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Manly Courthouse 1909, Manly, New South Wales

The Manly Courthouse is an operating local court.  If you need to contact the Court, its contact information may be found here.


Manly Courthouse, early Australian courthouses, old Australian courthouses

The Manly Courthouse, 2 Belgrave Street, Manly, New South Wales was first constructed in 1909.  The Courthouse sits on the traditional lands of the land of the Gayemagal people.

“Manly can now boast a courthouse”

A courthouse at Manly was first constructed soon after Federation and opened in 1909.  Present at the ‘formal opening’1 were the Solicitor-General, Magistrates, Mayor and Aldermen.  It was reported that:

“Manly can now boast a courthouse, the building having been formally opened yesterday morning.  It is situated on the Sydney-road, just at the foot of the hill, and is built on the site of portion of the famous old Ivanhoe Hotel.”1



Manly Courthouse, early Australian Courthouses, Australian legal history

The Solicitor-General, (Mr Garland), after being presented with a key to the courthouse by the Mayor commented that it  ” was appropriate that a key should be given to open a court of justice.”

He observed that the locals had long been desirous of having a court.  This was not because of the number of crimes committed in Manly, since he observed that crime was “practically non-existent.”

The Herald considered this remarkable since “Manly was the favourite place of resort” of Sydney and possibly Australia.

As to the new Courthouse the Solicitor-General expressed hope that it would be “little used”.  Even though he belonged to the legal profession, he “did not like to see litigation abnormally increased.”

In conclusion the Solicitor-General observed that:

“ was only right that the residents of Manly should have a court of their own, for if they had to go to Sydney to settle their troubles they would often abandon their rights rather than go to the inconvenience and suffer the loss of time that a trip over the water would entail.”


Manly courthouse, early Australian courthouses
“The only way to bring justice to the door of everyone was to not deny it to anyone.” Solicitor-General Garland, 1909.
Manly Courthouse, Australian Courthouses, Manly. New South Wales
“Dieu et mon droic” means “God and my right”











More information on the history of the Manly Courthouse can be found on the Manly Courthouse page of the Dictionary of Sydney website. 


1.  ‘The Formal Opening – Remarkable Freedom from Crime’, reported in the Sydney Morning Herald, 4 June 1909.

B Stead, June 2014
BHS Legal

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