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HomeMoney‘The best, best field trip’: Law Day returns to Penticton, B.C. courts

‘The best, best field trip’: Law Day returns to Penticton, B.C. courts




After a three-year hiatus, Law Day returned to Penticton, B.C.’s courts on Wednesday.

Students from local middle and high schools were invited into the courthouse for a tour and mock trial, which was conducted partly in French.

“I participated in the mock trial with the children today. Essentially the theme was Star Wars, and (in) it Luke Skywalker was on trial for destroying the Death Star,” said

“It’s a nice fun way to introduce the kids to the aspects of law and our legal system.”

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Luke Skywalker will not be spending time behind bars after the group of students argued for his freedom in court.

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École Entre-Lacs Grade 8 student, Naya Jetha, who posed as a Jury Foreman during the mock trial said she was quite surprised by the verdict.

“I got to decide if he was guilty or not guilty and I got to be part of the jury with a lot of my friends,” said Jetha.

“He was not guilty, surprisingly. At the start when I heard this case, I thought I was going to be guilty, but like the defence counsel really got me. Like, they had some good arguments.”

Members of Crown counsel, the local bar, judiciary, courthouse staff, and local lawyers all got together to host the event.

Students participated in several learning activities and demonstrations including some physical tests.

“I liked the physical tests to show us what you have to do to apply here,” said École Entre-Lacs Grade 8 student Jordan Hammersley. “There was the beep test, there was an obstacle course and we had to run around the building over there.”

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“We went into one of the police trucks and we learned how to cuff people with handcuffs, and I also got cuffed,” said École Entre-Lacs Grade 7 student Ella Sandhan.

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“We learned what to do in certain situations, like when you can pull out your gun or your baton.”

This day is part of a national event to celebrate the signing of Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms and a way to educate the public about the legal system.

The event is held annually in the spring.

“Oftentimes there are children that interact with the youth criminal justice system, as well as through family law. Even though hopefully you don’t have to interact with the criminal justice system or any justice system, if it’s needed, then hopefully you have a better understanding of what it is and what the people are,” said Okayama.

“Hopefully, they’re also able to see that human element as these judges are people, the lawyers are people and everybody that’s involved in the system are people and ultimately, we’re trying to do what’s best for people.”

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Family lawyer Kathryn Robinson, from Penticton’s female-run office Interior Law, echoed that it’s important to teach kids about law.

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“The courthouse and the justice system are the cornerstone of our society and it’s really important to us that we introduce kids at a young age to what we do in a positive and fun atmosphere,” said Robinson.

Meanwhile, Law Day might just be the beginning of a career in law for some students.

“It’s probably been my best field trip. I’m really excited to be here and I’m super glad I got the chance to visit the courthouse and just see how all works around here in the Okanagan,” said Jetha.

“This definitely convinced me. It’s been super fun and a lot of the people are super nice and very energetic and fun so I’d love to work with people like that.”

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