As part of the festival, all Year 9 students participated in a mock trial exploring the 1884 case of R v Dudley and Stephens. The defendants were accused of cannibalism after becoming shipwrecked in the Atlantic Ocean. After 19 days at sea, the captain, Thomas Dudley, convinced two other sailors to kill and eat 17 year old Richard Parker, who had been suffering from the effects of malnutrition and dehydration. Three days later, the crew were rescued and brought back to England. On their return they were charged and found guilty of murder, despite public opinion being sympathetic to the famished sailors. The students enjoyed learning about the case, the difference between moral and legal arguments, the importance of the use of evidence in criminal cases and how to construct a convincing defence and prosecution. Hopefully it will have inspired Year 9 students to investigate further a career in law. Thank you to the teachers who enthusiastically led the sessions and made it an enjoyable session for the students.
Curriculum Leader for History