Old Court House Law Museum marks 50 years

Old Court House Law Museum marks 50 years

The Old Court House Law Museum marks 50 years in 2024 as the home of some of the Western Australian legal profession’s most treasured possessions.

Now managed by the Law Society of Western Australia, the building opened as Western Australia’s first purpose-built courthouse in 1837 and was still being used as an arbitration court until 1964.

It was used as a school in 1838 – with classes held in the public gallery when court was in session – and as a concert venue in 1845.

The building was also where it was voted that Western Australia become a penal colony, in 1849.

The heritage-listed building contains more than 2000 carefully conserved items, which reflect all periods and systems of law that have been part of Western Australia’s legal history.

The collection also includes criminal trial notebooks written by Western Australia’s first Chief Justice and a hand-carved jarrah bar table, made in 1854.

A jury barrel, used to prepare jury lists, was used by the Supreme Court of Western Australia until the 1990s, when the process was computerised.

The Law Society also runs community law education programs from the museum and a popular annual mock trials competition for schools.

The Old Court House Law Museum is open to the public from Tuesday to Sunday, between 10am and 4pm, and entry is free.

– ENDS –

For media inquiries, please contact: Deb Kennedy – dkennedy@lawsocietywa.asn.au or 9324 8615


Old Court House Law Museum marks 50 years
Museum curator Megan Shaw, centre in black, with former volunteers and staff L-R Freda Bajrovic, Janelle Hauser, Margie Eberle, Moira Joyce, Aaron Eacott, Karen Carrington and Casey Chan at a morning tea to mark the 50-year anniversary. Photograph by Louise Coghill


Telephone Number
Law Society of Western Australia Reception
(08) 9324 8600
Law Mutual
(08) 9481 3111
Continuing Professional Development
(08) 9324 8640
Membership Services
(08) 9324 8692
Professional Standards Scheme
(08) 9324 8653
Old Court House Law Museum
(08) 9324 8688
Francis Burt Law Education Programme
(08) 9324 8686
Media Enquiries
(08) 9324 8650