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Witness for the Prosecution Trip May 2024

May 23, 2024 08:50am

On the 9th of May, Year 12 Law students and Year 10 students embarked on a school theatre trip to watch a fantastic production called ''Witness for the Prosecution''. Students spent the day travelling up to London where learners were given the opportunity to step inside the magnificent surroundings of London County Hall and experience the intensity and drama of this gripping story of justice in a unique courtroom setting. The drama surrounds a gentleman named Leonard Vale who is accused of murdering a widow to inherit her wealth.  The stage was laid out like a courtroom which enabled the audience and the students to fully immerse themselves within the trial process. Some members of the audience were able to become members of the jury and were able to give their verdict of whether the defendant was guilty or not. This helped the students apply their law knowledge of the roles within the courtroom, the role of the jury and judges within the trial linking to their study of the English Legal System. The play allowed learners to solidify their learning of the work of lay people and legal personnel in a courtroom and to understand and contextualise their knowledge of criminal trials. It was a fantastic way for teaching and learning to take place outside of the classroom.

Below are some statements from a few of our student’s who attended the event:

While reflecting on the day on the way home, our students shared that they had enjoyed the performance, recognised the court procedures from their learning and debated where they agreed with the verdict. This was an amazing trip where we all completely immersed ourselves in the experience and were challenged by the plot twists of the play.

Student feedback: The most enjoyable part of the play for the ‘Witness of the prosecution’ was when the German lady was being questioned by the defence barrister and in court. I learnt from the play that it is all dependant on how the case facts are presented in court but this might not always be how it happened in real life because obtaining the truth can be obscure. The play links to the English legal system because you see how a criminal court case is conducted and how barristers build up their cases prior to the hearing. 

Student feedback: I particularly enjoyed watching the work of the barristers within the production, especially since this is what I want to do as a career, and it motivated my determination to achieve this.

Within the production I could see the way that the English Legal system functions, especially the work of barristers and solicitors, as well as the importance of a jury, particularly seeing how they are sworn in.

I was able to learn how a court case is very much a presentation, as the outcome changed through the way the barristers portrayed their legal arguments 

Student feedback: I absolutely loved the several plot twists in the show. We got triple, maybe quadruple bluffed, and it was interesting to follow the characters and consider their perspectives. A clear link to the Law curriculum was to Criminal Law, especially to murder and the judicial systems, as the show covers a murder trial within a Crown Court. We also follow the defence barrister (who was very entertaining) and solicitor for the trial, with the jury being members of the audience. From Witness for The Prosecution, a message was clear about how the courts and jurors are not always correct when it comes to a verdict, and justice is not always given.

Student feedback: I think that the law trip was informative and interesting. It showed how a court trial is acted out, and how people avoid prosecution and can get away with it. It showed the different roles in a courtroom, for example how a judge keeps everyone in line with what they’re supposed to be doing. Due to this case being set in the 40/50s, it also gave information of the development of the legal system and how people are investigated and prosecuted.

Student feedback: The trip was very eventful, and it was a good experience because I usually would not go out of my way to watch the play and there were a lot of references to what we have learnt such as opening and closing statements and what parts of the play could amount to aggravating and mitigating factors.