Year 9 pupils become the judge in latest SUPI event

On Tuesday 15th November, 70 pupils from Bangor Academy and Sixth Form College, and St. Columbanus College, Bangor visited Queen’s as part of the School-University Partnership Initiative. Pupils had the opportunity to learn about Human Rights and engage with researchers from the School of Law, and School of Arts, English and Languages at Queen’s.

Conor McCormick and Eithne Dowds from the School of Law led a workshop entitled ‘What are Human Rights?’. Pupils were divided up into two teams, with one group tasked with drawing up a Human Rights declaration for a fictional country, whilst the other group took on the role of devising evil laws designed to infringe upon Human Rights. The session gave pupils an opportunity to think about the importance of Human Rights, and the way in which they impact everyday life.

The ‘Human Rights in Action’ drama workshop led by Molly Goyer Gorman saw the young people think more closely about the relationship between Human Rights and immigration. Members of the group took on the role of immigrants facing deportation from the UK in order to understand some of the more personal stories behind such cases. All students participated enthusiastically in the workshop – as did some teachers!

The final session of the day gave the young people the opportunity to become the judge in the same cases they had encountered during the earlier drama workshop. A few enthusiastic volunteers took on the role of human rights lawyers defending those facing deportation during the hearing, hosted in the state-of-the-art moot court room in the new School of Law. All pupils were given the opportunity to act as the jury by using an interactive voting system to decide whether or not the defendants should be deported. By a very slim margin of votes, it was decided that they should be allowed to remain.

Pupils also entered a poster competition launched by the School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work, with finalists being selected to attend the SUPI Celebration event which will take place on 1 December.