AROUND 500 school pupils from the Bradford district are attending workshops run by the National Justice Museum at the city’s Crown Court.

The youngsters, aged nine to 17, will see the law brought to life through hands-on learning experiences during a fortnight of events beginning on Monday.

The workshops follow the great success of the project last year when 500 pupils attended the sessions at Bradford Combined Court Centre over ten days.

Judge Jonathan Rose told the Telegraph & Argus he found out about the workshops when he was attending a conference in Nottingham where the National Justice Museum is based.

They were running in London and several different areas of the country and he thought: “Why not Bradford?”

“It is not about kids becoming lawyers.

"It’s about introducing children to the world of justice; how the courts work, who does what and how the court addresses issues; drugs, knife crime, bullying, cybercrime.”

Speaking of last year’s workshops, Judge Rose said: “The take-up was phenomenal.

"I was delighted when I heard the numbers involved; 500 through the door in ten working days."

The project has attracted pupils from a wide variety of Bradford schools and topics, including “knife crime” “robbery” and “blazing car” are tailored to suit the different age groups.

“They don’t come into the courtroom and spend an hour being spoken at.

"The children are assigned roles and they go through a mock trial guided by the facilitators. No one says: ‘This is what you are going to do next’,” Judge Rose said.

The students will create, prepare and present a trial, taking on roles as the judge, jury, barristers, witnesses and the defendant.

They will then debate the best sentencing options after the verdict is delivered.

Speaking both of the workshops and the court Open Day on Saturday, March 14, Judge Rose said: “It’s about informing the public about what’s going on.

"These are not secret courts. It’s vital that the public knows who we are and what we do. This isn’t for the court, it’s for the community.

"This court belongs to Bradford and the surrounding areas.”

The Open Day is designed to demystify the inner workings of the legal profession and the courts.

Events will run from 10am until 4pm and include tours of the building, including courtrooms and cells, plus mock trials and displays from the wide range of organisations which make up the justice system in West Yorkshire.

It is supported by West Yorkshire Police and Bradford Police Museum.

The court centre, in Exchange Square, houses the Crown Court, Family Court, County Court and, on occasions, the Coroners Court.