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UCDSB Marks Law Day with Mock Trial
UCDSB Students Participate in Mock Trial to Celebrate Law Day
Posted on 12/19/2018
2018 Law Day

December 19, 2018 (Brockville, ON) - Students from Rideau District High School (RDHS), Thousand Islands Secondary School (TISS), and Brockville Collegiate Institute (BCI) participated in a mock trial Tuesday, December 18 to celebrate Law Day. 

The fictional trial of Crystal Gayle was held before Superior Court Justice John Johnston at the Superior Court of Justice in Brockville. TISS student Tea Stafford played the role of Gayle, the defendant  who was charged with possession for the purposes of trafficking.  Gayle claimed she unwittingly returned from Alexandria Bay driving her parents’ car, only to discover her boyfriend used the trip to smuggle heroin back to Canada. She was caught by a Brockville Police K-9 unit and arrested. It was up to the mock jury to determine her guilt or innocence. 

High school students acted as junior counsel in the trial. They assisted real lawyers Bryan Laushway (defense) and Stephen Gougeon (Crown), as they made their arguments before Justice Johnston and Student Justice Emma Onstein. 

The prosecution argued that the defendant was “willfully blind” to the smuggling, aware but taking no action to stop it and therefore culpable. However, the defense successfully argued that Stafford’s character should be acquitted. The jury of RDHS students believed she was unaware her shady boyfriend had smuggled the contraband over in a submarine sandwich bag. 

TISS law teacher Larry Henry said the trial was designed to give students a better understanding of the law and how it works. Students learned concepts such as what it means to have proof beyond a reasonable doubt and the onus of proof. 

“It really shows our students in a practical sense all that we’ve been teaching them about regarding criminal law and the trial process,” said Henry. 

Brockville and area high schools have been conducting mock trials with the help of local lawyers and judges for more than 30 years.

For more information, please call:

Larry Henry
Law Teacher
Thousand Islands Secondary School
(613) 342-1100

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