MORE than 500 students from across the city will visit Bradford Combined Court next month to learn about the justice system.

The court will open its doors the first two weeks of March to primary and secondary students aged nine to 16 to hold sessions on crimes that "pertinent to children".

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: His Honour Judge Jonathan Rose holds a session for SPRUCE studentsHis Honour Judge Jonathan Rose holds a session for SPRUCE students (Image: Newsquest)

His Honour Judge Jonathan Rose said: "Pre-Covid, we enabled the National Justice Museum to run their schools programme at Bradford Crown Court on two occasions.

"It has in the past been a huge success, attracting some 500 students over the two weeks on which it runs.

"We are delighted that this magnificent programme is returning to Bradford Crown Court this year.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: SPRUCE students learn about the justice systemSPRUCE students learn about the justice system (Image: Newsquest)

"This isn't just for those students interested in becoming lawyers, it's more about learning what law is, how it used in the courts and the civic structure that protects the children and their parents.

"Most people will never see the inside of the courtroom, but this programme give students a chance to come in and see how Crown Court is laid out and participate in the activities.

"It's interesting to see an 11-year-old child sitting in the judge's chair with a wig on.

"They can absolutely be a solicitor, barrister or sit in the judge's chair in the future. This gives them a taste of it."

Judge Rose said that National Justice Museum, which runs the two-week student programme, chooses the curriculum.

Topics for the sessions include knife and hate crime and cyberbullying.

"These issues are particularly pertinent as far as young people are concerned.

"We want to help educate people about knife crime. It's too easy to pull a knife after getting into a silly argument.

"Cyberbullying is also an issue affecting many children. These days you can bully someone by posting on social media, and it goes everywhere."

Judge Rose also explained a number of activities the Bradford Combined Court is doing to reach out to the community.

- SPRUCE (Student Pre-University Court Exposure) – an annual three-day course for Year 12 students interested in careers in law - The Marshalling Programme (University students spending one week sitting-in with a Crown Court Judge) - Bradford Combined Court Centre Open Day on May 13 Speaking about the open day, Judge Rose: "We'll re-enact civil, family and criminal trials. People will get a chance to sit on a jury.

"We'll also give tours of the court and the West Yorkshire Police, prison service and Bradford Police Museum with displays for the community."


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