Courthouse opens doors for Law Day
Tuesday, Apr 21, 2015 06:00 am
Dressed in her best yellows, Snow White stood on trial last week in a St. Paul courtroom for break-and-enter. When a jury, made up of residents mostly under the age of 10, was asked if the princess was guilty or innocent, the verdict was a little hard to decipher, with some hands going up in the air twice, for both verdicts.
But, in the end, it was all for fun. Students and children, along with adults and employees from various organizations, enjoyed the entertaining mock trial, while also learning a little bit about the Canadian justice system during St. Paul’s second annual Law Day.
One of the event’s head organizers, Renee Moore, described the day as “fabulous,” adding, she was sure the students and visitors learned a lot during the different events going on at the St. Paul Courthouse on April 17.
Two mock trials in English and two in French kept the courtrooms busy, while storytelling, and talks about road safety also kept everyone’s ears open. Over 20 exhibitors were set up on the main and second floors of the courthouse also.
Leslie Keith, the coordinator of the Alberta Law Library in the St. Paul courthouse, took time to offer people tours of the large room. The rows of books are often used by lawyers and people who choose to defend themselves in court, but the library is a resource that could soon disappear, as law libraries slowly close across the province.
Keith has been at her job for nearly 25 years, and clearly knows the ins and outs of the library.
“This job has taught me I wouldn’t want to be a judge,” says Keith with a laugh, adding she wouldn’t want to be responsible for making the tough decisions judges make on a daily basis.
She also has copies of the criminal code on hand, and enjoys showing people some of the more strange laws on the books.
“There’s all kinds of fun stuff in the criminal code,” she says, such as laws dealing with witchcraft and storytelling.
By the end of the morning, Moore says over 230 people walked through the doors of the courtroom on Law Day. Although that number is down from last year, she says the students and community members that did attend got a lot out of the day.
“We’re still super happy.”