Law Society Celebrates 180th Anniversary of the Old Court House
On Friday, 24 March 2017, the Law Society of Western Australia celebrates a significant milestone for the City of Perth’s oldest public building; it is 180 years to the day since the first church service and unofficial opening of the Old Court House was held on Good Friday 1837.
“Situated in Stirling Gardens, next to the Supreme Court building, the Old Court House has been used for a number of purposes during its rich history, including as the Supreme Court, the Arbitration Court, the Law Society’s premises and currently the Law Society’s Old Court House Law Museum,” said Law Society President Alain Musikanth.
The Museum recently unveiled a new exhibition, entitled From Past to Present: The changing face of the law in Western Australia, which examines how the law has evolved in our State. The Museum is one of only a handful of law museums in the world and promotes understanding of the law within the community. Entry is free for the public.
2017 is a year of anniversaries for the Law Society; besides marking 90 years since the association was founded, it is also the 30th anniversary of the Francis Burt Law Education Programme and Mock Trial Competition for school students.
“The Francis Burt Law Education Programme, or the Centre as it was originally known, was launched by Sir Francis Burt, then Chief Justice, during Law Week 1987. It has been an integral part of the Law Society’s community engagement focus ever since, providing programmes for more than 150,000 people over the last 30 years, the majority of whom were students,” said Mr Musikanth.
The Mock Trial Competition was also introduced in 1987, with the goal of raising awareness of the law and legal institutions among young people. It is a fun, dynamic way for students to become familiar with the law and helps them build useful research and advocacy skills.
“To say the Competition remains popular is an understatement. There has been a significant increase in student participation numbers in recent years, with 1,295 students in 127 teams from 55 schools now taking part in 2017,” Mr Musikanth said.
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