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QSAC releases educational workbooks on sentencing laws

Just in time for the 2021 school year, the Queensland Sentencing Advisory Council has released four Judge for Yourself education workbooks to help teachers educate students about criminal sentencing and the justice system.

An extension of the highly popular Judge for Yourself online tool, each workbook focuses on one of the Council’s four interactive court cases based on real-life events from the Queensland Magistrates, District, Supreme and Childrens Courts.

The resources step teachers through how to conduct a Judge for Yourself session with their class over two lessons and provide learning exercises that focus on key curriculum areas using legal principles from each court case.

Council Chair, John Robertson said the value of the Judge for Yourself education workbooks is in their alignment with the Queensland curriculum and the expertise behind their creation which will benefit teachers and students.

“The Council worked closely with Queensland education experts to ensure the workbooks were fully aligned with the school curriculum and we have ensured that they accurately reflected current legal and sentencing content,” Mr Robertson said.

“We designed these resources to be interesting and engaging for students completing the learning activities and beneficial in supporting teachers delivering the lessons”.

The resources are linked to the curriculum for Legal Studies 2019 General Senior Syllabus Unit 1 ― Beyond Reasonable Doubt, Topics 1 to 4, and they can also be used within the Australian Curriculum, Year 9 Civics and Citizenship (ACHCK077): analysis, synthesis and interpretation.

Mr Robertson said the Judge for Yourself education workbooks were the latest in a collection of teaching resources the Council has created to inform and educate students about sentencing in Queensland. It is hoped that these resources will better enable young Queenslanders to better understand and think critically about the justice system.

The Judge for Yourself education workbooks and all other teaching resources can be accessed for free.

Schools (and community groups) can request a Council member to present a free 90-minute face-to-face Judge for Yourself session if they are located within a two-hour drive of Brisbane (COVID restrictions permitting). Find out more about face-to-face sessions.

Mr Robertson said a project to better engage with regional and remote communities is on the cards for 2021 with the Council eager to hear more views about sentencing in Queensland.

“In the meantime, community members can join the thousands of people, from students to retirees, who have already taken part in a free online Judge for Yourself session, and take a walk in the shoes of a judge or magistrate and pass sentence on one of the featured cases,” Mr Robertson said.

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