The Unit 3 Legal Studies students awoke before the birds to head down to a ‘Day in Court’, literally, on Friday 13th May, yes Friday the 13th! Following some ‘Top Gear’ driving and maneuvering into a parking space we were treated to a fascinating morning in the Supreme Court after some frenetic attempts at finding a vacant court and being carefully herded past the ‘innocent until proven guilty’ McPherson who allegedly stabbed his partner in Sunshine. We were taken then to observe a civil case involving well known former police union boss Paul Mullett suing former Police Commissioner Christine Nixon for damages for ‘malicious behaviour’. It was reported in ‘The Age’ the following day!
In the afternoon, the students took part in a scripted mock court at the ‘Crime and Justice Experience’ in the old City Magistrates Court. Judge Sarah Hercott presided with Tipstaff Emma Richardson assisting. SC Holly Crump prosecuted and SC Tenesha Pascoe was defending culpable driver Kim Tran(Ben Johnson) with all students playing other legal roles. The students not only showed the benefit of their legal experiences but took part in a compelling discussion about the possible sentence at the conclusion of the plea hearing, impressing the facilitator hugely.
Following a role play City Watchhouse experience we headed home, a tired group, but with plenty to contemplate, both legally and warily, as the spectre of the consequences of culpable driving hung over us all following our fascinating day. Hopefully we gained a little more insight into our legal system and the huge responsibility that comes with driving!!
We should be both proud and impressed with the intelligent input of our students, though their ‘power shopping’ over the lunch break was singularly disappointing!