OUR Year 12 Government and Politics students took part in a Virtual Debate organised by the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom on June 30th.

Pupils considered the motion: ‘Do stop and search powers strike a fair balance between the rights of an individual and the interests of society?’

Sharon Jackson, Teacher of Government and Politics at King’s Ely Senior, said: “Students were divided into three groups – for, against and judges. What made this debate particularly exciting was that each group had their own lawyer coach to help them! The lawyer coaches were all young professionals from the Department of Trade and the Treasury, who willingly gave up their time to take part and mentor.

“As well as helping pupils prepare for the debate, they also participated in a Q&A session, which provided them with lots of advice about careers in law and the civil service. The students had fully prepared for the debate and each side had very strong arguments. It was great to see them using cases that had come before the Supreme Court and referencing statute law, including anti-terror legislation. They even used a local example from Ely, when considering if people from the BAME community were disproportionately stopped and searched.

“The judges asked some very probing questions and demanded further clarification on points raised by both teams. They had a very difficult decision as both sides had done a fantastic job but in the end they decided that those arguing against the motion won.

“Mr Simon Josiffe from the Supreme Court was really impressed with the research that the students had undertaken leading up to the day and the quality of the debating. Indeed he said it was one of the best school debates he had seen. Well done to all the students involved!”

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