St Joseph of Cluny

A TY Day at The Criminal Courts of Justice

A TY Day at  The Criminal Courts of Justice

On the 4th of March, Transition Year students were invited to attend the Criminal Courts of Justice in Dublin (an additional visit for TY students who did not attend on the 4th, is scheduled for the 11th of March). These visits have been organised and facilitated by Garda Derek Spain (Charlotte's [5L] father).

The day began with students conducting a mock trial in a courtroom typically used for District Court proceedings. During the progress of the “trial”, Garda Spain explained each stage of the proceedings (in relation to actual practices in the criminal court) as well as the roles and responsibilities of those involved (judge, barristers, solicitors, witnesses, jury members, etc.). The mock trial proved to be both a fun and informative way to start the day’s visit and also suggested that amongst the students there may very well be some future excellent litigators, as well as universally, excellent acting skills.

TY students were then able to visit a number of courtrooms all dealing with different elements of criminal cases. Initially, students witnessed the processing of cases through district courts with courtrooms filled with what seemed an endless stream of barristers and solicitors arranging future court appearances for their clients. As the day progressed, TY students sat in on more complex legal proceedings. These included the Prosecution and Defence’s closing arguments in an assault case followed by the judge’s instructions to the jury; a Voir dire held in a trial for armed robbery during which counsel made cases to the judge on the admissibility of particular evidence; and the proceedings of a murder trial during which Senior Counsel for the Prosecution (Brendan Grehan, SC) questioned witnesses. Additionally, a member of the Victim Support at Court (V-SAC) spoke to students about the support the service provides to victims and their families. Deirdre Moore, BL met with students and shared with them her own experience of studying to become a barrister, working in the Criminal Courts as a Judicial Assistant and the nature of her role now as a newly qualified barrister.

A very sincere thank you to Garda Spain for not only organising the visit, but also for taking so much time to answer students’ questions throughout the day and ensuring that the visit was consistently varied and interesting.

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St Joseph of Cluny,
Ballinclea Road,
Co. Dublin,
A96 DK13

01 2855027

Le Chéile Schools Trust
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