Lesson 5: Court Personnel


Activity 1: Judge Rulings       

Comparing the Sentences of Two Cases

If you choose to prepare the summary of the two cases yourself and conduct the discussion as a class, then no formal marking is required. You may, however, grant participation marks for the discussion.

If you get students to prepare the summary and answer the questions by themselves, you can have the students submit these for marks.

Activity 2: Being a Juror

Once students have completed Handout 3: Fact or Opinion? Can You Decide? It can be submitted for marking.

Answer Key: Handout 3: Fact or Opinion? Can You Decide?

  • Bad parents have bad kids. Opinion
  • Jurors cannot ignore the law when deciding a case. Fact
  • Counselling for children in divorce cases is the best treatment. Opinion
  • Removing bad influences from children helps them to be good. Opinion
  • Judges consider victim impact statements when deciding on a sentence. Fact
  • A person who is 16 should always be raised to adult court. Opinion
  • A dangerous driver is a person who drives too fast! Opinion
  • A person who is suing in a civil case is called the "plaintiff." Fact

Activity 3: Legal Counsel

This is a group activity so no marking is required. You may, however, grant students participation marks for their contribution to the discussions.

Activity 4: Would You be a Good Witness?

Answers will vary for Handout 8: Robbery Suspect Description Form and Handout 9: How are Your Powers of Observation, but you can mark them for completion if you wish.

Participation marks for the discussion portion of this activity could be given.

Answer Key: Handout 9: How are Your Powers of Observation?

  1. The fire occurred on the ground floor. False
  2. The fire occurred at a building at Fourth and Maple. False
  3. The fire occurred shortly after three o’clock. True
  4. The firemen were rescuing a man from the blaze. False
  5. The policeman was blowing a whistle to hold people back. False
  6. The butcher was outside his store. False
  7. The fire truck was hooked up to the fire hydrant. False
  8. A boy was pulling the rope set up to hold the crowd back. True
  9. The firemen had already put out the fire. False
  10. The last name of the jeweler on the ground floor was Adams. True
  11. There are 10 people in the picture. False
  12. There was a scooter in front of the bakery. True

Activity 5: Court Personnel in a Trial

Once Handout 11: Court Personnel Roles and Handout 12: What Do You Know about Court Personnel? are completed, they can be submitted for marking.

Answer Key: Handout 11: Court Personnel Roles

  1. Person who settles legal arguments between the lawyers. JUDGE
  2. Person who files a Statement of Claim in a civil trial. PLAINTIFF
  3. Person who swears in the witnesses at trial. COURT CLERK
  4. Person who tapes all of the information or testimony given by the witnesses in a trial. COURT CLERK, COURT REPORTER or COURT RECORDER
  5. Person who protects the judge and the jury. DEPUTY SHERIFF
  6. Person who presents evidence to the court that the government has gathered against the accused. CROWN COUNSEL
  7. Person who defends the accused and attempts to create a reasonable doubt in the mind of the judge or jury. DEFENCE COUNSEL
  8. People who listen to the facts of the case and decide whether the accused is not guilty or guilty of the offence. Consists of 12 members. JURY
  9. Person who gives facts to the court regarding the case. WITNESS
  10. Person who the government has charged with breaking the law. ACCUSED
  11. Person who arrests the accused and files charges. POLICE OFFICER
  12. Person who speaks on behalf of the jury. JURY FOREPERSON
  13. Person who files a Statement of Defence in a civil trial. DEFENDANT

Answer Key: Handout 12: What Do I Know About Court Personnel?

  1. Why is it important to have an impartial judge hearing each case?
    If the judge is impartial s/he will not take sides and a fair decision will be made.
  2. Why is it important that the court clerk take good care of all the exhibits?
    The "exhibits" are objects of evidence in the trial and must not be tampered with.
  3. Why is it important to tape the proceedings in the courtroom?
    So there is no confusion about what was said at trial in case one party wishes to appeal the case.
  4. Why does the deputy sheriff sit next to the accused?
    So that the accused does not leave the courtroom during the proceedings.
  5. What is the significance of the name "Crown counsel"?
    "Crown" refers to the fact that the government charges in the name of the Queen (Regina) and Crown is the Queen’s representative or lawyer in court.
  6. Why is there no Crown counsel in a civil case?
    A civil case is between two parties or groups.
  7. How many members sit on a criminal jury?
  8. How many members sit on a civil jury?
  9. How many jurors in a criminal jury must agree on a guilty verdict before it will be accepted by the court? Is the number any different if they make a finding of not guilty?
    All twelve jurors have to agree on the verdict regardless if it is guilty or not guilty.
  10. How many jurors must agree on a decision in a civil trial for that decision to be accepted by the court?
    Either an unanimous verdict or if the judge orders, 75% of the jurors must agree (6 out of 8).
  11. Why is it important to have jurors?
    It is important to have an accused tried by a panel of his/her peers.
  12. What are the names of the counsel or lawyers in a civil case?
    Plaintiff’s and defendant’s counsel.
  13. What would happen if a person lied under oath and was caught?
    That person could be charged with the offence of perjury.
  14. How do court personnel foster an attitude of respect in the courtroom?
    By doing their work in a serious and efficient manner, they add to the formality and serious atmosphere in the court.