Since commencing our studies this year, we have delved into influential and relevant cases which we’ve only seen from a textbook perspective. Then the chance of observing a variety of different cases at the District and Supreme Courts appeared.
Our class gathered early Wednesday morning at the top of the school, eager for the interesting cases and situations we would witness that day.
Upon arriving at the Brisbane Courts after an hour long bus trip, we entered the courts with our ears pique and grins across our faces as we listened to cases involving armed robbery, drugs and fraud. Many of us were taken aback by the utter grandeur and magnificence of the Courts.
Entering the courtroom, we bowed to the judge and observed an atmosphere of formality and respect. After quietly taking our seats, we listened attentively, glancing our eyes around the room as we silently absorbed this new environment. We heard from prosecutors stating their case. We saw solicitors speak persuasively as members of the jury put pen to paper. Barristers draped in wigs and robes and after strenuous evaluation of the accused's circumstances by the judge, the judge announced the accused’s charges. The reverberation of the charges reinforced the importance of showing respect as, many of the cases had profound change involving real lives. Additionally, being witness to the effect that the charges directly had on the family members and friends of the accused reinforced our understanding of Australia’s legal system and its gravity within our society.
Highlights of the day included observing the process of sentencing, seeing jurors sworn in and developing an awareness of the long-lasting effects of drug addiction on young adults.
For most of us, it was our first time going to court. The experience itself not only presented us with a new understanding of Australia’s legal system but also, provided us with an insight into the real-life effects of the system which cannot be replicated. Once the day had reached its end, our minds were filled with thoughts of complexity and knowledge. Being able to see firsthand an integral component of our democratic society was something that all of us are grateful for.
We would also like to thank Ms. Payne and Mr. Juniper for making the day both an enjoyable and meaningful experience.
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