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The Courts Service produces Let's Look at the Law, a new C.S.P.E module for students

For the first time ever a comprehensive law module to be introduced in schools...  Interactive module educates students about the work and structure of the courts... explains the running order of a trial... aims to empower young people as active citizens.

"In times past a general knowledge of the law was considered an indispensable aspect of a young person's education and it is a very welcome step that students will now be receiving such instruction. Knowledge of the legal system will help students to develop their identity as citizens and gain greater understanding of the democracy in which we live." Chief Justice Mr John L Murray.

The Chief Justice John L Murray today officially presented the Minister for Education and Science Mary Hanafin T.D. with Let's Look at the Law, a Civic, Social and Political Education (CSPE) module developed by the Courts Service.

Let's Look at the Law is a module designed by the Courts Service in consultation with teachers, legal professionals and the national coordinator for CSPE at the Department of Education and Science.

It is a dynamic and highly interactive series aimed at educating students about specific areas of our legal system while empowering them to be active Irish citizens. Upon completing this module, students will have acquired the knowledge to enable them run a mock trial and organise other action projects. It will educate and inform them about the law for their lifetime as an active citizen.

The module contains twelve lessons with descriptive diagrams, questionnaires and role-playing exercises. The teaching pack provides teachers with step-by-step lesson plans and accompanying notes containing supplementary information. It also contains an interactive DVD that helps to clarify and explain many aspects of the legal system. This DVD can be used to briefly explain and demonstrate concepts before the class participates in an activity related to that concept.

Among the topics covered in the Let's Look at the Law module are:

  • Who's who in the courtroom and the roles they perform.
  • The difference between civil and criminal law.
  • The structure of the courts, from the District Court to the Supreme Court.
  • The running order of a trial.
  • Examining a witness - what can and cannot be asked.

This module is not solely limited to those involved in the teaching of CSPE, as there is much that will appeal to transition year teachers and students, youth groups and anyone involved in educating young Irish citizens.