Trial procedure

Mock Trial of the Freedom Fighters

Turn your school hall or classroom into a court room for the day. 

The aim is to provide students with an experience of the justice system. 

Display the news paper article above around the school one week before the mock trial day to attract students’ interests. 

On the morning of the trial, hold a whole school or class assembly and discuss the news article, the general aims and order of events for the day. 

Allocate a name to each class or groups to research (you could use other freedom fighters or persons, if you wish). 

Each class or group to research their freedom fighter’s biography and other information and prepare defence notes on why this person is innocent and should be acquitted of all charges against them. 

Each class should select their defence team to present their case. Good idea to practice this first in class before whole school presentation. 

Select a prosecution counsel or counsels to present the case for the state.

Before the trial begins chose three people to act in role of each freedom fighter, they have to answer questions put to them by the judge or counsels.  

Also select a judge to conduct the whole trial. 

You must also select twelve jury members to listen to the case. 

Appoint a stenographer to take notes on the proceedings. 

Arrange your school hall to look like a court room.

·        A table for the judge in the middle of the hall

·        A witness stand to the left,

·        Jurors seats to the right of the judge’s table

·        Stenographer sits in front of the judge

·        Prosecution and defence counsels sit directly in front the stenographer facing the judge

·        Public gallery seats at the back of the hall. 

Conduct the trial as set out below.

After presentations from both sides, the prosecution and defence counsel must sum up their cases appealing to the jury for a favourable outcome. 

The judge must remind members of the jury to consider if the prosecution has proved its case beyond reasonable doubt before finalising their verdict. 

The judge must remind the jurors of number of votes needed to discharge or convict the accused. This is usually all twelve jurors and in exceptional cases a majority vote of 10 out of 12 is acceptable either way. 

The jurors must report back on their verdict of ‘guilty’ or ‘not guilty’. 

The judge must then discharge the jurors. 

The judge then discharge or sentence the accused. 

The case is now closed or adjourned to a future date.

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