In Winnipeg, groups of persons are welcome to tour the Law Courts Complex at 408 York Avenue. Tours can be arranged by emailing MBCourtsinquiry@gov.mb.ca (visit the 'Booking a Tour' page for available dates). There is no charge for the tour, but tours are available on a limited basis. For tours of courthouses located outside Winnipeg, contact the courthouse directly as to whether this service is available.
**New Content ***The Canadian Superior Courts Judges Association has launched a YouTube video of a common courtroom scenario in efforts to demystify court processes for newcomers and young people. The video, titled 'Judicial Independence and the Rule of Law - Judges in Canada' can been seen here
Generally, tour times are 9:00 a.m. or 1:00 p.m. Monday to Thursday. The tour is approximately 45 minutes and includes a review of the court cases scheduled for that day so that, following the tour, students can go and observe court proceedings (usually criminal cases). No more than thirty people are permitted in a tour group. For the court observation part of the visit, students will be asked to break into smaller groups (6-10 students). The Law Courts open at 8:30 a.m. Students should arrive 15 minutes prior to the tour beginning to allow ample time to assemble and pass through security. Perimeter security is in place at the Law Courts and requires visitors to step through a scanner with bags and/or purses scanned separately (similar to airport security). Any item that may be considered a potential weapon will not be permitted into the Law Courts and will be confiscated, e.g. scissors, nail files.
Once through security and the students are assembled, the tour group can simply wait to meet their tour guide on the main floor of the law courts building. The tour consists of attending a courtroom of each level of court in Manitoba and information about the role and general workings of each court, number of judges, etc. A viewing of the Great Library (law library) is also included and affords an opportunity to discuss the common law system.
While most courtrooms are open to the public, those dealing with child protection cases are not. Tour groups are not to go to courtrooms 410 and 412 as they tend to deal with child protection cases.
The judges of Manitoba’s two trial courts (Manitoba Court of King's Bench and the Provincial Court of Manitoba) look forward to the opportunity of speaking directly with your Senior 1 through 4 students about the role of the courts in Canada's justice system from the “hands on” perspective of a judge. Sometimes the roles of legislators and of the judiciary in the development and application of our laws are unclear and one of the goals of the judiciary in speaking with students is to clarify the differences between these two important branches of our democratic government. The other goal is to share with students the day-to-day realities of being a judge. A typical visit is for one hour. The judge will introduce himself/herself and discuss the types of duties a judge has and the role of the judiciary within the broader legal system; the relationship of the judiciary with the legislative and executive branches of government; and the relationship between the judiciary and other justice system components such as law enforcement agencies and public prosecutions. The majority of the visit is then left for students to ask their questions. An important caveat respecting questions from students is that judges are not able to answer any questions that relate to a case that is or may be before the court. Speaking requests are to be made through the Executive Assistant to the Chief Justices and Chief Judge when scheduling a tour. In that case, following the tour, 15 minutes will be allocated for the judge to come by and speak with the students before the students go off to observe court. To schedule a tour (with or without a speaking request), please email MBCourtsinquiry@gov.mb.ca and check the 'Booking a Tour' page for available dates.
CONTACT: Executive Assistant to the Chief Justices and Chief Judge Province of Manitoba