About the Project
During the 2016/2017 academic year, 52 schools registered with almost 2,000 students. Involved from our end were some 65 tutors and 19 Sheriffs spread across three regions; The Lothians, West of Scotland and Tayside & Fife.
The 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: (Juniors) St Mary's RC Leith, Edinburgh: (Seniors) Craigroyston Community High School
Registrations for the 2017/2018 academic year are now closed for both junior and senior sections. This year will see a new seniors section running in the West of Scotland and more 'expert' roles.
For the Juniors, the programme is being expanded from three projects to six - Lothians, Falkirk, Glasgow, Ayrshire, Central and Tayside & Fife. The Seniors projects run outwith school hours and in the East of Scotland is held in the School of Law, Edinburgh University. The Seniors West of Scotland will run in St Mungos Academy, with the kind support of Glasgow City Council. It is open to all schools that can attend the tutorials.
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.