Friday, March 9, 2007

The Law Courts Complex

The Supreme and District Courts are part of the The Law Courts Complex located at 304 George Street. Standing in the courtyard and facing the building you see the Supreme Court on your left and the District Court on your right. You notice the overwhelming greenery and gardens in the courtyard, in addition to three stone pillars which feature the Queensland coat of arms and a series of plaques that trace the creation of the Supreme Court.

Just to the left of the courtyard is the imposing sculpture of Themis, Greek goddess of justice. In Greek mythology, Themis was the daughter of Uranus and Gaia (Sky and Earth). Historically a goddess of order and assemblies, the word 'themis' has now come to mean ‘law’ in Greek, which explains the statue's relevance to the operation of justice today. Themis is the work of Greek sculptor Maria I. Papaconstantinou. The bronze casting of the statue was taken from a mould of the original sculpture on the Greek island of Chios and transported complete to Australia.

There is an excellent article on Themis and her Themes which was presented by The Hon Paul de Jersey AC, Chief Justice of Queensland, at a fine arts lunch in 2001. As he opened, "Study of the law is unlikely to inspire aesthetic delight...", but with law courts like these, and the associated artworks and sculpture utilised in the building and its surrounds, in Brisbane we truly have the counterpoint to the often dry life of the Law.

Cheers, I Love Brisbane, Wes.

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