Zootopia-based trial for kids part of Law Day this week­end

Times Colonist - - The Capital -

The pub­lic is in­vited to the Vic­to­ria court­house on Sat­ur­day to cel­e­brate Law Day with po­lice dog demon­stra­tions and tours of the pris­oner cells and sher­iff vans.

This year’s theme is Ac­cess to Jus­tice. The open house will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Spon­sored by the Cana­dian and Vic­to­ria Bar As­so­ci­a­tions, Law Day rec­og­nizes the sign­ing of the Cana­dian Char­ter of Rights and Free­doms by the Queen and Prime Min­is­ter Pierre Trudeau in 1982. Its goal is to in­form the pub­lic about ac­cess to law and the jus­tice sys­tem.

From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., peo­ple can meet a sher­iff and tour the cells where ac­cused peo­ple are held be­fore they are brought into court.

At 11 a.m., pro­vin­cial court Judge Carmen Rogers and Mas­ter Carolyn Bouck will give a talk and an­swer ques­tions in court­room 203.

Vic­to­ria po­lice dogs will be put through their paces at noon on the lawn of Christ Church Cathe­dral.

A mock jury trial for chil­dren, based on the movie Zootopia, be­gins at 1 p.m. in court­room 301. Char­ac­ters will be in cos­tume and chil­dren will be in­vited to sit on the jury.

Com­mu­nity groups that play a role in the jus­tice sys­tem will make pre­sen­ta­tions about the ser­vices they pro­vide in civil, crim­i­nal and fam­ily-law mat­ters.

Through­out the day, 14 teams from 10 high schools will com­pete in the B.C. Pro­vin­cial High School Mock Trial Com­pe­ti­tion.

The com­pe­ti­tion, spon­sored by the Jus­tice Ed­u­ca­tion So­ci­ety and the Vic­to­ria Bar As­so­ci­a­tion, be­gins at 9:30 a.m. The stu­dents have been pre­par­ing for months to take part in a con­tro­ver­sial mur­der trial.

“It’s not just the stu­dents play­ing the Crown and the de­fence, stu­dents also play the wit­nesses and the ac­cused. There is a lot of tal­ent and it is very en­ter­tain­ing,” said guest judge Michael But­ter­field.

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