Monday, February 19, 2018

A statue proposed for May Donoghue

Breaking news:
A proposed commemorative statue for May Donoghue.
Details thanks to Scottish Legal News:
Click HERE for SLN

For the full background to the case - visit the resources of the Scottish Council of Law Reporting (SCLR) at: .

Thanks also to “The Paisley Irregulars of Vancouver” who spotted the story from Canada.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

The Forth Valley MiniTrials 2017

Many congratulations to all those involved in the Forth Valley MiniTrials 2017 which took place in:
  • Falkirk
  • Alloa, and 
  • Stirling.
The events took place over 3 days on 22 September and 1 and 3 November 2017.  The feedback has been very positive and complementary.  The sheriffs presiding were Sheriff David Mackie in Alloa and Stirling, and Sheriff Mundy in Falkirk.  The eight schools involved were:

  • Denny High School,
  • Larbert High School,
  • St Mungo’s High School,
  • Alloa Academy,
  • Lornshill Academy,
  • St Modans High School,
  • Balfron High School, and
  • McLaren High School. 
Many thanks to all of the pupils and teachers involved - and for the support provided to them locally by:
  • Sheriff Clerks,
  • The Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service,
  • Bar Associations,
  • Police Scotland,
  • G4S,
  • Social Work Departments,
  • The Witness Service, and
  • The media – Falkirk Herald, Alloa Advertiser and Stirling Observer.
 The sentencing exercises were based on materials from the Scottish Sentencing Council.  

All the events were organised by John MacFarlane, Crown Office.  

Materials from MiniTrial.

Well done everyone.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Edinburgh MiniTrials 2017

The Edinburgh MiniTrials 2017 took place on Saturday 7 October 2017.
This was the 15th consecutive annual event in Edinburgh Sheriff Court.
The schools participating this year were:
  • Forrester High School
  • Holy Rood High School
  • James Gillespie's HS
  • The Royal High School
  • Portobello High School
  • Balerno High School
  • St Thomas of Aquins RC HS and
  • Craigmount High School.
They were all brilliant.  Well done to all those involved and to all those who assisted.  Special thanks to Richard Hart of Trinity Academy for organising the event and liaising with the teachers and supporters.

To see the starter pack of materials for the Edinburgh MiniTrials 2017 Click here.

Thanks to the Scottish Sentencing Council and others we now have NEW MiniTrial sentencing materials relating to the adjourned diet for sentence in the case of  HMA v Wade.

Click here to see the sentencing exercise.

Click here to go to the Scottish Sentencing Council website for more information on sentencing.

The Forth Valley MiniTrials 2017

Good luck to all those involved in the forthcoming "Forth Valley MiniTrials" due to take place in :

   Falkirk      on    22 September;
   Alloa          on     1 November; and
   Stirling      on     3 November.

All these events have been organised by John MacFarlane of the Crown Office Strategy Development Team and are supported by the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service, the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service, Police Scotland, local bar associations, social work departments and G4S.  

An update will follow.

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.