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School Students Try their hand at Law

Mareeba State High School students Madilyn Strazzeri and Gamuchirai Makoti discussing their game plan

Schools from around the tablelands competed against each other in a mock court trial held at the Mareeba Court House on Tuesday.

Teams from Malanda State High School, St Stephens and Mareeba State High School were all tasked with arguing an unseen case that was presided over by magistrate Terry Browne. The mock trial’s organiser Peter Apel credited this program to giving a number of students a chance to experience law first hand.

“This program encourages school kids to learn the legal system,” he said.

“I’m always impressed by their knowledge and enthusiasm when it comes to learning and practicing law.

“This program creates a bridge for students to enter the career of law through this experience.”

Mr Apel also thanked the Mareeba Court House for hosting the mock trials every year since its inception.

“This program has been running for about four to five years,” he said

“All of the participants are volunteers including the judge.”

When asked about the mock trials Mr Apel stated that Mareeba’s are the biggest and longest running in Australia’s history.

“All the other attempts barely lasted a year and they were not as well organised as the Mareeba trials,” he said.

The students are broken up into groups of three from their respective schools and are asked to argue a small criminal offence. The students from Mareeba State High and St Stephens were asked to argue unlawful drug possession with each questioning witnesses, producing evidence and arguing their cases.

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