By Peggy Revell on April 5, 2018.
See you in Court!
On April 21, the Medicine Hat Courthouse opens its doors to mark Law Day.
The day is a good opportunity for adults and kids of all ages to visit the courthouse and learn about different parts of the legal system, said Medicine Hat Law Day chair Darin Wight.
“(To) meet some community agencies that provide community supports and services, and get a glimpse of what it’s like in each of the courtrooms, meet some lawyers, and get a feeling that access to justice and coming to the whole courthouse might not be as scary as some people think it is.”
Law Day is celebrated across Canada to mark the anniversary of the signing of Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms. This year’s event takes place from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on April 21, at the courthouses located on First Street SE next to city hall and the library — and will include several activities.
Always a big part of Law Day are the mock trials — in previous years, the trials have included the Minion movie characters, a Star Wars theme, and the Three Little Pigs.
“It gives people a sense of what it’s like and how it’s different then the movies and TV shows,” said Wight. “Those mock trials give them a general taste of what a trial might be like in a courthouse setting.”
Also on hand are local organizations like the Medicine Hat Police Service — complete with police bomb robot demonstrations, military police, firefighters, search and rescue and other organizations.
“I think it gives people a really good feeling of how the community agencies unite together and work together to serve the community,” said Wight, explaining there are community supports for people involved in the legal system for various reasons.
The main entrance for Law Day will be at the Provincial Courthouse.
While the Provincial Court and Court of Queen’s Bench are two separate buildings on the outside, Wight explained that they’re connected to each other on the inside — so tours of the buildings will take people through both, including the older part of Queen’s Bench.
“The court clerks play a really big part of it,” said Wight about the work that’s put into the day, with the sheriffs, local lawyers and courthouse staff all being a part of making the day possible.