27 August 2020

Virtual Court Education Program

Article by Ms Caitlin Doble

Virtual Court Education Program

Year 11 and Year 12 Legal Studies students at St Ignatius College were selected to be the pilot school for the Supreme Court of Victoria’s ‘Virtual Court Education Program’ held on Monday 18th August and Thursday 21st August.

The Year 12 students had the pleasure of meeting The Honourable Justice John Champion of the Supreme Court of Victoria and his Associate, Allison Georgia of the Supreme Court. His Honour spoke to the class via Zoom and discussed the many facets of his role including his past role as Director of Public Prosecutions as well as how the court is currently running with Melbourne in Stage 4 lockdown. His Honour stressed that never has social cohesion been more important than now and the court’s role in supporting this theme.

Students were then able to ask His Honour and his Associate questions about their career and life in the law.

The Year 11s had the pleasure of meeting and Zooming with The Honourable Justice Rita Incerti and her two Associates. Her Honour who prior to being a Supreme Court Justice was a teacher for ten years (five of which were spend in Special Education) challenged the students to be more activist in their thinking; read more and be informed.

Her Honour was particularly impressed by one question asked by a Year 11 student. What areas of the law need reform?

Her Honour spoke about alternatives to incarceration such as the Drug and Alcohol Court and the Koori Court, as well as the current debate on #raisetheage.

Her Honour , who oversaw the class action into the Falls Festival case, told us that in September she will be the first Justice to hear a murder trial alone. As the students know, serious Indictable offences such as murder are usually decided by a jury of twelve. This is a prime example of the impact that Covid-19 has had on our judicial system.

I was immensely proud of the way the students conducted themselves with His and Her Honour and am so pleased to know that after the two pilot programs the Virtual Program will be rolled out to other schools throughout Victoria. Many thanks also to Christina Varcoe, Education and Engagement Coordinator .Communications and Engagement of the Supreme Court of Victoria.

Caitlin Doble