The iconic State Courts Building at 1 Havelock Square closed its doors on Friday (13 Dec) after 44 memorable years of operations since it was built in 1975.
The State Courts held a ceremony at the State Courts Atrium – a favourite meeting point for lawyers, court users and staff and a place that has witnessed numerous events in the State Courts, including the renaming of the State Courts from “Subordinate Courts” in 2014.
Besides the judges and staff of the State Courts, representatives of their stakeholder agencies such as the Attorney-General’s Chambers, Singapore Police Force, Singapore Prison Service, Ministry of Social and Family Development, Community Justice Centre, and the Bar were also present to bid farewell to this courthouse that has partnered them in delivering justice to the people of Singapore for over four decades.
Presiding Judge of the State Courts, Justice See Kee Oon said, “The then Subordinate Courts commenced operations on 15 September 1975 in this building, consolidating the various courts that were formerly scattered throughout various locations. The eight-sided building’s uniquely modern and commanding presence stood in sharp contrast with the neighbouring buildings in Chinatown. This was clearly a modern courthouse of its time and the building has certainly served us well over the last 44 years.”
The judges and staff of the State Courts celebrated the beginning of a new chapter of their judicial journey with a march, led by Justice See Kee Oon, Presiding Judge of the State Courts, to the adjacent State Courts Towers, where they will continue with their mission to serve society with quality judgments, timely dispute resolution and excellent court services.
The march was said to be a demonstration of the State Courts’ commitment to be a forward-looking judiciary that is ready to overcome any challenges to deliver access to justice.
A pair of murals, comprising a collage of photos of the judges and staff, was unveiled by Justice See and Ms Jennifer Marie, Deputy Presiding Judge of the State Courts, at the lobby of the State Courts Towers. These two murals are said to be a symbol of the commitment by judges and staff of the State Courts on their mission to serve the society.
Operations in the State Courts Towers commenced in phases from 9 December 2019 and will be fully operational from 16 December 2019.
Situated in the State Courts Towers is the State Courts Heritage Gallery, which has preserved the history of the State Courts Building and the organisation. Members of the public can visit the Gallery from 16 December 2019 to learn more about the State Courts, including some of the interesting cases they have heard in the State Courts Building in the last four decades.
The State Courts Building, which received conservation status on 10 July 2013, will be retrofitted to house the Family Justice Courts.