The next Court Architecture Executive Research Tour will be taking place in Montreal and New York City from 27 to 31 May 2013. It will be a renewed opportunity to reflect and debate critical issues of court architecture and justice environments.
Courts throughout the western world are experiencing a quiet revolution. Neo-classical court buildings in stone, reflecting authority and the majesty of law, are being replaced by sleek modern constructions of glass and steel, providing comfortable workplaces, efficient services and new ways of representing justice.
Technology is transforming the way courts work, how evidence is presented and the location of participants. While courts are becoming more open and accessible, they are also becoming more closed, with security barriers and segregated circulation zones. Adversarial processes in the courtroom are being replaced or supplemented by approaches informed by therapeutic or restorative principles.
To understand these changes we bring together judges, court executives, architects, and academics from several jurisdictions, to walk around significant court spaces, reflecting and debating the critical issues. The IHEJ and the Court of the Future Network have organized five such tours so far, in Europe and Australia.
This time we explore courts in the two cultural capitals of North America – Montreal and New York City. Montreal has an inspiring Cour d’appel of neo-classical design; a large multi-jurisdictional trial court building that combines open access to the city, imaginative courtroom designs and flexible security procedures; and a high security court that accommodates up to 70 defendants at a time. We will visit the Laboratoire de cyberjustice at the Université de Montreal to explore new courtroom technologies. In New York we visit radically different modern courthouses in Brooklyn, the Bronx and Staten Island, and an inner city community justice centre.
This executive research tour is co-sponsored by the Court of the Future Network in Australia and New Zealand, and the Institut des hautes études sur la justice (French Judicial Research Institute), and organised in association with the Centre de recherche en droit public (Université de Montréal) and the American Institute of Architects Academy of Architecture for Justice (AIA AAJ). It will bring together architects, judges and scholars from Australia, New Zealand, Europe, Asia and North America to share ideas with counterparts from other jurisdictions and from other disciplinary backgrounds.
About the Court of the Future Network
The Court of the Future Network is a group of architects, engineers, psychologists, judicial officers, lawyers, criminologists and others in Australia and New Zealand who work closely with court communities to improve the quality of justice environments.
Our interests include both the physical and psychological setting of courts and tribunals, and also the processes and rituals of justice. We identify emerging issues, carry out research to discover and test how new approaches might work in the real world of the court, and disseminate information through conferences and workshops.
Current and previous research by the Court of the Future Network, in consultation with court and tribunal communities, includes projects on: juror satisfaction, Mental Health Tribunals, juries and interactive visual evidence, court safety and security, improving video-mediated communications for justice participants.
For further information please visit www.justiceenvironments.edu.au