Any group in the community is welcome to take part in our Justice System Education Program. Through this popular program, the Society has introduced over 1 million students to BC courts. Participants visit the courthouse, speak with justice system professionals and experience court in action.
Court Visit Resources
Use these resources to enhance the court visit of your group. There is important information about the courthouse you will visit, court protocol and some sample questions that students can ask. Once your court visit is done, please take some time to complete the Post-Visit Questions.
Court orientations provide an introduction to BC’s court system: how it works, why it is important and the legal terms and concepts used in court. The Society’s coordinators have years of experience working within the courts and they provide information about court protocol, the structure of BC’s justice system and more.
Participants go to courtrooms to watch real trials in progress and observe the roles of justice system professionals: judges, lawyers, sheriffs and court clerks. Participants may see witnesses and the accused in court. At certain locations, there may also be the possibility to see juries, parties involved in civil suits, or specialized courtrooms such as the Drug Treatment Court or Downtown Community Court.
Judge, Lawyer & Sheriff Sessions
Groups can meet a judge, lawyer, sheriff or other justice system professional and ask them about their role and experience in the justice system. Be sure to make a specific request for one of these instructional sessions.
Groups can learn the most about our justice system by experiencing it themselves in a simulated trial, called a “mock” trial. A mock trial is a definitive, dramatic, experiential learning opportunity. It develops advocacy skills and critical thinking in addition to providing knowledge about the law. Mock trials are good for all ages as they demonstrate how a trial works. There are several scripted and non-scripted mock trials available for your use. Groups can arrange to perform their mock trial in a real courtroom setting during the day.
There is a charge for facilitating the mock trial experience. Please bring a cheque with you on the day of your visit. It should be made payable to the Justice Education Society. A receipt will be issued. We reserve the right to decline our services unless payment is received in advance or at the time your group arrives at the courthouse.
Some BC Courts are historic buildings and all have important ties to the community. A tour conducted by JES or court staff provides an opportunity to learn about the history of your courthouse, the courtroom set-up, and how courtrooms are used.