Pupils swap classroom for mock court in MiniTrial at UWS

18 Jun

David Taylor playing the role of a sheriff at UWS MiniTrial

SCHOOLCHILDREN participated in a recent mock trial at the University of the West of Scotland using materials from the MiniTrial initiative.

Faculty has been a MiniTrial sponsor and supporter for many years, and several members have given freely of their time.

The S5 and S6 pupils from St Andrews Academy, Clydebank High School and Lesmahagow High School took on the roles of prosecution and defence in a criminal trial using papers adapted from the resources available on the MiniTrial website, written by former judge Lord Kinclaven.

The event started with a panel discussion where speakers, David Taylor, advocate, Nishant Gokhale, a lecturer in law at UWS and former litigator and judicial clerk at the Indian Supreme Court, PhD researcher at the UWS Banaz Kamil and Ryan Wheildon, a third-year law student at the UWS, spoke about their respective journeys into law.

Mr Taylor, who played the role of sheriff during the mock trial, said: “It was a pleasure to preside over this mock trial and to see the MiniTrial materials being put to such good use.

“MiniTrial provides an excellent introduction to the criminal and civil justice system but, more importantly, it gives students the opportunity to gain valuable skills that will benefit them in their future careers.”

The MiniTrial is becoming an annual occasion at UWS, which, last year, hosted a ‘Return of the Snail’ event, where pupils from local schools took part in a mock proof based on Donoghue v Stevenson, using materials from the MiniTrial Paisley Snail Starter Pack. 

Dr Susannah Paul, lecturer in law at UWS who co-organised the event with Dr Joanna Wilson, said: “It is always great to welcome local schools onto our campus in Paisley and the pupils have engaged with the MiniTrial with great gusto. I think that we may have witnessed some of the next generation of legal professionals start their careers today.”