among the specialist responses in the new facility, with a design that enables separation between parties attending court, including safe waiting areas and separate circulation pathways for persons in custody and operational staff.
Built over five levels, the building has nine courtrooms, two hearing rooms, two mediation suites, remote witness facilities, safe waiting facilities, dedicated jury areas, and meeting rooms for support agencies and client services.
It is a civic space that is visually and culturally anchored to Bendigo's unique heritage and informed by the culture and connection to Country of the Dja Dja Wurrung, Bendigo's Traditional Owners.
The new courts will service the Magistrates' Court of Victoria, Children's Court of Victoria, and the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal, as well as the County Court of Victoria, Supreme Court of Victoria, and the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia, on a circuit basis.
Take a look inside the new Courts in this short video:
Enhancing civic and cultural identity
The design is inspired by the city's skyline and heritage, and civic development. Dja Dja Wurrung culture is embedded in the building, representing an important collaboration with Bendigo's Traditional Owners, including:
- Artworks by Djaara artists throughout the building, including a representation of creation being Bunjil, soaring four levels high in the building's copper fabric, enveloping the corner facade of Hargreaves and Mundy Streets.
- Language elements in over 40 locations within the Court
- A welcoming courtyard paved to symbolise a smoking ceremony and landscaped to symbolise the distinctive granite outcrops, water features and native flora of Dja Dja Wurrung Country.
Functional and flexible, responsive to user's needs
The historic Bendigo Law Court was no longer able to meet modern accessibility and safety requirements for the growing local population.
Based on best-practice principles for inclusion and openness, the new courts provide greater access to justice for the community and are fit-for-purpose as a modern court.
Digital technology has been integrated through courtrooms, staff work areas, judicial chambers and public spaces to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the court's operations. Dedicated workspaces on site for agencies, bookable meeting rooms and private nooks provide for comfortable working conditions and the privacy needed for sensitive conversations.
Designed for long-term adaptability, the new facilities are responsive to the physical, social and psychological needs and experiences of its different users, which improves the experience of people using and working in the courts.
The welfare of court users, judiciary and staff has been prioritised in the court's design, with clear views outside, plenty of natural light, and several terraces, which allow access outside without needing to leave the building.
Sustainable and efficient
The building is Net Zero Carbon ready, to deliver improved resource use as well as certified 6 Star by Green Star Buildings.
Copper references several of Bendigo's heritage buildings, is environmentally friendly, fully recyclable, and safe to use. Besides its high corrosion resistance and attractive appearance, it keeps growths such as moss and lichens to a minimum.
A new model for service delivery in Bendigo has been designed alongside those who work in and access the court, and will:
- Enable easy access to court information and services
- Align services and support to individual needs
- Ensure strong connection to community and external service providers
- Encourage active case management so that matters are resolved in a timely manner
- Provide certainty throughout the process so that people know what to expect.
These signature service principles will be underpinned by professional and knowledgeable staff and a commitment to continuous improvement.
Additional specialist courts and programs may be rolled out over time in response to local needs.
Heritage-listed Bendigo Law Courts
The notable Pall Mall-based courts were built between 1892 and 1896. Historically and architecturally significant, they are a recognisable feature of the Bendigo city skyline.
The future of the building is yet to be determined. Updates will be shared with the community in due course.
This page was last updated: Tuesday 27 February 2024 - 3:09pm