On Friday 16 February, Twenty-four Darwin High School students went on an excursion to give them an understanding of the role of the Legal Aid Commission and show them the workings of the Local Court.
By teacher Clare Labowitch
Most students have never been in a court room and many are surprised and enthralled by how the Local Court operates within the community; from the set-up of the court room itself, the respectful bow to the judge as everyone enters and exits, to the stories told by the Defence and Prosecution to allow the judge to bring down a fair sentence. This was the experience this week of the Year 10 Legal Studies students, taught by Ms Sam Schuman and Ms Clare Labowitch, who visited the Local Court in Darwin.
The School was fortunate to access the services of the NT Legal Aid Commission’s Education Officer, Mr Mario Fritirikkos, who, prior to the excursion, took the students through key elements of access to justice in the community and prepared them to conduct their own trial in Court 6 as part of the excursion. Students also had the opportunity to ask the Legal Aid Commission Duty Lawyer questions about going to court.
Overall it was a productive and enjoyable learning experience for the students.