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Law Day offers lesson on court system

Lauren MacGill

Students from Ecole Morden Middle School participated in a mock trial to learn about the court system.

Students from Ecole Morden Middle School participated in a mock trial to learn about the court system.

MORDEN - 

Peter Rabbit, beloved fictional rabbit, went to court on April 28 after being caught stealing lettuce, beans and radishes from Farmer McGregor’s farm.
Put on by the Canadian Bar Association, Morden Law Day saw a mock trial with students from École Morden Middle School. During the trial, Honourable Judge R.L. Pollack took attendees through possible defenses and explained terminology.
“I think it’s important for the public to feel welcome in the court system,” Crown Attorney for Manitoba Prosecution Service Carli Owens said. “We don’t get a lot of people attending court and really understanding how the justice system works, so it’s a good event to put on for the public. It’s also an educational experience for the children to also see how the justice system works and if there’s any roles they might want to take on once they graduate.”
The defense argued that Peter Rabbit was acting out of necessity. He had only trespassed on the garden because he and his family were so hungry.
After the trial, the jury retired to deliberate on the case. Local police officers demonstrated how roadside breath samples are taken, and stressed the penalties of impaired driving. If a driver is convicted of impaired driving, the first offense alone carries a minimum $1,000 fine and year suspension.
After a short deliberation, the jury acquitted Mr. Rabbit of all wrongdoing.
This is the second year Morden has hosted a Law Day activity, and Owens said the response was very positive and it will likely become a yearly event. She wants people to feel proud of the Canadian justice system and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. “Not a lot of other countries have that,” she said. “It’s really something to celebrate, and that’s what Law Day is really about. To see those rights in play and see the right to a fair trial.”