Students from Mercy College in Dublin’s Coolock took part in a ‘mock court’ competition at UCD’s Sutherland School of Law this week.
This marks the conclusion of the Legal Eagles schools project, a 10-week education programme on the legal system, run by Community Law & Mediation, which was established in Coolock in 1975 as the first independent, community-based law centre in Ireland.
The project, funded by Dublin City Council, is aimed at transition year students and involves a series of classroom-based talks on how the Irish legal system works.
The students then test out their courtroom skills at a ‘mock court’ competition in UCD’s Sutherland School of Law, taking on the roles of prosecution, defence, witnesses and jury.
Chief executive Rose Wall said: “The Legal Eagles schools project is a fun and engaging way for students to learn about the Irish legal system and how to apply the law to real life situations.
“We were really impressed by the students who participated in this year’s programme, and the spirited debate that took place at the mock court.
“In our view, education is key to breaking down the social, cultural and psychological barriers which prevent people from accessing justice.
"Our free legal advice, representation and mediation services are therefore underpinned by community education programmes such as the Legal Eagles schools project and Know Your Rights talks."
Rose Wall thanked Dublin City Council and the UCD Sutherland School of Law for their support in delivering the project.
Visit www.communitylawandmediation.ie for further information on the Legal Eagles project and other services.