ACT Magistrates Court
The ACT Magistrates Court is located at 4-6 Knowles Place Canberra City. The Supreme Court and the Magistrates Court were recently incorporated into the one building and entry is via the glass-fronted building to the left of the marble façade of the old Supreme Court.
If you are charged with any traffic or criminal law offence in the ACT, your matter will initially be listed at the ACT Magistrates Court. Depending on how serious the offence is, your matter may be triaged to a higher court at a later date. Family Violence and Personal Violence Order Applications are also heard at the ACT Magistrates Court.
When you enter the courthouse, you will be required to go through security and present yourself at the right courtroom. Just after you go through security, there are screens that display the day’s matters by the defendant’s name and courtroom it will be mentioned in. There is generally a member of staff standing below the display to assist you. The Magistrates Court is situated to the left and the Supreme Court is to the right.
You should aim to arrive at least 15 minutes before your matter is listed. This will allow you time to find the courtroom and speak to the Magistrate’s Associate who is usually standing outside with a clipboard noting appearances and asking what you would like to do with your matter. There are usually many matters listed at the same time so you should come prepared to be at court for several hours. If you arrive early, this will assist the associate in determining which matters are likely to be short mentions or adjournments and therefore should be heard first.
If you are at court for a Family Violence or Protection Order Case Conference, it is best to present yourself at the registry on the ground floor. Depending on whether you are the applicant or the respondent, you will be directed to a different section of the courthouse.
If you are driving to the ACT Magistrates Court, be mindful that the majority of parking is pay parking and fills up quickly. There are two small car parks close to the courthouse. Access is off Knowles place, London Circuit or Marcus Clarke St. There are also other pay parking options close by which you can look up via Access Canberra, including the Secure Parking – City West Car Park. As it is always difficult to know exactly how long you will be at court, it’s best to find an all-day park.
We strongly recommend that you not drive if you are charged with a traffic offence carrying an automatic licence disqualification on conviction. Depending on where you live, there are public transport options to get to court such as the bus and tram. Otherwise, you may want to consider asking a friend or family member for a lift to court.