A capital idea: Bucerius Law School's 2018 Legal London trip
It was red, white and blue all the way for 19 first-year students when they took part in the Foreign Language Communication Programme’s annual Legal London trip in April. The aim of the tour is to expose students to key British legal and political institutions – and have some fun in the process!
While in London, the students visited two law firms. The first, Hengeler Müller, is a German firm with an office in the British capital. The second, Norton Rose Fulbright, is a global firm with impressive offices overlooking London Bridge.
The students were also taken on a tour of the Inns of Court, home to all barristers in England and Wales. Later in the week, students lunched in Middle Temple’s splendid Elizabethan dining hall, after hearing a talk on the history of the inn and the barristers’ profession.
A legal tour of London would not be complete without visits to the courts. Thus, students were first taken to the Royal Courts of Justice. Amid the grandeur of a wood-panelled courtroom, students enacted a mock murder trial.
Students also visited London's Old Bailey, where they observed bewigged barristers cross-examining witnesses before a jury. Some students were lucky enough to sit in on a headline-grabbing trial about the brutal murder of a nanny.
The students also stopped in at the Supreme Court – the highest in the land. Some were able to watch several of the justices hand down judgment, while others saw a bevy of barristers make submissions to the court in a case involving human rights and immigration law.
At the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution and the London Court of International Arbitration, students learned that parties can resolve disputes without going to court.
This year the Houses of Parliament were in session at the time of our visit, making them a hive of activity. Students got to sit in the House of Commons public gallery and see politicians debate the issues of the day.
Brexit came up in a talk by Tom Brake, an MP. He made the case for the need for an “exit from Brexit” and a second referendum on leaving the EU. All this took place in a breathtaking Palace of Westminster committee room alongside the Thames.
Fun and frivolity were the order of the day when students met in the West End for a group dinner and to watch a musical. Their spirits lifted by infectious melodies and up-tempo rhythms, many of them then set out to explore the delights of London's nightlife.
An informative and fun-filled time was had by all – teachers included!