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Wednesday, March 30th 2016

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Politics and Law Excursion Highlights

On Thursday 24 March, the Year 11 Politics and Law students were in the District Court in Perth to hear the sentencing of a man who had pleaded guilty to aggravated assault. The facts of the case had all the excitement that grabs one’s attention – a hostage situation, a gas bottle, a lighter and a potential explosion. The judge cleared the court before the case began and came over to the students to explain a few of the challenges of deciding sentence in the case, which helped us to follow the sentencing once it began. As the process unfolded, students were able to muse over where they will be one day while they gazed across the people in the court – a Judge’s Associate, a Barrister, a Journalist reporting on the case in the media or even a Judge? Our daydreams seemed to gain a little substance when one of the legal counsel came over on her way out and said with a nod, “Newman College. Good school. I went there.”
Future possibilities were made even more apparent when we made our way up the hill to Parliament House. There we were met by our local member of parliament, Mr Sean L’Estrange, who later treated us to fruit juice and muffins. He gave us a little background into why he became a politician, answered our questions about the challenges he has faced in his local electorate in the past year and spoke of meeting our new Principal, Mr Finneran. We then enjoyed fifteen minutes of Question Time in the Legislative Assembly – the highlight of the day. We also had the opportunity to watch the Upper House, the Legislative Council, discuss the conduct of a recent parliamentary committee inquiry into the RSPCA. We learned that parliament is more than just a symbol of our democracy, but that it is democracy at work.
Cath Bagg, Head of Humanities

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