During the half term in February a group of Swan Youth Project members visited the Supreme Court in London. Up early and enthusiastic Harry, Jack and Maddy met Caroline and Mischke at Berkhamsted station to travel up to London where we arrived at the Supreme Court ready for a talk and visit of the courtrooms.
The Court hears appeals on arguable points of law of the greatest public importance, for the whole of the United Kingdom in civil cases, and for England, Wales and Northern Ireland in criminal cases. There are 3 court rooms. Court 1 was not in use on the day we visited so we were lucky enough to be able to have our pre booked talk there. Sitting in seats usually occupied by defence and prosecution lawyers we learned about the fascinating history and more recent history of the court. We learned about the role of the court in the UK Justice System and about some interesting examples of past cases such as the high profile Wikileaks trial and other high profile human rights cases that have been held at the courts.
We also took the opportunity to sit in the public gallery of Court 2 where we observed a case being heard by 7 of the Justices including the Right Honourable Lady Hale the only woman judge who sits presides on the Supreme Court cases. We had to be very quiet to hear what was being said and there were a lot of lawyers in the room working on the case. Each case is televised and recorded to allow the public full access to all cases that are held at the Courts..
All in all the young people said they found the trip ‘worthwhile and educational’ and they would definitely recommend another visit as it provided and insight as to what happens at the Supreme Court. To end the morning we walked back to the Tube along Parliament Street and Whitehall into Trafalgar Square. This area comprises of most of the Government Ministries and we were able to see many of the amazing landmarks of London including Big Ben, The Cenotaph and Nelsons Column.
A fantastic and worthwhile visit to London and thank you to the Young People for listening and looking after each other!