About the Project
During the 2017/2018 academic year, some 80+ schools registered with circa 3,000 students. Involved from our end were over 150 tutors and countless Sheriffs spread across six regions; Ayrshire, Lothians, Falkirk, Glasgow, Tayside & Fife and Central.
Past winners for the 2016/17 academic year were: (Seniors) Kirkcaldy High School - Pursuers team | (Juniors) Leith Primary School, Edinburgh - Pursuers team. The winners for the 2015/16 academic year were: (Seniors) Craigroyston Community High School | (Juniors) St Mary's RC Leith, Edinburgh
Current Winners: (Seniors) Dunbar Grammar. Prestwick Academy were runners up. The High School of Dundee took top place in the Juniors section, against schools from 6 regions following some 100 intermediary trials. Piri Park, Leith and Condorrat Primary schools also made it to the finals
For the Juniors, the programme is set to be expanded again during the 2018/2019 academic year. The Seniors project will also expand including Ayr and possibly Aberdeen.
Starting in the 2018/2019 academic year and to enable to us to reach even more schools, we will be starting a P7 Transition programme, whereby tutors will visit the secondary school of each cluster, train the S4 and S5 students who in turn will visit their feeder primaries. This will allow for a great depth of skills to be passed to the primary school students as well as allowing them to get to know the seniors of the school they will be starting at the following year and see for themselves the expected level of learning.
During the 2017/2018 academic year the Seniors will be involved in two international competitions.
The first will be a team, representing Scotland, taken to The Hague to compete against 13 other countries, including: Russia, America, Germany, South Africa in the International Moot Competition. This takes place in January 2018.
The second, made up from the winning team, is a trip to New York in June 2018 to compete against a team there. This trip is sponsored by Brodies LLP.
How Did it Come About?
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 Juniors for the last academic year included Judge Forrester from the General Court of the European Union who has agreed to travel over from Luxembourg to sit, together with The Rt Hon Sir David Edward, who was one of the inaugural Judges of the then newly created European Court of First Instance and later in 1992, was appointed a Judge of the European Court of Justice. Also sitting was The Hon Lord Iain Armstrong is a Senator (2nd Division) of the Supreme Court of Scotland. In the preceding years Sheriff Ian Anderson, the Sheriff Principal for Lothian and Borders, Sheriff Principal M Stephen, Lady Smith and Lord Bracadale from the Court of Session, Lords Reed and Hodge from the Supreme Court in London and Lord Hope, the then Deputy President of the UK Supreme Court have presided.
The Seniors Finals 2017/18 was presided over by The Rt Hon Sir David Edward, with Lady Dorrian, The Lord Justice Clerk, presenting the Eve Crowe Memorial Cup at the Awards Ceremony.