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You can now Skype a Supreme Court justice

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Lady Hale says she’s looking forward to chatting to students in new outreach programme

The Supreme Court has launched a new outreach programme that gives students the opportunity to Skype justices from the comfort of their classrooms.

The aim of ‘Skype A Justice’, which will run as a pilot until June, is to educate students aged approximately 14-18 who would struggle to get to Westminster to see the court in person. Between ten and 60 students can take part on each call. The court is currently in the process of finalising the six schools that will be involved in the pilot (as well as the justices they’ll get to have a natter with), but it’s safe to assume the majority will be based far away from the capital.

Lady Hale, the president of the Supreme Court, said:

“We hope to reach out to young people far beyond our courtrooms here in London, who might otherwise find it difficult to visit us. My colleagues and I are looking forward to talking with the students who, no doubt, will have some very interesting questions for us.”

The conversations that take place between justices, the students and their teachers are private and cannot be recorded, the Supreme Court stresses. Skypees can request to take a photo at the end of the session, though, which the court may or may not allow.

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As for the content of the session, students are asked to prepare questions in advance and are dissuaded from probing justices on politics and current affairs — so no asking Hale who she’s voting for in the upcoming local elections. The children are told to refer to the justice they’re paired with as Lord or Lady followed by their surname.

The new programme is reminiscent of Skype the Speaker, which gives students aged seven to 18 the opportunity to ask questions directly to John Bercow MP, the speaker of the House of Commons. The parliament education service asks for a minimum of 50 students to be present, and recommends preparing 25 questions for Bercow in advance.

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13 Comments

Dave Barrister

It really is wonderful that some people are working hard to raise the profile of the justice system in this time of cynicism.

Anonymous

I’d like to take the opportunity as the first comment of commending the UKSC for taking bona fide steps like this to engage young people.

I really don’t understand the hate that is sometimes levied at this sort of thing by large swathes of LC commentators. It reveals a truly ugly side of the profession and one I seek to challenge in practice.

Anonymous

Classic ***** in LC liking down a decent person’s comment. You disgust me.

This post has been moderated because it breached Legal Cheek’s comments policy.

Anonymous

‘Liking down’?

Anonymous

Licking down?

Anonymous

I liked you down for that.

Anonymous

And I liked you up.

Partner at firm that will not be named as it will cause the name to be deleted when Alex sees it and gets scared

I wish my trainee would say that to me.

Anonymous

This seems like a much more worthwhile initiative than judges appearing on reality TV shows. More of this, please, and less of that.

Diane Abbots Counsel

Great equality programme unless the list of schools consist of Eton, Tonbridge etc

Anonymous

I have some questions for Bercow about Sally’s nighttime exploits…

Oh my

Jesus, take the wheel and stop by Burger King on the way back home.

Anonymous

Young people don’t need to know about the Supreme Court. I wish this attention-seeking woman would just get on with being a judge and give up the politics.

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