On Saturday 10th November four Year 12 Law students were invited to attend Bedford Magistrate’s Court for a Family Mock Trial. As part of the day they were given an exclusive perspective on Family Court trials, when they sat with the judges and magistrates, to deliberate the decisions being reached, in a variety of family cases.
Here the students tell you for themselves how much this day meant to them;
My experience at the Bedford Family Court was inspirational, as it provided an opportunity for me to meet and speak to highly-qualified people who had taken up a career in law. As well as being allowed to view numerous areas of the court (e.g. cells, courts, retiring rooms), we took part in a handful of mock trials, which were undoubtedly eye-opening, as they gave insight into the ways in which family courts work. A couple of the trials were held in the court where James Hanratty, one of the last men to be hung in the UK, was sentenced. Regardless of the fact the trials were not genuine, they were treated as though they were. This enabled me to imagine what an occupation in this field would truly be like. There was one case, in particular, concerning whether a child should attend a school in Luton or Bedford, which illustrated how a family law case can have contrasting outcomes depending on how the situation is communicated to the Judge, by a Lawyer. Overall, the entire day was extremely interesting and gave me confidence in the choices for my future.
Josie Redican (Yr 12)
The Sir Gavyn Arthur Mock Family Court Experience was amazing and eye-opening. It gave me a chance to explore the roles in court and widen my knowledge on how the family justice system works to protect children. The most exciting part of the day for me was when me and my partner Josie had our first case as “wingers” which allowed us to see a school represent their case for the applicant and we had the role of helping Judge Perusko with the final verdict, and this was very exciting as I had a real insight into the judicial decision making process. One thing that amazed me was when I sat in two court cases with the same scenario but with two different verdicts. It showed me how each case can have a different verdict depending on how well each side persuaded the court. Overall, this was an inspiring opportunity for me and it has made me excited for the different opportunities available in Law for the future.
Crystal Lai (Yr12)
As always, the students were excellent representatives of the school and made themselves, their parents, and me very proud.