Bucket list: Seven judicial museums which should be part of your travel itinerary

NITN | @notintownlive | 17 Jul 2023, 08:52 am

Bucket list: Seven judicial museums which should be part of your travel itinerary International Justice Day


Visiting museums is one of the must-do activities on most travellers’ itinerary. But how many of us have been to museums dedicated to the history of judicial systems and the judiciaries?

So on this Day of International Criminal Justice we bring you a list of the top seven judicial museums in the world. 

High-level representatives of States Parties to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, met in Kampala, Uganda, for the first Review Conference (held from May 31 to June 11 June 2010) under this Statute. Among other things, on June 1, they declared July 17 – the day of the adoption of the Statute in 1998 – as the Day of International Criminal Justice.

Also known as International Justice Day or Day of International Justice, it is observed annually to promote awareness about international criminal justice and the working of the International Criminal Court.

Supreme Court of India Museum, New Delhi, India

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Inaugurated in April 2004, the museum is located within the premises of the Supreme Court of India. The single pillared round building consists of two galleries on each floor. One of the galleries showcases the history of evolution and development of the judiciary in India from ancient time to the British period, while the other shows the development of the Federal Court and Supreme Court. The museum preserves and displays rare objects, artefacts, manuscripts, old documents, files and photographs related to India’s legal heritage.

The museum is open on all days (from 10am to 5pm) except Mondays and other holidays of the Supreme Court Registry. Entry is free. Entry of visitors to the Museum is from Mathura Road side. Photography is strictly prohibited.

Museum of Justice, Cuttack, India

Photo credit: Cuttack Development Authority/TwitterPhoto credit: Cuttack Development Authority/Twitter

Inaugurated in February 2023, the museum is located in a heritage building (dating back to 1904) inside the historic Barabati Quila (fort). The present museum has been created out of an older museum. Displayed inside are artefacts, antique objects, and archival material collected from the High Court of Orissa and the district courts of the state. The eight galleries have been arranged based on several themes and subthemes. You may look up details of historic trials through touchscreens.

The museum is open on all days (except Mondays and other holidays) from 10am to 5pm; but do check for latest timing and entry fees (if any) before visiting.

Tainan Judicial Museum, Tainan, Taiwan

Housed in an architecturally beautiful building with mansard roof (a legacy from the Japanese colonial rule), pillared entrances, a baroque dome with dormer windows, etc. the museum that we see today is an extension of the smaller museum which existed here and now includes the restored sections of what was the former district court. The museum not only preserves the history of judicial development in Taiwan but also promotes awareness programmes.

The museum is open on all days (from 9am to 5pm) except Mondays.

The Ministry of Justice Museum Tokyo, Japan

The two roomed museum is housed inside the landmark Red Brick building. One of the restored rooms once served as the dining room of the minister’s official residence and reflects its original Meiji era ambience. The museum displays historical material pertaining to ‘the modernisation of justice and architecture’ as well as hold awareness programmes and exhibitions about the new justice system.

The museum is open from Monday to Friday (from 10am to pm) and closed on Saturdays, Sundays, national and other holidays). Free entry.

National Justice Museum, Nottingham, UK

Photo credit: National Justice Museum/FacebookPhoto credit: National Justice Museum/Facebook

Housed in the Grade II listed Shire Hall,  the museum promises to take visitors ‘through real spaces, real objects and real stories’, to help them learn about the impact of justice and law on individuals, the community and society; enjoy the enactment of stories by dressed for the part characters, explore a Victorian courtroom, a Georgian gaol, etc.

The museum, located in the Lace Market area of Nottingham, is open on all days (from 10am to 5pm). While the museum is overall accessible, it is housed in a historic building and therefore low ceilings, uneven floors and staircases cannot be avoided, according to the website. While some of the exhibitions are free of charge (inquire at the reception), to enjoy the entire museum you have to buy tickets.

Court History Museum, Chicago, US

Inaugurated in May 2018, the museum is housed on the on the 21st floor of the Dirksen Federal Courthouse, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. The museum occupies what used to be the present courthouse pressroom. Photographic and other documents, artefacts, interactive kiosks and listening stations, etc. put together the history of the court and its famous trials.

The museum is open from Monday to Friday (7am to pm) and closed on Saturdays, Sundays and Federal holidays. Free entry.

Old Court House Law Museum, Perth, Australia

The museum is housed in Perth’s first courthouse built in 1836 and said to be the city’s oldest building. It largely focuses on the history of law, legal issues and the legal profession in Western Australia. The displays are titled ‘Small Court House Big Stories’, ‘People and The Law’ and ‘From Past to Present’ and have an audio overview.

The museum is open from Tuesday to Friday (10am to 4pm). Free entry.