Pupils and students of The Aberdeen Law Project mock trial scheme, which has already been successful in several schools, this week ventured south of the City, hosting a mock trial at Kirkhill Primary in Kincorth.
Carry Chen, who led the mock trial, stated that,
“The day at Kirkhill was a fascinating and valuable experience for the bright and eager pupils of Kirkhill, and also for The University students assisting.
“I hope the pupils found it enjoyable and worthwhile, and that the experience persuades them to consider pursuing a career in law.”
Lorraine Napier, Head Teacher at Kirkhill Primary, was delighted with the initiative. She stated that,
“The mock trial gave the children a unique opportunity to work with a young group of professionals to gain an insight into our legal system by participating in a mock trial where they learned to understand and adopt the roles of a variety of people, and where they felt their views and opinions were valued.
“The day was a very worthwhile learning experience which clearly supports the power of contextualised learning”.
It is clear that the children echo the sentiments of their Head Teacher. Dillon King (10), a junior defence advocate, “found out all about objection!”, whilst Aaron Bryson (10) and Grant Dickson (10) “learnt [that] the jury have to go to a secret room to make a decision” and that “only the jury’s opinion matters at the end of the day”.
The learning experience is about far more than just the law and its procedure. The student tutors spend the day with the children working on a range of transferable skills including public speaking. Caitlin McKay (10) was one of the pupils to benefit from this aspect of the mock trial,
“The trial made me feel more confident in talking in front of other people which I didn’t feel before.”
Commenting on the educational dimension of The Aberdeen Law Project, Student Director Ryan Whelan was keen to emphasis the merits of a law clinic investing time in pursuing matters that are not centred upon dispute resolution,
“The Aberdeen Law Project is committed to ensuring that the legal system is accessible and understandable to all with an interest. Foremost amongst those that we wish to educate – and thereby empower – are school pupils.
“We hope to continue taking our schools project into North East communities, exposing both primary and secondary pupils to the legal system whilst encouraging their pursuit of higher education. I think the comments from the children only serve to underline the value of this initiative”.