Galleries of Justice
The Year 13 Law students were given the opportunity to experience a trip which provided them with a journey of the criminal justice system through time.
Through a tour led by actors, students experienced the effect of sentencing through Georgian and Victorian times. It was eye-opening to view the methods of torture used and conditions prisoners were exposed to, which were barbaric and inhumane. The public execution site was viewed; an execution of this type was a popular family occasion until it was made a private event in the mid-1800’s due to increasing deaths and injuries among the large viewing crowds. The fact that adult and young offenders were not treated any differently upon sentencing, only served to evidence how far our legal system has developed. The offenders who were subject to transportation did not get off lightly, rather they were lucky to survive the journey for infestations of deadly diseases and impossible manual labour tasks with very little food and water.
The day finished with a mock trial, based on a real case “The Brighton Trunk Murders” in a traditional courtroom. The students who were keen to test their advocacy skills played parts of solicitors and barristers, and performed impressive cross-examination and compelling closing speeches. Interestingly, the jury reached the same ‘Not Guilty’ verdict as the original trial. This is perhaps indicative of the strength of trial by jury, a right which has been embedded since the Magna Carta was introduced, and remains an important part of the legal process in achieving justice.
The day was insightful experience which, for many, reinforced their decision to pursue law as a career. Currently, 85% of the Year 13 Law students are applying to study law at a higher level.
Miss Davies, Team Leader of Law