Reach Society

UK Supreme Court – Educational Programmes 2020

The UK Supreme Court (UKSC) is running a number of educational programmes aimed at young people thinking about a career as a lawyer, or who just have a general interest in the law, politics, or public speaking.

Given the current situation with Covid–19, these programmes will be run virtually using Microsoft Teams, which is part of the Office 365 package or can be downloaded for free.

Virtual Tour

We can you give a ‘360’ tour of our building, showing all the Courtrooms, the Lawyers’ Suite and the Library. We illustrate the creation and work of the Court, showing its place in the separation of powers and in the legal hierarchy as well as the role of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (JCPC) as the final court of appeal for many Caribbean countries. We then go on to wider discussions around some UKSC cases and their subjects.

Debate Days

For students who would like to examine an issue in more depth, we run “Debate Days” where teams of students argue ‘For’ or ‘Against’ a question, with a third team acting as ‘ Judges’ who decide who has the best argument based on how concise they are, the use of evidence and teamwork.

Students are sent packs with all the relevant information several weeks in advance. The topics are broad questions linked to previous UKSC cases, for example:

“Should you be allowed to deny a service or assistance on the grounds of your religious beliefs?”

On the day, each team is given a professional lawyer as a coach who helps the students organise and present their arguments. When the debate is over there will be an opportunity for a question and answer session with the coaches. Please note a Debate Day would need a minimum of 15 participants.

Essay Writing Competition

In November we will be launching an essay writing competition. The UK Supreme Court Essay Writing competition is a great way for those with a keen interest in law and the UK

justice system to get involved and put their skills of persuasion to the test. Pick one of four questions, use the case examples given (or use your own research) to write an exceptional 1,500-word essay.

All entries are judged by the lawyers who work at the Court (the Judicial Assistants) and will receive specific feedback. There are book token prizes for first, second and third, with the first prize winner spending a day at court, looking around the building and spending time with the Judicial Assistants and a Supreme Court Justice. (This would be dependent on the situation with Covid-19).

These programmes are aimed at year 12 or 13 students in England and Wales, S5 or S6 in Scotland, and Year 13 or 14 in Northern Ireland. For more information please contact:

Simon Josiffe, UKSC at [email protected]/0207 960 1500/1900. Or Dr Dwain Neil OBE FRSA, Reach Society, Chairman at [email protected]

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