Many of Victoria’s court houses are historically significant. Some are architectural gems and all have local interest. This book details every one of Victoria’s remaining pre-1945 court houses, providing a photograph and description of each building and accounts of some of the cases heard in them.
It was not only murderers and criminals who passed through these buildings. Ordinary Australians, too, were sentenced in them. They were jailed for flying a red flag or riding a railway on a wagon. They were fined for ironing a shirt or rescuing a pig – for overcharging on mutton shanks or swimming in the Yarra on a Sunday.
As the author writes, “Each has been the stage where a thousand human dramas have been played out and where some hint can be found of lives otherwise unrecorded.”
From the bizarre to the tragic, the cases afford a telling glimpse into the law and social values of the past. A fascinating book where history, law and architecture meet.