Transition Year Law Module

On Tuesday the 4th of September Colaiste An Atha’s Transition Year started their Law module.
The class ran for 7 weeks each Tuesday for an hour and a half. Both 4A and 4B were being taught by Solicitor Ciaran Mangan. In the first week of the Law module the two-year groups learned the basics of the courtroom. Information such as who the jury, prosecutors, the defense, the judge and who the witnesses are.
After learning the basics of Law, we were introduced to our first case. Darragh DeBurca Vs Fran Campbell a self-defense case. The Jury, the Prosecutors, the witnesses, the plaintiff and the defendant were chosen by each class with Ciaran Mangan playing the Judge. The case lasted three classes, each with their own results. The defenders learned how to search for errors in the Prosecutors clients defense while the Prosecutors made their case to the Jury convincing them that their client was innocent. The Jury learned how to make an informed and un-biased decision based on the evidence of the trial.
When the trial came to an end and the rulings were made Ciaran moved on with a new case. This case was based around the idea of Redress {returning an item back to a shop} and the laws on consumer studies. The case was about a shop owner selling a half zip for half price because the zip was old, the consumer bought the half zip and was given no prior knowledge of the faulty zip. Ciaran taught us the way to legally handle the situation and gave us other scenario’s in which consumers were and were not entitled to their consumer rights.
On the last day of the Transition Year Law module we learned about DNA testing and how effective it can be in a murder or crime scene. We learned facts such as:
· The most common DNA testing used in murder cases is hair testing. When the crime scene specialists find strands of hair at a crime scene and test them to match the DNA with their suspects.
· In 2012 it was found that the DNA testing of hair samples wasn’t always correct.
· In America over 300 people convicted of a crime were exonerated from jail due to faulty hair DNA tests.
At the end of the of the last Law module class we learned how recording and filming can be used in cases. Such as cop brutality cases against the black community in America, robberies or murder cases in public locations. Filming and recordings of crimes can be helpful to the police force as it can identify a person’s voice, facial features and or a suspect in a crime investigation.
I thoroughly enjoyed Mr. Mangan’s class I learned a lot of knowledge on how the Law works and it was a great experience to participate in the Mock Trial Ciaran designed for us. I would recommend this course to anyone interested in doing Law. I think pupils in Transition Year who are interested in a future in Law really got into doing the course and had a great time.

Written by John Murphy

Category: Transition Year