Friday, August 11, 2017

New SCTS video on jury service

The Scottish Courts and Tribunal Service has produced a video showing different stages of  the jury experience.
Watch it HERE

Tuesday, July 04, 2017

Stirling Sheriff Court hosts Primary School MiniTrial

Well done to everyone involved. 😊

Thanks to for this article dated 26 June 2017:

"PRIMARY pupils who took over Stirling Sheriff Court to stage a Faculty MiniTrial were clear in their verdict  –  “super duper mega fun!”  

The youngsters, from St Mary’s Episcopal Primary School, Dunblane, acted out a trial before “Sheriff” Laura Thomson, Advocate, who had helped them prepare for their day in court and was impressed by the budding legal talent.  “The MiniTrial was a huge success – I was so proud of the kids, they worked so hard and delivered a fantastic performance.  After the trial, they were taken on a tour of the cells and I think that was the highlight for them!” she said.  “I am grateful to the Sheriff Clerk at Stirling for hosting our MiniTrial – being able to conduct the trial in a real courtroom was a fantastic opportunity for the children.”  

Asked for their impressions, the pupils reported that it had been “a brilliant night” and that they wanted “to say a big thank-you to Ms Thomson for organising it all and coming in to work with us.  ”Theo declared: "It was super duper mega fun!"   Logan had “loved the experience", while for Sam, it was “one of the best times of my life!”  Millie said she had been “inspired to possibly become a lawyer”, and Julie and Madeleine learned that “there are holding cells downstairs in a courthouse” and “there is a Clerk of Court”.  

MiniTrials for schools were the idea of Lord Kinclaven (Sandy Wylie, QC) who wanted to demystify the law in an enjoyable way and give youngsters the chance to learn what really happens in a Scottish court, as opposed to what they might see on television or read in books.

The project was launched in 2002 and thousands of pupils throughout Scotland have taken part, often in real courtrooms in their local sheriff court."

Saturday, December 31, 2016

New Year Honour for MiniTrials

Her Majesty the Queen has recognised the MiniTrial educational initiative by awarding an OBE to its founder Sandy Wylie (Lord Kinclaven) in the New Year Honours List.

"I am delighted," said Sandy.  "This is a great honour from Her Majesty which must be dedicated to the thousands of young people, teachers, lawyers and court staff who have worked together so enthusiastically and selflessly to make MiniTrials such a success in so many places over the past 15 years or so.  I am immensely proud of all of them.  I hope that this public recognition of MiniTrials encourages even more schools to take part.  It is a simple user-friendly way of finding out more about our Scottish legal system - and it is great fun too.  I would like to see every school given an opportunity to take part.  So spread the word.  The materials are freely available online and I am happy to help if I can."

"Thank you everyone - and best wishes for 2017."

Sunday, November 27, 2016

"Top Marks for MiniTrials" - Edinburgh 8 October 2016

"Learning about the law through MiniTrials has been given a "ten out of ten" rating
following the latest event at Edinburgh Sheriff Court." 

See The Faculty of Advocates website for details.  Click here for Faculty News.

This was the 14th annual Edinburgh MiniTrials event.  Many congratulations to Richard Hart of Trinity Academy for organising things and to all the schools, pupils and teachers involved from:
  • Royal High School
  • Craigmount High School
  • Wester Hailes EC
  • Balerno High School
  • St Thomas of Aquins RC HS
  • Portobello High School
  • Liberton High School, and
  • St Augustine's RC HS.
Many thanks, as always, to all the lawyers and court personnel who gave of their time and expertise so freely and enthusiastically.  A very successful day.  Well done everyone.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

You be the judge - sentencing exercises

Try these sentencing exercises from England and Wales - and generate some interesting discussions.
You be the judge - click here.
Many thanks to the Sentencing Council for England and Wales for excellent materials.
For resources for schools - click here.
Remember that the law in Scotland is different.
Can you find out what the main differences are?
Scottish Sentencing Council - click here.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Magna Carta - click here for details

Edinburgh MiniTrials 2014 - a retrospective

A special guest at the Faculty's MiniTrials event on Saturday 4 October 2014 in Edinburgh was impressed by what he saw, describing the day as "a fabulous insight into the justice system".
Eric McQueen, Chief Executive of the Scottish Court Service, watched pupils from eight city schools act out criminal trials in the setting of real courtrooms in the sheriff court. 
"I thoroughly enjoyed the day and was delighted to be invited. It was evident to me that a huge amount of effort had gone into preparing the event to make it a great experience for the pupils," said Mr McQueen. 
"I watched them arrive in the court - some uncertain, some nervous and some in awe of their surroundings. But within a short time they had transformed into confident prosecutors, defenders, jurors and witnesses. All played their roles with commitment and vigour and their enthusiasm was contagious. 
"The day gave them a fabulous insight into the justice system while also helping to build transferable skills in public speaking, listening, debating and reasoning - all of which will stand them in good stead for their future." 
The MiniTrials initiative is now in its 12th year, and participating schools in Edinburgh in 2014 were: : Craigmount High School, Drummond Community High School, Firrhill High School, Forrester High School, St Augustine's High School, St Thomas of Aquin's High School, The Royal High School and Trinity Academy.

Edinburgh MiniTrials - 3 October 2015

The 13th annual Edinburgh MiniTrials are due to take place on Saturday 3 October 2015 in Edinburgh Sheriff Court.  The schools taking part will be:

Boroughmuir High School
Currie High School
Drummond High School
Forrester High School
Holyrood High School
James Gillespie’s High School
Queensferry High School
Trinity Academy