Have fun learning new skills, challenging yourself and developing confidence in a demanding environment.
Typically, classes are broken up into trial groups and assigned a particular charge to prosecute or defend. The specific scenario and evidence is entirely up to the creativity of the group. The course teaches the theory of criminal procedure as the groups develop their cases and assume critical roles such as: victims, citizen witnesses, police officers, defence and Crown counsel. Theory is then transformed into realistic and challenging adversarial environment that requires preparation, team work and assertiveness. Approximately one-third of the semester is devoted to mock trials, with each lasting about two hours. Students from other trial groups act as jurors and assess the quality of the evidence.
Students often assume that guilt would be relatively easy to establish in a mock court situation. Nothing could be further from the truth. Students are encouraged to think critically about the evidence and challenge the admissibility and merits of the Crown's case in a highly competitive environment. While the teacher acts as the trial judge determining the admissibility of evidence, students have the responsibility of determining if the Crown has met its requirement of proving the charge beyond a reasonable doubt.
During the capstone course, “Court Preparation and Testimony”, students play the role of actors to stage a crime scene within the lab. The Forensic Identification students must investigate and process the crime scene by applying the knowledge and skills they have gained over the term and utilize all of the forensic equipment available to them. The students then create 3D crime scene models, photo logs, fingerprint and footwear evidence, along with the collection of forensic evidence including DNA. The students then present their evidence, illustrations and reports in the Court Room where they are subject to a Voir Dire hearing to test the admissibility of their evidence. This applies to the curriculum by utilizing the program learning outcomes from a variety of courses within the Forensic Identification program.
The courtroom is in the Annex in AN105 and is equipped as a traditional court with a judge's bench, witness box, and counsel tables.
Mock court has been utilized as a teaching platform in both the Police Foundations diploma program (8 years) and more recently on the Criminal Justice BAA program (3 years).