The Alice Springs Local Court is well underway with a multimillion dollar refurbishment. The Local Court building was built in 1980. The building’s structure and design have changed very little since that time. However changes in function and technology have meant the requirements of the building have now changed. In May 2017 the Supreme Court, which was previously in the same building, moved into a separate building across the road. Further, the Court’s library is now largely electronic and no longer requires a large physical space.
Refurbishments are underway to allow the Local Court to better meet the needs of court users; allow for a specialist approach to domestic violence to be undertaken at the Court; and ensure the Court is more accessible to people with disabilities, with inclusions of lifts and wheelchair accessibility.
The design has been developed by a local architectural firm, Sue Dugdale & Associates with extensive consultation with all major stakeholders over many months and input from court design experts.
The refurbishment will substantially improve the experience of victims of domestic violence in the court system. By creating a separate entrance and separate waiting areas for victims and vulnerable witnesses, increased security, a specialised domestic violence courtroom and better facilities for the legal and non-legal service providers who support victims.
The Court continues to operate throughout these major renovations, with the collaboration and patience of court users and stakeholders including legal organisations, corrections and police, as well as support services.
Construction is due to be completed in early 2019.
The Court is working with stakeholders to develop a specialised approach to domestic violence which will commence at a date to be advised in 2019.