Year 12 Legal Studies Excursion to the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court and Government House

On Monday 18 March, Year 12 Legal Studies students visited the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court and Government House.

Three students reflected on their experience of the day:

A Reflection by Mikayla G

The Year 12 Legal Studies excursion was a great learning experience and gave a good insight into the practical legal world. Our group of 10 attended the Magistrates’ Court where we heard a few different summary cases. Listening to the Magistrate apply a lot of the content and terminology that we have learned so far in Unit 3 was interesting.

Afterwards, we headed to Government House where we were welcomed and guided on a tour by Anthony Howard – our Governor’s, Linda Dessau’s, husband. Linda is the first female Victorian Governor in history. Anthony informed us about Linda’s roles and duties, which was  good preparation for Unit 4!

Overall, the excursion was an awesome learning experience, allowing us to apply our legal content practically!


A Reflection by Rebecca C

I, along with my fellow Legal Studies classmates, had the opportunity to visit the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court and Government House. The experience was an in-depth and exceptionally interesting view into the functioning of the Legal System and Government. It allowed us to apply much of the knowledge acquired in our coursework and online classes to the wider world.

We began our trip outside the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court, which was eye opening. Even to see the comings and goings of the various types of people – lawyers, police officers and those getting ready for Court – was particularly fascinating.

We had the opportunity to see three cases: the extradition of a man to another state on deception charges, another more harrowing case involving serious violence, and the third being a new bail order. It was very interesting to see and hear terminology used in our Legal Studies classes applied to real life cases. The Magistrates were somewhat intimidating, but to see their work in real time was remarkable.

The second half of our trip involved Government House. After navigating our way to Government House, we came to the gates where we were given visitor passes to wear. We walked up the driveway to the astounding large white building akin to something straight out of England. Once inside we had an in depth tour of four rooms of the house by the Governor’s husband and former County Court Judge, Mr Anthony Howard.

We saw the billiards room, the drawing room, the ballroom and the dining room. Mr Howard made sure to intertwine the visuals of our tour with interesting information about the history and function of our Government and the role of Governor. We ended the tour with refreshments in the dining room and a discussion with Mr Howard.

Overall, the excursion was an amazing experience, which taught us much, and helped to apply what we have learned and will learn in Unit 4 to everyday life.


A Reflection by Sachinie V

The VCE Units 3 and 4 Legal Studies excursion to the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court and Government House, offered students an exclusive opportunity to observe legal procedures and governmental systems that they may have only previously encountered in textbooks.

The courtroom listened with bated breath as the summary of a particularly harrowing case involving a breach of intervention order was read out. The accused, who had long struggled with substance abuse, had committed criminal threats, damage and trespass to varying degrees. Some of the crimes had even been committed in front of very young children. It was only understandable in the end when the Magistrate declared the case indictable in nature, there was a guilty plea and the sentence was to be determined in the County Court.

Listening to the way the Magistrate justified her decisions and conducted the courtroom was a fascinating and valuable learning experience.

Despite the purpose of the day being to further our legal understanding, finally meeting our teachers and classmates was the highlight. Having the ability to put faces to some of the chat box names in our weekly online lessons definitely reduced some of the detachment one may feel through virtual classroom learning.

Excursions such as these are a memorable day out for all who attended, and are a credit to the incredible teachers who organise them.


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