Pupils from Turriff Academy will be heading to the Sheriff & High Courts in Aberdeen in November, to take part in the Aberdeenshire schools mock trial.
They will be joining students from across the North East to make a case in front of legal professionals to be named the area’s top budding legal eagles during a mock trials competition. Legal experts will be passing verdict on their performance during the day-long contest, where the youngsters will take on the roles of lawyers, witnesses, court staff and jurors – and even court reporters and press officers – as the schools compete against each other in simulated court cases.
Before they have their day in court some of the pupils involved had the opportunity to learn more about forensic science and how to present scientific evidence to a court. This year Aberdeenshire Council invited the forensic science staff from Robert Gordon University (RGU) to share their knowledge with the pupils who will be expected to present scientific evidence during the competition. More than 40 pupils visited the university’s new Riverside East building at Garthdee on Wednesday, September 25, spending time in the forensic science labs to learn about gunshot residue, drugs and DNA.
They were then taught how to present forensic science evidence in RGU’s Moot Court at Aberdeen Business School in order to support their competition preparation.
Catherine Inverarity, course leader of the Forensic and Analytical Science course at RGU’s School of Pharmacy and Life Sciences, said
As well as receiving an introduction to forensic science, the skills the pupils have learned will help them prepare for the competition and give them the confidence to present the scientific evidence in court.
We are proud to work with our partners at Aberdeenshire Council on this exciting project and hope the forensic science element of the competition has inspired the pupils to think about the opportunities a forensic science degree from RGU would offer their careers.
At the culmination of the competition in November, two of the participating schools – each represented by up to 16 pupils with support from professional solicitors from local firms – will take part in a ‘final’ trial.
Chair of Aberdeenshire Council’s Education, Learning and Leisure committee, Isobel Davidson, said
It is great that Aberdeenshire Council is able to organise events such as this for our pupils in conjunction with its partners and sponsors. Finding new and innovative ways to challenge and engage our pupils helps develop their skills and interest in learning. The opportunity to experience the forensic science labs, the courtroom environment and the workings of the court service is a fantastic way to gain a fuller understanding of the judicial system in this country.
Vice chair, Ron McKail, added
This competition will be a great experience for everyone involved, and I hope both the pupils and the professional solicitors thoroughly enjoy the day. It’s great to see citizenship being developed in our schools at the same time as we develop links with local universities, finding innovative ways of teaching.
The Aberdeenshire schools involved are
- Aboyne Academy
- Banff Academy
- Ellon Academy
- Fraserburgh Academy
- Mackie Academy
- Kemnay Academy
- Peterhead Academy
- Portlethen Academy
- Turriff Academy
- Gordon Schools in Huntly
- Dyce Academy
- Aberdeen Grammar School
If you are going to the Aberdeenshire schools mock trial and want to write a report for My Turriff like Georgia Chalmers & Cara MacKay did in 2011 then please get in touch with us.
Aberdeenshire Council’s partners in the project, sponsored by solicitors Maclay Murray & Spens LLP, include the Aberdeen Bar Association, The Society of Advocates in Aberdeen, Scottish Courts and Robert Gordon University.