The Albany Courthouse is an operating Magistrates Court for civil and criminal matters in Albany, Western Australia. On the shores of the beautiful King George Sound, the first European settlement in 1826 was really a penal colony under the jurisdiction of the New South Wales Colony, and the first ‘courthouse’ as such a simple thatched roof affair. More history can be read on the WA Government’s Department of Justice page.
Australian legal history
The current Orange Courthouse building was designed by the Colonial Government Architect James Barnet. Construction was completed in 1883. Previous buildings existed on the site, the first being erected in 1847, around the time of the town’s settlement, and operated as a Court of Petty Sessions, being the usual arrangements in those times. Orange was proclaimed a municipality in 1860, the first meeting being held in the Courthouse, located on the same site as today, but a different structure.
The old Port Adelaide Courthouse constructed in 1882 lies adjacent to the earlier Port Adelaide Police Station built in 1861. Inquests into deaths, often due to drownings following heavy drinking at local pubs, were held. These were inquests by juries in those times before the local police magistrate.
The Magna Carta, sealed under oath by King John at Runnymede, England in 1215, became part of English law, and subsequently adopted into Australian law.