Incredible Visit to Isleworth Law Courts for Years 11 and 12 Written by Meera Morjaria (Year 12)
Recently, a number of students from Year 11 and Year 12 were given the opportunity to visit Isleworth Law Courts to see first-hand what it is like to be a judge, barrister, or a member of the jury.
It was truly an amazing experience as we had the chance to observe a variety of hearings taking place at the time of our visit and it was fascinating to see the case procedure.
When we arrived we were taken in to a court room where a clerk of the court and a barrister talked to us and showed us the arrangements of the room, pointing out where the judge, the prosecutor, the defence solicitor and the jury are seated during a trial. It was interesting to learn exactly what each individual does and the different types of case they would deal with on a weekly basis.
We were then privileged to be joined by a female judge who spoke to us about her career and how she had reached the position she holds today, especially as it is a male dominated industry. The judge spoke to us about how we could become a solicitor and about the courses we could take at university. She explained what it is like to be a female judge in a very male dominated field, which we all found very inspiring. This induction to the court set us in good stead for the rest of the visit during which we were allowed to visit all the courts and sit in on various hearings to experience the environment of a court room with a trial in session. This, I think, was the highlight of the day for most of us.
I sat in two completely different trials, both of which were extremely engaging both from a law perspective and a psychology perspective.
The first trial was about harm to an infant and, at the time I was sitting in the court, a specialist in the field of neuroscience was speaking over a video conference link to the jury and presenting their findings of the child’s brain injuries. The second was the trial of a few men who had caused harm to a taxi driver. In this trial one of the men was on the stand at the time, being questioned by the barrister for the prosecution.
The latter case was particularly interesting in my opinion because when the man was in the witness box he changed his statement from the one that was previously written and, as this had a large impact on the proceedings of the trial, the judge had to send the jury out of the room and re-examine the statements. Unfortunately we had to leave that trial before we could hear the judge’s verdict.
Overall it was an amazing experience to see what happens at the courts on a daily basis in terms of the variety of trials and how much it impacts people’s lives. Thank you to everyone at the courts