MiniTrials prove popular among local schoolchildren

10 Oct


SCHOOLCHILDREN from eight local secondary schools took part in a successful MiniTrials event this weekend in Edinburgh. 

The mock trial event is held annually to promote legal education at secondary school level. Participating schools this year included Balerno High School; Firrhill High School; James Gillespie’s High School; Portobello High School; Queensferry High School; The Royal High School; St Augustine’s RC High School and Tynecastle High School. 

Around 100 S5 and S6 pupils were welcomed to the event, held at the Edinburgh Sheriff Court, by Lord Mulholland, chair of the MiniTrials Steering Group. Proceedings on the day were supported by legal volunteers from the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service, the Edinburgh Bar Association, GEOAmey, the COPFS and the Faculty of Advocates. 

The Faculty of Advocates has been a sponsor and supporter of the MiniTrials for many years. Faculty MiniTrials Coordinator Michael Upton said: “The annual Edinburgh schools event was as popular as ever with the pupils; we’re hugely grateful to all of the advocates and solicitors who gave their time to make it happen.” Advocates Elaine Smith, Gerry Coll, David McNaughtan KC and David Taylor all played the role of sheriffs during the mock trials. 

“It was once again a pleasure to organise the Edinburgh MiniTrial School event,” said Richard Hart, lead organiser of the Edinburgh event and a curricular leader of Social Subjects at Trinity Academy. “To have around 100 pupils from schools across the city giving up their time to prepare and participate in the event shows how worthwhile the event is. MiniTrials is an excellent introduction to criminal and civil justice but, more importantly, the skills that the pupils gain will stand them in good stead for their future careers. It was a real pleasure to watch so many young people stand up with confidence in the mock trials to ensure that they represented themselves and their schools well.”

“In addition to the annual, inter-schools event held at Edinburgh Sheriff Court, individual schools also hold internal mock trials, using guidance and materials available from the MiniTrials website,” said Mr Upton. “Any lawyer who’d like to volunteer for a couple of hours at future events can be sure to enjoy encountering the enthusiasm which the young people always bring to this initiative”.

More information on the MiniTrials can be found here.