This site requires cookies in order for your browsing session to work properly.
Click Here to Find Out More
. Please opt in or out here
Your Cookies Are:
t: 0117 973 6006
Request a prospectus
Parents' & Friends' Zone
OBs & Foundation
Sixth Form Life
Results & Reports
Guilty as charged?
Guilty as charged?
20.06.2012 - BGS students act as jury in mock trial
On Friday 15 June six Sixth-formers from Bristol Grammar School participated in an interesting and complex event, acting as the jury in a mock court case being held as part of Bristol’s Big Green Week.
Gordano School provided the remaining six jurors to take part in this court case which saw
Caroline Spelman, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs accused of acts of Ecocide (the extensive damage to or loss of ecosystem(s) of a given territory) since taking up her post in July 2010.
Specifically, the mock trial looked at whether UK marine fisheries policy and practice amounted to ecocide and, if so, whether the Secretary of State is privately liable for this. Throughout the day of complicated witness statements, including from renowned environmental campaigner Sir Jonathon Porritt, the jury learnt much about fishing techniques and also learnt the extent of the damage done to the marine eco-systems. They also discovered how the EU and other countries contributed to the damage of Marine wildlife and a little about what could be done to resolve such issues.
At the end of the evidence, the jury retired to decide the fate of the Secretary of State: if found guilty, she could face a potential prison sentence. They faced a huge problem, could she really be liable for all the ecocide committed since 2010? And should she be the only person prosecuted? The general feeling was that she was guilty of not having attempted to resolve the issue; however many were unsure whether she could solely be held responsible. With no decision made, the judge granted more time to come up with a unanimous or majority decision from ten of the twelve jurors.
It then became clear that a technicality in the prosecution’s case (spotted by BGS student Sanyal), with respect to Caroline Spleman’s exact job description, was going to affect her fate. Legal advice was sought and although the case could continue, the jury could not reach a verdict and so she was acquitted.
Reflecting on the event, Lower-sixth student Olivia commented “I felt that it was a hugely insightful day, not just for understanding what the court procedures and jury service might be like but for the incredible detail of the situation that is brought to the attention of the jury.”
Fellow BGS Sixth-former Leopold summed up his thoughts, saying “
Altogether this was a brilliant event which really showed the real life scene of a court room – and how important a good barrister is in a court of law!”
Designed by Synergy Creative,
developed by Solsoft