Pupils take law into their own hands

04 Oct


A special Saturday sitting at Edinburgh Sheriff Court will help local school pupils learn about the Scottish justice system.

The teenagers from eight schools across the Capital are taking part in a MiniTrials event, an initiative developed by the Faculty of Advocates to demystify the law and show what happens in a criminal trial.

Helped by lawyer volunteers and working from information packs compiled by the Faculty, the pupils act out two jury trials – an assault case and a drugs case.

They convene the court, prosecute and defend the accused, and deliver a verdict, under the watchful eye of a professional lawyer who takes the role of the sheriff.

“One of the great attractions of MiniTrials is having them in real courtrooms, which adds to the occasion and helps the understanding of what happens in our courts on a daily basis,” said the Dean of Faculty, Gordon Jackson, QC.

“It’s important when there are so many ways, on screen and in print, for misconceptions to be given that youngsters should know how we do things in Scotland, and that we have our own unique system.

“Thousands of pupils throughout Scotland have taken part in MiniTrials over the last 14 years, and it is such an enjoyable way to learn about the law.”

The Edinburgh event is on Saturday, 8 October, and will feature teams from Balerno High, Craigmount High, Liberton High, Portobello High, St Augustine’s High, St Thomas of Aquin’s High, The Royal High and Wester Hailes Education Centre.