A level and BTEC Law students at East Norfolk Sixth Form College have had a busy few days.

The students visited Norwich Crown Court and witnessed sentencing and part heard trials. One of the cases they watched was a multi-million-pound fraud trial that received a lot of press attention and lasted for eight weeks.

It was interesting for the students to see how courtroom language has evolved over time and this is currently reflected in the press. In sexual offences the term child pornography is now referred to as child abuse images, reflecting the serious nature of the offence. The court personnel no longer refer to a ‘victim’ of a sexual offence, with the term ‘survivor’ being more appropriate. The judge and court clerk stayed behind at the end of the day to speak to the students about the criminal justice system and how the language and court process has changed in recent years.

There was also a visit from Simon Spence QC to the college. As part of the A2 syllabus students study the topic of duress of threats. Simon was counsel in case of Rv Gotts, a landmark duress of threats case that went to the House of Lords. Simon discussed the case in more detail and answered the many questions posed by the students. 

Law teacher Hannah Eldridge said ‘The court trips and visiting speakers are an invaluable part of studying law. It brings to life the things that students see in textbooks and read about in the press. They have had the rare opportunity to speak to judges, barristers and QCs and many students are able to gain work experience placements and mini-pupillages as a result of these visits.’

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