A chance to see the law in practice, and all its inner workings, while staying on the right side of it is a rare opportunity. But that's just how a group of Kotara High School students spent Tuesday at Newcastle.
A class of around 26 Year 10 students sat in on two criminal cases at the Newcastle Court before hearing from Magistrate Robert Stone.
"It is a really interesting opportunity to show them how the legal system works that they wouldn't get through a textbook," legal studies teacher Rosemary Campbell said.
The Rule of Law Institute, which facilitated the day out, said most of our understanding of how the law works comes from television and movies.
"It's a lot different," Arwen Wilkinson, a Kotara High School student, said.
"I think it demystifies it," Lauren O'Brien said. Ms. O'Brien was on board to guide the students through the courts for the day. "Even me, being a practising solicitor, it has taken a couple of years not to be nervous walking in here, and I haven't done anything wrong.”
"It goes really quickly," Ellie Price, a year 10 student at Kotara High School said. "They don't mess around. They just get to the point."
"It's about going in and seeing and showing that our legal system works. It's not perfect, but it works," Rule of Law Institute's Fiona Leahy said.
"And for them to see that side of it. To see what the courts have to deal with, and how they deal with it day in and day out."
The legal education experience aims to teach students about the law and how it operates and provide a better understanding of the Australian legal system.
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