Martvili Municipality. Inchkhuri Public School
Address: Martvili Municipality. The village of Inchkhuri
Project: Twelve jurors
Working language during the project:
Themes of the Council of Europe project “FREE to SPEAK, SAFE to LEARN - Democratic Schools for All” covered:
- Making children’s and students’ voices heard
- Addressing controversial issues
- Improving well-being at school
Competences from the Reference Framework of Competences for Democratic Culture (CDC) addressed and where / how they were integrated:
- Valuing democracy, justice, fairness, equality and the rule of law
Students learned the rule of law while working on a constitution and historical document. They independently prepared presentations on the rule of law and posters depicting that all are equal before the law.
Students spoke at a mock trial and read a monologue in front of an audience which promoted a sense of self-confidence.
- Autonomous learning skills
The students independently studied the current legislation and historical document on The Treaty of Georgievsk. It was a bilateral treaty concluded between the Russian Empire and the east Georgian kingdom of Kartli-Kakheti on 24 July 1783. These two documents were compared. Conclusions were prepared and a trial was held with the participation of twelve jurors.
Target group age range:
Level of education:
- Lower secondary education
- Upper secondary education
Short description of the project:
A short-term educational project was organised at school, within the framework of which a mock trial was held with the participation of 12 jurors. The mock trial was a role play. The students selected a historical period when the state changed its political orientation. Students explored democratic principles and current legislation in line with the historical past and noted which rights of society were violated when a single decision was made. In the initial phase of the project, the students explored the characteristics of a democratic society, outlining its principal characteristics. These characteristics had been present in earlier periods and could be used for assessing the epoch when the state changed its political orientation and no longer took the public interest into account.
Various departments were integrated in the project: Department of Georgian Language and Literature, Department of Social Sciences in the form of various disciplines: History, Georgian citizenship, IT technologies. At the initial stage of the project, several parents who work for the courts were invited to the school. The parents introduced the students to the courts’ work processes and peculiarities. The meeting was interactive in nature. In the first phase of the project, students were divided into groups. The students independently researched and studied the current Constitution of Georgia. They also researched and studied the Treaty of Georgievsk. It was a bilateral treaty concluded between the Russian Empire and the east Georgian kingdom of Kartli-Kakheti on July 24, 1783. The treaty established eastern Georgia as a protectorate of Russia, which guaranteed its territorial integrity and the continuation of its reigning Bagrationi dynasty in return for prerogatives in the conduct of Georgian foreign affairs.
The two documents were compared and presentation material was prepared. In the second stage, students explored the historical period of King Erekle II and prepared presentation material. The students involved in the project were divided into two main groups – the "prosecution" and the "defence". At the next stage, the project management team selected 12 jurors. The parents who worked in the field of law were invited to the school. 12 jurors were introduced to their rights and responsibilities at the mock trial. The students jointly developed the criteria used for the mock trial. The criteria indicated the rights and responsibilities of members of the court. The groups involved in the project selected the speakers and started preparing for the trial. Arguments and evidence for the defence and the prosecution were jointly developed. The mock trial was held at the final meeting. The defence and the prosecution set out their arguments. Discussions were held which led to controversy. The participating parties made presentations to the 12 jurors and presented their views. The 12 jurors gave their own verdict. The project organiser selected several students who did sketches and made comics about the mock trial. These were later hung in the school lobby.
Representatives of the local judiciary, school council representatives and parents with a legal education were invited to the mock trial at the final stage. At the mock trial, the students presented a short presentation on the relevant articles of the current Constitution and the relevant articles of the Georgievsky Treaty. The mock trial then examined the case of a historical figure - King Erekle II. The students briefly reviewed his achievements. The prosecution and the defence presented their case against and for King Erekle and his ‘crime’.
Twelve jurors examined the arguments used during the discussion / debate and made a decision under the current Constitution of Georgia, which was communicated to the parties to the mock trial. Representatives of the local district court structure and parents assessed the extent to which the students followed the processes of an actual trial, how correctly and validly they presented their arguments either for the defence or the prosecution. The verdict handed down by the twelve jurors was also assessed.
The school council representatives decided this activity, or similar activities should be continued at the school. Students will research historical events that could be offered to the school’s elementary students for conducting a mock trial next semester. Once again, the school will invite experienced judges, attorneys, and lawyers to share their practices with the school community.
- Identify positive ways for resolving conflict.
- Familiarity with the judiciary and understanding the role of the judiciary in a democratic society.
- Develop students' independent, critical thinking skills.
- Develop their ability to take responsibility for their own decisions.
- Students gained experience working with legislative documents.
- Students realised the role and importance of the judiciary in resolving problematic issues.
- Experience in teamwork with responsibility sharing.
- Social experience in collaboration and problem solving.
Challenges you faced
- Increase student motivation in pandemic conditions.
- Low technological skills.
- Develop accurate indicators and criteria for jurors.
Time-frame of the project:
- The project lasted for two months
Council of Europe materials on citizenship and human rights education used while preparing or implementing your practice:
- Reference Framework of Competences for Democratic Culture
- Living Democracy - manuals for teachers
- Democratic governance of schools
- Managing controversy
- We CAN!