Francis Burt Law Education Programme

Francis Burt Law Education Programme

Francis Burt Law Education Programme

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The Francis Burt Law Education Programme seeks to advance the Western Australian community’s understanding of the law, legal principles and the court system.

The Programme operates on the principle that all people must understand the law and the legal system, which affects their daily lives. Housed in the Old Court House Law Museum, the oldest building in the City of Perth, qualified Education Officers present structured legal education programmes.

The Education Programme offers

  • school and community group tours with court visits (Supreme Court, District Court or Magistrates Court), an empty court activity; and scripted trials based on fictional scenarios and historical West Australian cases
  • legal education resources
  • professional development workshops for teachers
  • Regional and Remote Schools Loan Box Programme
  • Youth Civics Leadership Day
  • the Hypothetical
  • Sir Ronald Wilson Lecture
  • Lawyer Visits to Schools Network
  • Cluedunnit Kids Competition

Proudly supported by:

LawSociety_PublicPurposes_Transparent_300x40px  Department of Education

Contact

Corner St Georges Tce & Barrack Street, Perth
(next to the Supreme Court of Western Australia)
Telephone: (08) 9324 8686
Email: schools@lawsocietywa.asn.au

Court Visits

Court Visits

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The Francis Burt Law Education Programme offers the opportunity for groups to visit the Supreme Court, District Court and the Magistrates Court in Perth, Western Australia. Groups can participate in legal education activities including scripted trial re-enactments and museum activities that are appropriate to the age of the group.

The Programmes are mapped to the Western Australian and Australian education curricula and are specifically tailored for groups from primary schools, high schools, vocational colleges, universities, ESL/International Colleges and the community.

Professional development events are also available. Where practicable, our Education Officers will adapt the programme to group requirements.

Frequently Asked Questions

Please read our frequently asked questions for important information about the Programme, including supervision and behaviour requirements, emergency procedures, and insurance cover.

Activity Options

Museum Activity

The Old Court House is the City of Perth’s oldest building and it houses the Old Court House Law Museum. Participants actively explore the museum with the focus on WA Curriculum Civics and Citizenship themes.

Approximately 45 minutes

Audio Storytelling and the Old Court House Activity

Participants listen to local Aboriginal Elders talk about the importance of the area around the Old Court House and learn more about the Old Court House and its many and varied uses.

Approximately 45 minutes

Empty Court Activity

Engage in an age appropriate legal education activity in the Supreme Court or District Court. The layout of the court and the roles of the court personnel are explained. This activity is subject to the availability of an empty courtroom.

Approximately 20-30 minutes

Year 3-4 Empty Court Activity: Rule or Law?

Students actively explore the differences between rules and laws.

45 minutes

Mock Trial/Trial Re-Enactment

Be a judge or lawyer and wear real legal wigs and gowns in the Old Court House. Take the role of a juror, a witness or other court personnel and act out court protocol and procedures in a trial based on a historical or fictitious event. The Education Officer takes photos during the mock trial/trial re-enactment and a CD containing those photos is then forwarded to the group leader.

Approximately 45-60 minutes

Scenarios

  • Alice in Court: The Queen of Hearts has accused Alice of disturbing the peace in Wonderland and White Rabbit alleges she stole his cookies
  • A Day in the Life of the Magistrates Court: a scripted recreation of a normal day in the life of the busy and bustling Magistrates Court
  • The State of Western Australia v. Captain James HOOK: charged with kidnapping Jack and Maggie Banning, who are Peter Pan’s children, the jury must decide if the accused is guilty or not guilty
  • The State of Western Australia v. Jamie BROWN: a fictional character accused of Arson resulting from a fire that caused extensive damage to the college that s/he attends
  • The State of Western Australia v. John GAVEN: the true case of a 15 year old boy, John Gaven, put on trial in the Old Court House in 1844 for murder
  • The State of Western Australia v. Charlie WRIGHT: a fictional character accused of Grievous Bodily Harm resulting from a one punch incident outside a suburban party
  • The State of Western Australia v. Audrey Campbell JACOB:  the true case of a 20 year old Western Australian woman put on trial for the murder of her fiancé, Cyril Gidley, after he was shot at the Government House Ballroom in 1925

Court in Session

Sit in the public gallery and view a Supreme Court, District Court Magistrates Court or Federal Court in session. Provided there are proceedings in session, groups may view a criminal trial, pleas, or sentencing.

Approximately 30 minutes

Parkhurst Apprenticeship Scheme Activity

From 1842-1849, 234 male juvenile offenders aged between 10 and 20 were transported to Western Australia as ‘apprentices’. Participants actively explore the lives of these ‘apprentices’, the offences that lead to their imprisonment and their experiences in the early days of the colonisation of Western Australia. Finally, participants consider why the boys were referred to as ‘apprentices’ and not convicts.

Approximately 60 minutes

Western Australian Curriculum

Years 3 to 4 – Western Australian Curriculum

Curriculum: Year 3 – Western Australian CurriculumYear 4 – Western Australian Curriculum

Year 3 to 4 Primary School groups do not observe a court in session as Magistrates Court matters are not suitable for children of this age.

We encourage year 3-4 groups to schedule a 15-20min break between the two 45 minute sessions.

Option 1: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Activities included:

  • Empty court activity: Rule or Law?
  • Mock trial

Cost: $7 per participant. Minimum charge $70 per group*

Option 2: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Activities included:

  • Museum activity
  • Audio storytelling activity and the Old Court House activity

Cost: $7 per participant. Minimum charge $70 per group*

Years 5 to 6 – Western Australian Curriculum

Curriculum: Year 5 – Western Australian CurriculumYear 6 – Western Australian Curriculum

Year 6 Primary School groups are able to observe a Magistrates Court in session. Students and their parents should be informed that the students may be exposed to bad language and/or graphic evidence when observing the Magistrates Court in session. Further, the Magistrates Court script reflects matters which are common in the Magistrates Court, e.g. violence and matters resulting from alcohol and/or drug abuse.

We encourage year 5-6 groups to schedule a 15-20min break between the two 60 minute sessions.

Year 5

Option 1: 2 hours, 15 minutes

Activities included:

  • Mock trial
  • Parkhurst apprenticeship scheme activity or Museum activity

Cost: $8 per participant. Minimum charge $80 per group*

Year 6

Option 1: 2 hours, 15 minutes

Activities included:

  • Empty court activity
  • Court in session
  • Mock trial or Museum activity

Cost: $8 per participant. Minimum charge $80 per group*

Years 7 to 10 – Western Australia Curriculum

Curriculum: Year 7-10 Western Australian Curriculum

Year 7 to 10 Secondary School groups are able to observe a Supreme Court or District Court or Magistrates Court in session. Students and their parents need to be informed that the students may be exposed to bad language and/or graphic evidence when observing courts in session. Further, the State of Western Australia v. John GAVEN trial re-enactment is based on a real WA murder trial.

Option 1: 1 hour

Activities included:

  • Mock trial or Court in session

Cost: $6 per participant. Minimum charge $60 per group*

Option 2: 2 hours, 15 minutes

Activities included:

  • Empty court activity
  • Court in session
  • Mock trial

Cost: $8 per participant. Minimum charge $80 per group*

Mock trial scenarios

  • The State of Western Australia v. John GAVEN or
  • The State of Western Australia v. Charlie WRIGHT

Years 11 to 12 – Western Australian Curriculum

WA Curriculum:

Year 11 to 12 Secondary School groups are able to observe a Supreme Court, District Court, Federal Court and/or Magistrates Court in session. Students and their parents need to be informed that the students may be exposed to bad language and/or graphic evidence when observing the courts in session. Further, the State of Western Australia v. Audrey Campbell JACOB trial re-enactment is based on a real WA murder trial.

Option 1: 2 hours, 15 minutes

Activities included:

  • Court in session (choice of Supreme Court, District Court, Federal Court and/or Magistrates Court)
  • Empty court general activity*
  • Mock trial or empty court Politics and Law Syllabus activity*

Cost: $8 per participant. Minimum charge $80 per group*

Option 2: 3 hours, 15 minutes

Activities included:

  • Court in session (choice of Supreme Court or District Court and Federal Court or Magistrates Court)
  • Empty court general activity or empty court Politics and Law Syllabus activity or mock trial

Cost: $10 per participant. Minimum charge $100 per group*

* GST included. No charge for teachers and assistants.

Mock trial scenarios

  • The State of Western Australia v. Charlie WRIGHT or
  • The State of Western Australia v. Audrey Campbell JACOB

Activities

  • General empty court activity includes court layout and court personnel
  • Politics and Law Syllabus empty court activities include:
    • Court hierarchy
    • Civil and criminal pre-trial procedure
    • Civil and criminal trials: differences and strengths and weaknesses
    • Jury empanelment
    • Recently implemented reform (the last ten years) to the criminal law process in Western Australia: The Jury System in WA
    • Contemporary Issue Centering on Justice, Judicial Process and Legal power: Mandatory Sentencing
    • Mediation in practice and in theory: Supreme Court Registrar presentation

Adult Groups

Vocational Colleges and Community groups

Option 1: 1 hour

Activities included:

  • Court in Session
  • Empty Court Activity or mock trial

Cost: $6 per participant. Minimum charge $60 per group*

Option 2: 2 hours, 15 minutes

Activities included:

  • Court in session
  • Empty court activity
  • Mock trial

Cost: $8 per participant. Minimum charge $80 per group*

* GST included. No charge for teachers and assistants.

Mock trial scenarios

  • A day in the life of the Magistrates Court or
  • The State of Western Australia v. John GAVEN or
  • The State of Western Australia v. Charlie WRIGHT or
  • The State of Western Australia v. Audrey Campbell JACOB

International Language Colleges

Option 1: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Activities included:

  • Court in Session
  • Empty Court Activity or mock trial

Cost: $10 per participant. Minimum charge $100 per group*

Option 2: 2 hours, 15 minutes

Activities included:

  • Court in session
  • Empty court activity
  • Mock trial

Cost: $10 per participant. Minimum charge $100 per group*

* GST included. No charge for teachers and assistants.

Mock trial scenarios

  • A day in the life of the Magistrates Court or
  • The State of Western Australia v. John GAVEN or
  • The State of Western Australia v. Charlie WRIGHT or
  • The State of Western Australia v. Audrey Campbell JACOB

Professional Groups

Professional groups from a number of organisations visit the Francis Burt Law Education Programme to complement their corporate and organisational professional learning programmes. The programme for professional group visits is determined by the purpose of the visit.

The following provides a sample of the tour options:

Option 1: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Activities included:

  • Court in Session
  • Empty Court Activity or mock trial

Cost: $25 per participant. Minimum charge $250 per group*

Option 2: 2 hours, 15 minutes

Activities included:

  • Court in session
  • Empty court activity
  • Mock trial

Cost: $25 per participant. Minimum charge $250 per group*

* GST included. No charge for group leaders and assistants.

Mock trial scenarios

  • A day in the life of the Magistrates Court or
  • The State of Western Australia v. John GAVEN or
  • The State of Western Australia v. Charlie WRIGHT or
  • The State of Western Australia v. Audrey Campbell JACOB

University Groups

University groups from a number of faculties (e.g. Law and Education faculties) visit the Francis Burt Law Education Programme to complement their on-campus learning programmes. The programme for university group visits is determined by the purpose of the visit.

How to Book

Telephone: (08) 9324 8686
Email: schools@lawsocietywa.asn.au

Location:
The Old Court House Law Museum, Stirling Gardens, corner of Barrack St and St Georges Tce, Perth (next to the Supreme Court of Western Australia)

Education Resources

Education Resources

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The Francis Burt Law Education Programme provides legal and civics education resources to promote the Western Australian community’s understanding of the law, legal principles and the court system.

Student Resources

Year 11 to 12 Resources

Western Australian Curriculum

Year 11

Year 12

Advanced Resources

Teacher Resources

Other Resources

Court trial scenarios

Magistrates Court Trial: The Trial of James SMART: a scripted Magistrates Court criminal trial scenario.

Supreme Court or District Court Trial: The State of Western Australia v Goldie LOCKS: a scripted District Court criminal trial scenario.

Rule of Law

The Legal Studies page of the Rule of Law Institute of Australia website has numerous rule of law resources for teachers and students including:

  • What is the rule of law and why do we have it? Presentation: Nick Clark
  • The Rule of Law Lecture Series: The Hon. Kevin Lindgren AM QC
  • Video 1: What is the Rule of Law? (Including Western Australian worksheets and flashcards)
  • Video 2: Torts (Including Western Australian worksheets and flashcards)

Advanced legal education resources for the community

In addition, the Programme contributes legal and civics education resources to the Regional and Remote Schools Loan Box Programme.

Special Programmes and Events

Special Programmes and Events

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Lawyer visits to schools network

Lawyer visits to schools is an initiative of the Law Society and is coordinated by the Francis Burt Law Education Programme. The aim is to increase student awareness of the law, legal principles and the court system in Western Australia. The visits provide an exciting opportunity for the legal profession to engage with students and teachers in the community.

Requests for volunteer lawyer visits are initiated by schools and the Law Society circulates the request to members who may be able to accept the request on a volunteer basis. Volunteer lawyers visit schools free of charge and present to students on a topic requested by the teacher that initiates the request. Please see the frequently asked questions for more information.

To register your school, please complete an expression of interest form.

Subsidised Schools Visits Programme

Schools and community organisations that may lack the financial resources to participate in the Francis Burt Law Education Programme are invited to participate in the Subsidised School Visits Programme.

The cost of bus hire and the court visits tour fee is covered by the Law Society so there no cost for schools participating in the Programme.

The programme for groups participating in the Subsidised School Visits Programme adapts according to the needs of each group and may include an empty court activity, observing a court in session, an improvised or scripted court scenario and/or question and answer sessions with invited guests.

Please contact the Law Society to express your interest in the Programme if your school or community organisation lacks the financial resources to facilitate a visit.

Sponsored by

Curtin University
Edith Cowan University
Murdoch University
University of Notre Dame

Cluedunnit Kids Competition

The Cluedunnit Kids Competition provides Year 6 (and 5/6 composite) students with an opportunity to “investigate” a criminal offence with the goal of identifying the offender and submitting their findings to a panel of experts from the legal profession. Students compete against other Year 6 students from schools across Western Australia.

Read more

Regional and Remote Schools Loan Box Programme

Legal and civic education resources are available though the Regional and Remote Schools Loan Box Programme. The Law Society prepares these boxes in conjunction with the Constitutional Centre of Western Australia, the Parliamentary Education Office and the Electoral Education Centre. The content is focused on the Western Australian Civics and Citizenship Curriculum for years 4-9.

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The box includes:

  • ‘Rule or Law?’ card game (years 4-9)
  • All Rise: a legal and civics worksheet booklet (years 4-9)
  • advice for arranging a visit to the Magistrates Court
  • teacher solution packs for each resource

These boxes are available, free of charge, for use by schools in the remote and regional areas of Western Australia for a period of one month. Further information about the Regional and Remote Schools Loan Box Programme can be obtained from the Constitutional Centre of Western Australia.

Youth Civics Leadership Day

As a part of Law Week the Law Society invites schools to nominate two Year 10 students, who have demonstrated leadership skills and/or civics awareness within their school and/or community, to participate in the Youth Civics Leadership Day Law Week event.

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Participants take part in a one-day leadership skills and civics awareness event at the Old Court House Law Museum in Perth. The event enhances the leadership skills and civics awareness that the participants have already displayed within their school and community.

Participants meet and interact with other like-minded students and young professionals from the legal profession during the day. The Programme includes a session on civic awareness and the law, a leadership skills workshop and a presentation from a motivational speaker. During the luncheon, participants have the opportunity to interact with young lawyers from a number of diverse organisations A Supreme Court Judge presents students with a Certificate of Participation at the end of the event

Participation is by invitation only.

2017 Youth Civics Leadership Day

Date: Monday, 15 May 2017
Time: 9am to 3.30pm
Cost: Free
Venue: Old Court House Museum
Contact: schools@lawsocietywa.asn.au

Sir Ronald Wilson Lecture

Established in 1989, the Sir Ronald Wilson Lecture provides an opportunity for a person learned in the law and familiar with the public face of law to address issues of relevance to the Year 11-12 Politics and Law curriculum in a public forum.

Judicial Review: Populism, the rule of law, natural justice and judicial independence
5.30pm to 7.00pm | Tuesday, 1 August 2017 | Central Park Conference Centre Theatrette
Presenter: The Hon Robert French AC
Target audience: Year 11 and 12 Politics and Law ATAR course students and teachers
Cost: Free
View Sir Ronald Wilson Lecture flyer
For enquiries, please contact schools@lawsocietywa.asn.au

 

Sponsored by

Murdoch University

Read more

Previous presenters include:

  • Sir Ronald Wilson
  • the Right Honourable Lord MacKay of Clashfern
  • the Right Honourable Sir Ninian Stephen
  • Professor Rod Morgan
  • the Right Honourable Sir Zelman Cowen
  • Professor George Winterton
  • the Hon Justice Michael Kirby
  • the Hon Justice Alastair Nicholson
  • the Honourable Richard McGarvie
  • Her Honour Justice Carmel McLure
  • Father Frank Brennan AO
  • Chief Judge Antoinette Kennedy
  • Professor David Weisbrot
  • the Honourable Justice Robert French (as he then was)
  • Professor Greg Craven
  • the Hon Justice Michael Barker
  • the Hon Justice Michael Murray
  • Adjunct Professor Dennis Eggington
  • Associate Professor Mary Anne Kenny
  • Ms Tammy Solonec
  • Winthrop Professor Stephen Smith
  • Mr Greg McIntyre SC

The Sir Ronald Wilson Lecture is directed at Year 11-12 Politics and Law students and teachers, however the profession are also invited to this popular lecture. A mix of secondary students, law students, members of the general public and members of the legal profession (including the Judiciary) are often present at the lecture.

To download past lecture papers and videos please visit Education Resources

2017 Sir Ronald Wilson Lecture

Presenter: TBC
Topic: TBC
Date:
Monday, 31 July or Tuesday, 1 August 2017
Time: 5.30pm to 7.00pm
Cost: Free
Venue: Central Perth location
Contact: schools@lawsocietywa.asn.au

Professional Development for Teachers and Other Professionals

The Law Society is committed to delivering professional learning opportunities that are meaningful and useful for teachers and other professionals. The Law Society aims to:

  • present two professional learning events every year
  • host the professional learning events, where possible, at fixed times every year (Week 9 of Term 1 and Week 8 of Term 4)
  • hold events that are interactive in nature and include contributions from various agencies
  • the events will be full day or half-day workshops

Professional Learning Programme Schedule

Year 7-10 Secondary Teachers Civics and Citizenship Professional Learning Day

The Francis Burt Law Education Programme has developed Western Australian focused year 7-10 secondary school programmes and resources mapped to the Western Australian Civics and Citizenship Curriculum. This workshop aims to improve secondary teachers’ understanding of essential legal principles, court personnel and the WA court hierarchy. Participants also observe a criminal matter in the Supreme Court or District Court.

Date: Monday, 27 November 2017 (Term 4, Week 8)
Time: TBC
Cost: $200 (morning tea and lunch included)
Venue: TBC
Registrations: Please email a completed registration form to schools@lawsocietywa.asn.au no later than Monday, 13 November 2017.

 

Year 3-6 Primary Teachers Civics and Citizenship Professional Learning Day

The Francis Burt Law Education Programme has developed Western Australian focused year 3-6 primary school programmes and resources mapped to the Western Australian Civics and Citizenship Curriculum. This workshop aims to improve primary teachers’ understanding of essential legal principles, court personnel and the Western Australian court hierarchy. Participants also observe a Magistrates Court in session.

Date: Monday, 11 December 2017 (Term 4, Week 10)
Time: TBC
Cost: $200 (morning tea and lunch included)
Venue: TBC
Registrations: Please email a completed registration form to schools@lawsocietywa.asn.au no later than Monday, 27 November 2017.

The Hypothetical

Co-presented by the Law Society and Legal Aid WA, the Hypothetical is a panel discussion of a range of topical hypothetical scenarios concerning youth. Example topics include out of control parties, drug abuse, stealing, high speed car chases, driving without a licence, rights and responsibilities when interacting with police, underage drinking and supply of alcohol to minors.

The Hypothetical targets Year 7-10 students. The scenarios have been developed to give students an understanding of the factors that are considered by the courts, prisons and community services when dealing with young offenders. Members of the panel may include representatives from Legal Aid WA, the Western Australian Police, the Children’s Court of Western Australia, the Juvenile Justice Team and other youth focused community service organisations.

The audience is encouraged to interact with the panel and students are encouraged to bring their own relevant questions and/or scenarios to the event.

2017 Hypothetical

Date: Wednesday, 21 June 2017
Target audience: Year 7-10 students
Time: 1pm – 2.30pm
Cost: Free
Venue: The Supreme Court of Western Australia
Event flyer
Registrations: Essential. Please email schools@lawsocietywa.asn.au

Testimonials

Testimonials

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The Hon Wayne Martin AC, Chief Justice of Western Australia

The Hon Chief Justice Wayne Martin ACIn order to function effectively, courts must be accepted and supported by the communities they serve. It is therefore vital that citizens have a reasonable understanding of the judicial system and its characteristics. A very good way of increasing levels of understanding is through the education programmes delivered by the Francis Burt Law Education Programme.

By increasing community understanding of the courts and the judicial process, the Programme enhances respect for the rule of law and acceptance of the authority of the courts, while at the same time improving the capacity of people who lack the resources to obtain legal representation to participate effectively in legal proceedings.

The programmes provided are also of considerable value to the legal profession, by enhancing the community’s understanding of, and respect for, the services which members of that profession, including members of the Law Society, provide.

His Honour Chief Judge Kevin Sleight, District Court of Western Australia

The District Court of Western Australia is very supportive of the Francis Burt Law Education Programme.  The Programme performs an important task of supporting schools instructing students on the fundamentals of our legal system, including the role of the courts within the concept of the rule of law. The importance of students being educated about the legal system (an essential part of a democratic society) was explained by Sir Francis Burt in a short address in 1987:

“When I joined the Air Force to fly aeroplanes it seemed to assume without question that I should be taught the basic principle of aero-dynamics.  —  [T]hen I was taught how to fly the thing —- so at the end of the day the number of landings would be equal to the number of take-offs.  —  In the same way it would seem to me —- obvious that if a democracy is to be a system of government, ultimately resting upon the ordinary men and women living within it — then they should know how it works and how to work it.”

As a part of this educational process, the Programme provides an important opportunity for students to visit the courts, have the processes of the courts explained to them and, on occasions, to be addressed by one of the judges.

The District Court congratulates the Law Society on the occasion of the 30th Anniversary of the Francis Burt Law Education Programme and wishes it every success in the future.

Chief Magistrate Steven Heath, Magistrates Court of Western Australia

The Magistrates Court is always very happy to have the Francis Burt Law Education Programme lead community legal education programmes through the Court.

Many people within the community will never have cause to enter a Court. Without the opportunity to visit they are left with the misguided impression that what is shown on television is how Courts function.

Others may need to attend Court at some point in their lives and an understanding of the different Courts and how they operate will alleviate some of the inevitable anxiety and assist them in accessing the appropriate advice and support.

Department of the Attorney General

Why does the Department of the Attorney General allow the Francis Burt Law Education Programme and the Old Court House Law Museum to provide services from the Old Court House?

Allowing the Law Society of Western Australia to provide both services from the Old Court House aligns strongly with the Department’s mission statement to provide high quality and accessible justice, legal, registry, guardianship and trustee services to meet the needs of the community and the Western Australian Government. The services delivered at the Old Court House raise community awareness about the justice and legal system in particular.

The combination of services at the Old Court House, including the Programme, Museum and Mock Trial Competition provides opportunities for the wider community, including the many students who attend, to understand the rule of law, the background to our legal system, and how courts work in today’s society.

What do the Programme, the Museum and Mock Trial competition contribute to community legal education and/or access to justice in WA?

The Programme and Mock Trial competition both focus on educating school groups and contribute immensely to community education, particularly of young people, through the provision of programmes and resources mapped to the WA curriculum. Vocational college groups and community groups also regularly engage with the Programme, which demonstrates its broad reach. A greater understanding of the justice system contributes to greater legal education and access to justice.

It is important to note that access to justice extends beyond the provision of legal services to those in the community who may not have the financial resources to do so. Access to justice also includes raising community awareness and understanding of the law, the legal system, and legal issues in WA. The Law Society’s Education and Community Services certainly work towards achieving that goal as reflected in the goals of the Programme and the Museum:

The Programme: Seeks to advance the Western Australian community’s understanding of the law, legal principles and the court system. The Programme operates on the principle that all people must understand the law and the legal system, which affects their daily lives.

Museum: To connect people to the law of Western Australia and to inspire reflective discussion.

The Mock Trial Competition: Gives secondary school students the opportunity to experience the atmosphere and the sense of formal proceedings inside a genuine courtroom. These kinds of experiences may prove to be formative for young people, allowing them to imagine a future for themselves in that social context, and helping them to set some career goals for themselves. The competition also enables students to meet and form relationships with practising lawyers in our community. They can ask questions and begin to establish a pathway into the world of legal professionals.

What in your opinion is the value of the Programme, the Museum and Mock Trial Competition contribute to the Law Society, its members and the wider community?

The Department understands each service provides significant value to the Law Society, its members and the wider community in numerous ways. These include the level of engagement with the community, which has broadened in recent years, and participant feedback on each service is very positive, with the majority of respondents rating the service as very good or excellent. It is important to note that each of these services in their own way raises community awareness and understanding of the law, the legal system, legal issues and the role of the legal profession.

In conclusion, learning to communicate through proper channels is a key skill in society.  The Mock Trial Competition requires students to frame their arguments in appropriate and acceptable terms.  They must adopt the standard protocols used in the courtroom.  This enables them to develop an understanding that the formal codes of behaviour and language help to protect the integrity of the hearings, and, in turn, the rights of citizens.

Teachers and Students

Tim Poga, Head of Social Sciences Learning Area, Mercedes College

What is your favourite Francis Burt Law Education Programme activity or resource or programme? Why?

My favourite resource would be the Sentencing in Western Australia – Comparative Study as it immerses secondary students into the principles behind the Sentencing Act WA (1995) in an engaging and relevant way. This activity provokes really interesting questions from students which always leads to further learning and discussion.

What does the Programme contribute to community legal education and/or access to justice in WA?

The Programme and its staff allow educators such as myself to tap into high quality activities, resources and experiences which a classroom teacher like myself does not have the time or expertise to create. Our politics and law topics at Mercedes College would not be as engaging and enjoyable for students if we weren’t able to access the program and some of the very specific resources which come with it.

What in your opinion is the value of the Programme to the Law Society, its members and the wider community?

I think the Programme gives the Law Society a high quality community legal resource centre and service it can be proud of, which reflects the skills and work of its members and the legal profession. It gives the community of Western Australia a means to tap into legal education and experiences which are relevant to the people of our state.

Lisa Reynders, Acting Head of Humanities, Sacred Heart College

What is your favourite Francis Burt Law Education Programme activity or resource or programme? Why?

A favourite activity of our students at Sacred Heart College, Sorrento when they visit the Programme, is the opportunity to participate in a scripted mock trial. Students assume the role of various court officials as they partake in a criminal trial scenario.

As they work through an authentic experience of the processes and etiquette of the courtroom, the students are able to develop a richer understanding of their studies of the Western Australian Curriculum.  The programme also encourages students to become active learners as they engage with the facts of the case as well as the rules of evidence. Assuming the roles of court personnel also helps students immerse themselves in the legal process in a creative way. For those students selected to be judges, this further adds to the impact of their experience making this one of their favourite Programme activities.

What does the Programme contribute to community legal education and/or access to justice in WA?

One of the tangible benefits of the programme is that students can separate any misconceptions of the American legal system. Although not as fast paced and energetic as Law and Order or Suits the students contextual understanding of the operation of a courtroom, provides a rich environment for those students interested in pursing a future career in legal studies. The symbolism and historical context of The Old Court House also provides students with an appreciation of the legal system and the importance of our British legal history.

Led by highly skilled, knowledgeable and professional presenters, students are invited to ask questions, probe the facts of the case, and assist in dispelling misconceptions of the law in a safe and encouraging manner.

What in your opinion is the value of the Programme to the Law Society, its members and the wider community?

Overall, the Programme offers more than a simulated courtroom session to our students. Forever etched in their minds is an experience that could never be gleaned from a classroom or textbook alone, or alas a season of Rake. If the Western Australian legal system hopes to renew its ranks then programmes like this are sure to engage a new generation of keen or eager students passionate about our jurisprudence system.

Stephen Pountney, Deputy Principal, Ashdale Secondary College

What is your favourite activity, resource or programme? Why?

Ashdale Secondary College has been involving students from a range of age groups with the Programme for several years now, and there are many aspects of the programme that are extremely useful and enjoyable. For younger students, participation in court role plays, both in the Old Court House museum and in school through utilising online resources, has helped to bring the learning to life, whereas for older students the opportunities to witness the procedures of real court cases has significantly aided their understanding of legal theory.

What does the Programme contribute to community legal education and/or access to justice in WA?

The Programme takes learning beyond the classroom and provides students with opportunities that would be difficult to provide in a school setting alone. In addition to the multitude of experiential learning the Programme continues to develop its online bank of resources for use by schools, which, in addition to Civics & Citizenship education in schools, contributes to the ongoing development of legal understanding in society.

What in your opinion is the value of the Programme to the Law Society, its members and the wider community?

My ongoing experiences with the Programme have demonstrated that it is highly valuable programme in supporting and providing both fundamental and enrichment legal education to students across the state of Western Australia. Its role is highly appreciated by educators throughout the state and its programmes are widely utilised.

Dr Bill Allen, Senior Lecturer, Education Faculty, Edith Cowan University

What is one of your most significant experiences on or observing a tour or programme?

An excursion to the Francis Burt Law Education Programme is one of the highlights of the year for Education students training to be HASS teachers, and this year nearly 70 students have enjoyed one.

The highlight would always be the visits to the two different courts. For many, it is their first visit to a Law Court – thank goodness, perhaps – so actually seeing the court processes at work, and their realities are very important. As Dean always points out, the actualities of court are very different to the overly-dramatised processes seen on TV or in the movies. What is always surprising is how the students quickly become engrossed in cases. One incident stands out: it was in the Magistrates Courts when an old man lost his case against the Council for having sand and other materials on the pavement outside his house. The fine of several thousand dollars and similar payment of costs had a deep impact and I am sure the case will be recounted in several classrooms in schools in the future.

What does the Programme contribute to community legal education and/or access to justice in WA?

The Programme plays an enormous part in raising awareness of legal processes in WA. In our case, it is preparing teachers who do not study any legal education to teach the subject better in HASS classes. In doing so, students become more aware of, and can teach students, their rights before the law –as Dean points out “Innocent until proven guilty”. The Curriculum links have been painstakingly prepared and are an excellent resource.

What in your opinion is the value of the Programme to the Law Society, its members and the wider community?

Teachers become aware of the other services the Law Society provides to schools, such as lawyers for Mock Trials and to talk to classes. The Programme is a great flagship for the Law Society and hopefully one longer term outcome is that potential lawyers are attracted to the profession.

Paul Manning, Teacher in Charge, Humanities and Social Sciences, York District High School

As an experienced educator, I feel that the services provided by the Programme are an invaluable tool supporting work done in the classroom in the Humanities learning area. Over the past five or six years, students here at York District High School have been involved in case re-enactment in the Old Court House, empty court activity and viewing of a live court case.

Not only does this experience reinforce class taught concepts but it provides a “real” feel for Law that cannot be gained in the classroom and has undoubtedly triggered many students to consider pursuing a career in Law.

The highlight of our Year 10 course is the trip to Perth to participate in this program. The low cost – high impact activities are an excellent engagement and participatory tool for students of all abilities. These activities are well supported by the excellent resources that are available online to reinforce the excursion for all years in the Secondary curriculum.

The Old Court House re-enactment is a hit with all the students. Dressing up in wigs and gowns and role playing gets all involved, even students who in the classroom are usually disengaged. Having photos taken of the day is an excellent idea as they usually wind up in yearbooks and are great mementos of the school year.

The empty courthouse role play is good for reinforcing work on the Court structure. Visualising a court in session is not nearly as good as actually being in one. This helps students learn about the who’s who in court cases.

The big hit though is the experience of being able to view a live case. The chat and conversation afterwards help stimulate class room work and engages students of all abilities. It provides an excellent link to class taught concepts.

Over the years, the Programme has provided an excellent service to schools that I hope continues for many years to come.

Jeneva Gors, Year 10 Student, York District High School

On Monday, 5 December, 22 of York District High School’s best and brightest Year 10 students made the 1 ½ hour journey from York into Perth City to visit the Law Courts. Accompanied by teachers, Mr Paul Manning and Mr Jordan Truscott, we acted out a mock trial in the original court building and then we walked up to District Court to watch a real court case.

I think I speak for everyone when I say that we all thoroughly enjoyed the experience of acting out the trial in the historic building, especially when we all got to dress up and try the wigs on (Mr Truscott looked very dapper in his robes). It was a fantastic precursor for watching the real case because we learnt about all the roles inside the court and how the judicial system works.

Following a short walk through the beautiful Supreme Court Gardens, we ventured into the District Court to watch a real case. We walked through the metal detectors (no problems there) and made our way up to the 7th floor. Being country kids, we don’t often get to see multistorey, let alone look out the window of one, so that in itself was spectacle (it was hilarious seeing Mr Manning squirm over being so high up).

We were very privileged to be sitting in on a real murder case. It was very silent in the room, except for the sound of the Defendant’s voice. Proceedings continued for about half an hour before the Judge called a break for lunch. Everyone bowed and left the room.

My personal highlight of the day was seeing the original courthouse building and looking at all the historical items out the back – that was a real treat.

The day was such a fantastic experience and we all enjoyed it very much. All we could do on the way home was talk about how lucky we were to sit in on a real murder trial. We couldn’t believe our luck!

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

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Court Visits

How much do the tours cost?

School and Community Groups

(including primary school, secondary school, vocational college (formerly known as TAFE) and community groups)

  • 1 hour tour: $6 per participant (minimum charge: $60)
  • 1 hour 30 min tour: $7 per participant (minimum charge: $70)
  • 2 hour 15 min tour: $8 per participant (minimum charge: $80)
  • 3 hour 15 min tour: $10 per participant (minimum charge: $100)

International Language College Groups

  • 1 hour – 2 hour 15 min tour: $10 per participant (minimum charge: $100)

Professional Groups

  • 1 hour – 2 hour 15 min tour: $25 per participant (minimum charge: $250)

GST included. No charges for group leaders and assistants.

What is the maximum number of participants on a tour?

The maximum number of participants on a tour is 30. If there are more than 30 participants alternative arrangements can be made through consultation with the Education Officers. Limits on the number of participants on group tours are to ensure groups are able to access the public galleries in the courts.

Please note that two groups of 30 students can be scheduled at the same time. In such situations the groups will rotate through the education activities.

What supervision and behaviour is expected?

All schools are required to provide an adult supervisor to student ratio of 1:15. Therefore a class of 30 students will require a minimum of two adult supervisors, one of which must be a qualified teacher.

Supervising adults are requested to keep their students well-behaved and in their groups throughout the visit. Please make your students aware of the expectations regarding behaviour prior to the visit as the court environment is very formal and any disruption to the court is unacceptable and will not be tolerated.

How can I arrange a tour?

Please provide the following details when arranging a tour:

  • possible dates for your group visit
  • your preferred tour option
  • your preferred starting schedule (see below for options)
  • number of participants
  • type of participants
  • name of teacher/group leader
  • name of school/organisation
  • contact details (postal address, phone number, email address)
  • confirmation of whether bus parking will be required

Morning tours are best scheduled from 9.45am or 10.00am and afternoon tours are best scheduled from 1.00pm. There is flexibility in the starting time of the tours and alternative times can be arranged through consultation with the Education Officers.

Contact the Education Officers on (08) 9324 8686 or schools@lawsocietywa.asn.au.

Is there parking for the groups?

Free bus parking, courtesy of the City of Perth, can be arrange for groups provided 48 hours notice is given. Please note that the City of Perth will not allow passenger vehicles to park in the bays reserved by the Law Society for bus parking under any circumstances.

Do you have public liability insurance?

All courts, including the Supreme Court, District Court and Magistrates Court have Public Liability Cover with Risk Cover. The Francis Burt Law Educaton Programme also has a Public Liability Certificate of Currency

Do you have an emergency evacuation plan?

The Francis Burt Law Education Programme has an evacuation procedure for the whole of the Old Court House.

In the event that an evacuation is required, it is essential that all school visitors take directions from the Education Officers in the Old Court House and the appointed Supreme Court, District Court and Magistrates Court Fire Wardens in those courts.

Teachers can ensure student safety by meeting the minimum supervision requirements and by ensuring that students stay in their groups with their adult supervisors whilst at the Museum and Courts. Once evacuation from the building occurs, all visitors will be assembled at a common point. Teachers will then be able to do a roll call there and will need to immediately alert the Fire Wardens if any students are missing. Please see the Emergency Response Plan for more information.

Do the Education Officers have current Working with Children Cards?

Yes, the Law Society ensures that the Education Officers have current Working with Children Cards.

Where is the Francis Burt Law Education Programme?

We are located in Stirling Gardens in Perth next to the Supreme Court of Western Australia. View Map

Are there other civics education providers we can also visit?

The following civics education providers are located within a convenient distance from the courts in Perth:

Lawyer Visits to School Network

For Schools

How can I request a lawyer visit to my school?

To request a lawyer visit to your school, please submit a completed Expression of Interest form.

How much notice is required to organise a lawyer visit to a school?

Please provide at least four weeks notice prior to the preferred dates of the visit. The Law Society will do its best to coordinate a volunteer lawyer willing to accommodate requests, however we cannot guarantee that the request will be taken up.

How will the lawyer visit to schools be scheduled?

On acceptance of a request the Law Society will provide the volunteer lawyer with your contact details. The volunteer will then contact you directly to coordinate the visit at a time convenient for both parties.

What will the volunteer lawyer present?

The Expression of Interest form requires you to identify a requested topic. When you speak to the volunteer lawyer you should specify the type of presentation required, e.g. a lecture, a talk interspersed with questions to your class or a simple question and answer period.

Does the volunteer lawyer require a current Working with Children Check?

Compliance with Working with Children Checks remains the responsibility of the individual volunteer lawyer and the school.

For Lawyers

How can I participate in the Lawyer Visits to Schools Network?

Lawyer visits to schools requests are advertised in Friday Facts. Please to contact the Education Officers at the Law Society to express an interest in volunteering to take up a request.

How will the lawyer visit to schools be scheduled?

On acceptance of a lawyer visit request and your expression of interest to take up the request, the Law Society will provide you with the teacher’s contact details. You are then required to contact the teacher directly to coordinate the visit at a time convenient for both parties.

How long does a lawyer visit to schools last?

The average lawyer visit to schools lasts approximately 45 minutes – 1 hour, however the length of the presentation depends on the topic and schedule availability.  You should discuss this with the teacher when you are arranging the visit.

What is presented in a lawyer visit to schools?

The topic of the presentation is requested by the teacher when they complete the expression of interest form.

You should confirm the type of presentation required with the teacher. Examples include a lecture, a talk interspersed with questions to your class or a simple question and answer period.

You are encouraged to consider the target audience when planning the presentation. An interactive presentation in which students have the opportunity to ask, and respond to, questions is likely to engage the audience.

Do I need a current Working with Children Check?

The Law Society has been advised by the Working With Children Unit that any person who volunteers to work in a school environment, even if occasionally and in the presence of a teacher, should still consider applying for a volunteer working with children card.

The application form can be obtained from any Post Office. The volunteer Working with Children Card costs $10.00 and is valid for three years.

Apply for a volunteer Working with Children Card

There is a provision referred to as the ‘five day threshold’ as outlined below.  However as a matter of good practice volunteers should obtain a WWC check clearance.

“What if I only work in child-related work occasionally?

If you work in child-related work for 5 days or less in a calendar year you will not be committing an offence if you do not apply for a WWC Check (except for people working in connection with a child care service and if you have ever committed a class 1 offence as an adult). You may, however, choose to apply. If you are unsure whether you may work in child-related work for more than 5 days in a calendar year it is recommended that you apply for a WWC Check.    If you do not apply for a WWC Check because you do not work on more than 5 days in a calendar year, you are still required under the legislation to:
– report any relevant change in your criminal record, or
– cease child-related work immediately if convicted of a Class 1 offence as an adult.”

Source:  www.checkwwc.wa.gov.au

Compliance with Working with Children Checks remains the responsibility of the individual volunteer lawyer and the school. 

Will lawyers be reimbursed for travel?

Lawyers volunteering to participate in these visits are not reimbursed for any travel costs incurred.