The Juniors Project (P6 & P7) was started for the 2009 with some 40 children and two schools taking part. The Seniors (S3-S6) started in 2013.
During the last academic year, 47 schools registered with almost 2,000 students. Involved from our end were some 60 tutors and 19 Sheriffs spread across three regions; The Lothians, West of Scotland and Tayside & Fife.
The Winners for the 2015/16 academic year were: (Juniors) St Mary's RC Leith, Edinburgh: (Seniors) Craigroyston Community High School
Registrations for the 2016/2017 academic year are open, but only for the Lothians, Tayside & Fife and the Seniors. The West of Scotland has been over subscribed and is now closed for registrations.
For the Juniors, the project is currently running in three regions with the Finals taking place on 27th February 2017. The Seniors project runs outwith school hours and is held in the School of Law, Edinburgh University. It is open to all schools that can attend the tutorials. Their finals will take place on 3rd November 2016
Registration details can be found:
The founder is Gerald Murphy who looked at the Parental Involvement Act and the then new Curriculum for Excellence from a parents perspective. Recalling schooling of old, the desire was to integrate a project into the schools that children would enjoy without realising they were learning and that had an aim that would surpass what is not ordinarily available to inspire students - appearing before a real Sheriff in a real court.
You are invited to browse the website to see what it is we do and how well the children evolve, in what is a very difficult and demanding task. Bear in mind, 'real' solicitors have to attend university for years as well as complete a traineeship. These youngsters have just weeks to prepare their case.
As part of the overall inclusion policy and as part of the cross-curricular emphasis, children are encouraged to use as many skills as possible. In addition to taking on roles as solicitors, students are encouraged to be artists, robe-makers, drafters, mathematicians, researchers, journalists and witnesses, thereby allowing entire classes to take part. Scoring for the intermediary trials are based on all roles, not just the court case itself.
The finals for the last academic year were presided over by three memebers of the judiciary, Lord Hodge, from the Supreme Court in London, assisted by Lord Bracadale (Court of Session) and Sheriff Ian Anderson. In the preceding years the Sheriff Principal for Lothian and Borders, Sheriff Principal M Stephen, Lady Smith, Lord Reed and Lord Hope, the then Deputy President of the UK Supreme Court have presided. Some 950 people attended last years finals, including advocates, solicitors, paralegals and parents.
On the right you will find links to the coverage by the BBC and STV.