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Community News Law students sit in with Superior Court Justice

Law students sit in with Superior Court Justice

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Wednesday, 12 October 2011

On Wednesday, October 5th, 62 law students and four faculty members from Trinity College School headed to the Durham Region Courthouse in Oshawa to get a first-hand look at the legal system in action.

After arriving at the courthouse and clearing security, court staff ushered the TCS students into a large courtroom where they quickly found seats in the gallery. Before long, they were asked to rise and the Honourable Mr. Justice Bryan Shaughnessy assumed his spot at the front of the courtroom.

Justice Shaughnessy then spent 30 minutes speaking with the students about the Canadian legal system and some of the traditions that have withstood the test of time. He then spent some time answering questions from the students on a variety of legal issues. It was a unique experience for the students, as they were able to discuss meaningful issues with a true legal expert. Once the question and answer session was complete, Justice Shaughnessy disappeared briefly to his chambers in anticipation of the commencement of the first case of the day.

The TCS students were ultimately at the court to see the opening argument of the Crown attorney in an Oshawa murder trial. The students watched as the accused was escorted in by two armed security guards. Justice Shaughnessy was the next to enter the room followed by the jury. At this point, the Crown opened the case by discussing many of the details and suppositions about the crime in question. The details of the case were riveting at times and kept the students thinking for the duration of the visit.

At the first recess of the day, the students were invited to the bench to take a picture with Justice Shaughnessy before they toured the rest of the brand new Oshawa court building, learning about some of the technologies available in the legal process and discussing jury selection and jury duty.

It was a great day for all involved. Special thanks to Justice Shaughnessy, who went beyond the call of duty to make sure that the court visit was both educational and interesting for all of the students. His attention to detail and selfless interest in helping out made the 2011 law trip a real success. The students continue to monitor the media to follow any progress in the case.

- By David Ingram, social sciences teacher


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