Entrance to the Law Courts, on Main Street, Gibraltar. The red historical information plaque outside (seen on the left above) explains that the attractive two-storey building dates from 1820, and was originally fronted by Grecian columns. This can be verified by looking at an old illustration (entitled in part "by the Court House looking north") included in Neville Chipulina's entry on Main Street. The plaque further explains that it housed the Court of Civil Pleas until 1830, after which, "under charter granted by King William IV, it became the Supreme Court of Gibraltar." It also says that the building was restored to its present state in 1888, when Sir Arthur Hardinge was the Governor of Gibraltar. A new large court building was opened in 2012, but this older one too was restored and extended at that time, and is still very much in use today (see "Supreme Court...").

Photograph cropped from the one at Wikipedia (see bibliography) by "Gibmetal77"; many thanks.

It is worth noting that the Law Courts building sports a magnificent Royal Coat of Arms on the roof, hard to see in passing because of the canopy of wisteria, but of great symbolic significance. Gibraltar's judiciary system was, as Stephen Constantine says, one of the ways in which "Britishness was embodied" here (407); E. G. Archer makes the further point that the system not only "furthered the cause of anglicization to an important extent," but that it did so without provoking any protest (77).

Main photograph and text by Jacqueline Banerjee. You may use this image without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the photographer and (2) link your document to this URL in a web document or cite it in a print one. Click on the images to enlarge them.


Archer, E. G. Gibraltar, Identity and Empire. London: Routledge, 2006.

Chipulina, Neville. "2015 — Main Street — A "Great Street." The People of Gibraltar. Web. 3 February 2019.

Constantine, Stephen. Community and Identity: The Making of Modern Gibraltar since 1704. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2009.

"Royal Coat of Arms above the Gibraltar Law Courts." Wikipedia. Web. 3 February 2019.

"The Restoration and Extension of the Law Courts Building." Gibraltar Courts Service (Introduction to the Picture Gallery). Web. 3 February 2019.

Created 3 February 2019