The Downing Centre Local Court

About the Downing Centre

The Downing Centre Local Court is a large court complex situated on the corner of Goulburn and Elizabeth streets in the Sydney central business district. It is close to public transport, with Museum Station in Hyde Park diagonally opposite.

The Downing Centre is a striking building, originally built in 1908 for the department store Mark Foys. It began operating as a court in 1985. In 1991 it was name the ‘Downing Centre’ after the former Attorney General and Minister for Justice Reg Downing.

Today the Downing Centre houses local courts, state government courts, the District Court of New South Wales, and a law library known as the Downing Centre Library.

There are courtrooms over seven levels of the Downing Centre. The local courts are on levels 4&5 and the District Courts are on lower ground, and levels 1, 2 and 3.

As the Downing Centre Local Court is a large court complex, it can be overwhelming. If you have been charged with a criminal offence and need to appear at the Downing Centre Local Court make sure you arrive early enough to allow time to find your way around.

Before your court date you can use a court list to find out exactly when and where your case will be heard. The NSW Online Registry is a website which allows you to search for a specific case, name, case number, location, date, jurisdiction, title of presiding officer and type of listing. You can search for cases up to two weeks in advance, and find previous listings from the last seven days. The online court list is updated several times each day.

There is also a daily court list which is updated at 3.30 pm each day. This court list displays matters that are listed for the next business day.

You can also look for your allocated court room on the relevant noticeboard at the Downing Centre when you arrive. If you are appearing in the District Court  there is a noticeboard just past the security screening area on the ground floor, after you enter the building.

If you need to appear in the Local Court, there is a noticeboard straight ahead of you after you exit the lifts on level 4.

The Downing Centre Local Court is a court, which hears a range of court proceedings, some more serious than others. It is important to remember to dress appropriately.  You don’t have to wear a suit and tie but you must present in a neat and tidy fashion. You may be in court for half a day or even a full day so it is important to be dressed appropriately and comfortably.

Find out about security screening at the Downing Centre.

If you need a lawyer to appear for you at the Downing Centre Local Court or Downing Centre District Court contact William Vahl of North Shore Criminal Law on (02) 9955 2298 or 0400 4464 24 (our 24/7 emergency service).

William Vahl is an Accredited Criminal Law Specialist. It is important to get expert advice and representation prior to your court date.