My Lewes Crown Court Experience

It was on the 25th of April, one slightly overtired journalism class visited the Lewes Crown Court as part of a project on morals and ethics in the media. Based in Lewes, East Sussex, It is housed in the Lewes Combined Court Centre which it shares with Lewes County Court in the Lewes High Street. The Portland stone building, originally established as East Sussex County Hall, was designed by John Johnson and built between 1808 and 1812.[1]

Set out with the hopes of  seeing something interesting (personally, a murder case seemed like the best way to spend a Thursday afternoon) the group of seven students made their way up the stone steps (not without a quick picture to commemorate the occasion) and through the door.

After the quick security check, we were ready and waiting to see some serious and news breaking action.

However, this dream was quickly to fade when we realised there was only one court convening. Still clinging onto hope, we entered the double wooden doors and quickly took our place on the viewer’s seats (despite already being very late).

Now, it was at this point that I realised something.

This was by far the most boring thing I’ve ever endured, and this is coming from someone used to take speech classes every week. The hot, sweaty room was crammed tight and although featured some incredibly well-spoken lawyers, the atmosphere was overall a hot mess.

The case itself (from what I gathered) was centring on a women who had borrowed some money from family, there was talk of a farm as well as a young girl being sexually assaulted and running away from home. Quite frankly that is only thing you could interpret from the case. It was vague. Very vague.

The jury, made up of 12 individuals seemed almost as bored as I was, numbingly flicking through what seemed the 482748 page police transcript that outlined the basics of the case, and after 15 minutes, the court (and in essence the class) was done.

Set to reconvene at 10am the following morning, the class left along with the other court individuals and that was it. yes, I also agree that school trips have gone downhill.

As an experience that only thing I really got out of this was this…

My dream of an Elle Woods style court case had been crushed. Thanks Hollywood.






This is an opinion piece, designed and created for a BTEC journalism class



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