On Tuesday the 6th of December, myself and seventeen other students were invited to participate in a "Street Law” event" hosted by UEA Law students. “Street Law” is a Pro Bono project run by undergraduate students of the Law school, which aims to teach young people about their rights and responsibilities under the law and illustrate how the legal process works. The experience was incredible and allowed all of us to experience the academic discipline of law at undergraduate level. In some cases, it has even changed students’ minds about the career paths they want to take.
The session began when we were introduced to the law students and were asked questions about the law to assess our knowledge of how a court trial proceeded. We were provided with helpful information, which allowed us to understand the workings of the mock trial in which we went on to participate.
We were then given details of a scenario based on the Tony Martin case, in which an elderly man shot a young man in the leg, due to believing he was about to break into his shed and harm him. Each student was assigned a role, for example I was a member of the jury along with 11 others. Defence and prosecution roles were given to Izzy Duncan, Gabriel Wilkes, Tom Lockhart and Louisa Barton. Dominic Hancock took on the role of the "victim" who was shot and Michael Viner played the elderly man. Due to the expert guidance and coaching provided by the UEA students before the trial started, and some "incredible" acting skills from Fakenham College students, participating in the trial was a fun experience for all involved.
At the end of the trial, after the not guilty verdict had been reached, we gathered together and reflected on the events of the session and what we had learnt.
Overall the experience was innovative, useful and thought provoking for students unaware of what career path they want to take and I would recommend the experience wholeheartedly. We would all like to thank the UEA Law students for giving up their time to come and work with us.
Erin Mitchell - Year 12 student