Two teachers and 30 students from Year 10 to Year 13 from the Girls and Boys’ schools welcomed Mr Stephen Pam to our joint campus. Mr Pam, a former teacher who now volunteers for Magistrates in the Community, shared his fascinating insights into the workings of the UK’s Magistrate’s Courts.

Guilty or not guilty?

Currently serving as a Magistrate with the Hertfordshire Bench, Mr Pam and his colleagues deal with all kinds of cases, including theft, drink-driving and even homicide. Talking our students and teachers through his daily work, Mr Pam explained the many different roles in a Magistrate’s Court, including prosecution, defence and probation. Students also got the chance to role-play a Magistrate’s Court hearing.

After hearing all the facts, students then debated whether the defendant was guilty or not guilty, before reflecting on what kind of sentence would be appropriate to the case.

With any mitigating factors duly considered, Mr Pam praised their excellent level of engagement with the role-play scenario, not least their curious-minded questioning at the Q&A session that followed. In fact, he placed Habs among the best schools he had visited, even with the Boys’ School fire alarm going off just before proceedings began!

Our visit from a local magistrate was an all round success.