There is something wonderful about living in a state where the highest ranking judicial officer takes an hour of his time to discuss the law with students who study though distance education.

On Tuesday 4 May the Year 11 and 12 Politics and Law classes had the opportunity to talk with the Chief Justice of Western Australia, Peter Quinlan SC.

Students from diverse locations attended the online session, with the Chief Justice attending from his office and teacher Brendan Crozier chairing the session from the SIDE streaming studio.

The Chief Justice gave a brief overview of his job and the role he plays in the legal system. He was keen to hear directly from the students themselves, so the majority of the time was devoted to the Q&A part of the session.

The discussion covered topics such as the role of the Chief Justice, limits to justice and how the courts are addressing these. Some of the issues raised by students included:

  • The impact of mandatory sentencing and how that impacts natural justice.
  • What reforms the Chief Justice might like to see in the justice system.
  • Whether Australia could adopt elements from other jurisdictions around the world.
  • The types of cases that are difficult to adjudicate on.

The Chief Justice was even asked to answer a past assessment question!

Lots of positive feedback was received from students who commented how approachable the Chief Justice was and how well he explained some tricky concepts.

Abigail (Year 12) commented:

The Webex with the Chief Justice was really interesting. I enjoyed the opportunity to ask questions about the legal system and processes, and also his personal views and opinions about the system and processes. It was really good to be able to ask the kinds of questions that Google doesn’t always have the answers to.