Our students in Year 10 and Sixth Form had the opportunity on Tuesday to ask the most senior judge in England and Wales questions about the judiciary system and its associated careers.
Lord Burnett of Maldon, the Lord Chief Justice of England & Wales, who was accompanied by District Tribunal Judge, Nick Moss and Magistrate Richard Scothon, spent the afternoon with our students in our school library. Lord Burnett delivered a talk, explaining his own interesting career journey to the top, and why it is important that we have independant judges. During the session an animated video was played explaining the rule of the law which is part of a school engagement programme that judges are involved in across the country. This video was launched at Jesmond Park Academy giving our students the first opportunity to see it.
Next the Lord Chief Justice opened the floor to our students who asked him a varity of questions. All questions were answered, and at the end of the session the Lord Chief Justice invited the students to stay behind to have a further opportunity to meet him and to have an informal chat.
On the day, the Lord Chief Justice said: “The rule of law is fundamental to our British way of life. Every day, many thousands of judges make decisions which affect people’s lives, and their livelihoods. But most people have little idea of what goes on unless they find themselves in the system.
“I want to make it easier for schools to help teach pupils about the justice system, and how it really works – I want to invite students to talk to us about our work. We already know that having a discussion with a real judge is very popular with school students. I want to make this opportunity more widely available to schools by asking them to consider inviting judges to visit and give them access to other resources that support their curriculum, and their careers conversations with students.
“There are judges from all walks of life and at many various levels in courts and tribunals. I also want to send the message to all students, from whatever background, they could be the lawyers and judges of the future.”
Our School Principal, Steve Campbell was proud to host this event and was delighted that Jesmond Park Academy was chosen as one of the schools in the region to be visited by the Lord Chief Justice who usually resides in London. Mr Campbell commented: “At Jesmond Park Academy, we have strong Cultural Capital projects to encourage our students to find out more about the world around them. The charity Young Citizens have helped us create this fantastic opportunity for the Lord Chief Justice to visit our school and allow some of our students to find out more about the law, justice system, careers within the legal profession and the legal system. We’re delighted that Lord Burnett has chosen this school to visit.”
The event was also covered by the local BBC news which you can view on the video link below.