Our Year 11 Legal Studies students were very lucky to be invited to Cooma Court House as part of Law Week. The students spent the morning in court watching a list day with Magistrate Michael Antrum presiding. There was a wide range of matters before the court, including driving offences, AVOs, damage to property and obtaining financial gain by deception.

We caught up with a few of our students about their experience during this excursion, and their thoughts were as follows:

“It was an amazing learning experience and I think we all took a lot from it. For me, the most interesting part was listening to the actual cases.” – Amy Pillinger

“I found it amazing how fast the magistrate went through cases and was able to make just decisions. I was also really impressed with his compassion and consideration of the circumstances.” – Anna Cristofani-Wykes

“I got a real sense of how fair the justice system is and especially how this is accomplished by the services of magistrates, solicitors and barristers in our community.” – Eve Donnelly

Magistrate Antrum very kindly offered to conduct a mock trial during the lunch break. Local solicitor Ms Emma Schlachter from Blaxland Mawson & Rose and police prosecutor Sergeant Goonan generously volunteered their time to assist our students. We were privileged to have the Law Society of NSW President Doug Humphreys play a cameo role as surprise witness Dr Broken.

When asked about the mock trial component, student Eve Donnelly said, “It was a bit more relaxed and improvised than mock trials against other schools. I enjoyed it and found it to be confidence-building, as we had to think on our feet a lot.”