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Lord Chief Justice offers schools a chance to hear from judges


Photo of Lord Chief Justice, HHJ Overbury, Maeve Taylor, the headteacher and students at Claydon High SchoolThe most senior judge in England and Wales today offered schools in England & Wales the chance to hear from a judge about their work, the justice system and the rule of law.

Lord Burnett of Maldon, the Lord Chief Justice of England & Wales made the announcement when he visited pupils at Claydon High School in Ipswich today.

Explaining the role of a modern judge is a priority for the Lord Chief Justice and today’s announcement is backed up by an online resource. This includes materials for schools, teachers and careers advisers to help them teach students about the justice system by, for example, running a mock trial.

Photo of Lord Chief Justice, HHJ Overbury, Maeve Taylor, the headteacher and students at Claydon High SchoolSpeaking at Claydon High School, the Lord Chief Justice said:

“The rule of law is fundamental to our British way of life. Every day, many thousands of judges make decisions which affect people’s lives, and their livelihoods. But most people have little idea of what goes on unless they find themselves in the system.

“I want to make it easier for schools to help teach pupils about the justice system, and how it really works – I want to invite students to talk to us about our work. We already know that having a discussion with a real judge is very popular with school students.  I want to make this opportunity more widely available to schools by asking them to consider inviting judges to visit and give them access to other resources that support their curriculum, and their careers conversations with students.

“There are judges from all walks of life and at many various levels in courts and tribunals. I also want to send the message to all students, from whatever background, they could be the lawyers and judges of the future.”

The announcement is backed up by online resources that will be available to schools and students on the judiciary’s website. These include notes for lessons, fact sheets and other resources to help schools facilitate learning about the justice system and rule of law.

The announcement comes on the back of the work that scores of Diversity and Community Relations Judges (DCRJs) and magistrates already do in the community; the Lord Chief Justice hopes that their work – often unseen and unsung – will help encourage students from all backgrounds to think about a career in the justice system.

Photo of Lord Chief Justice speaking on ITV NewsSchools wishing to ask for a judge to speak to students can do so by going to:  or emailing


Notes to Editors

  1. Lord (Ian) Burnett of Maldon took the position of Lord Chief Justice in England and Wales in October 2017. Prior to this, Sir Ian Burnett (Lord Burnett from Nov 2017) was a Lord Justice in the Court of Appeal.
  2. He was visiting Claydon High School, Church Lane, Claydon, Suffolk, IP6 0EG with a judge from Ipswich Crown Court, His Honour Judge Rupert Overbury. HHJ Overbury, a Diversity and Community Relations Judge.
  3. More information about Diversity and Community Relations judges is available at
  4. The initiative is aimed at Key stages 3&4 (11-14 years old).
  5. Online resources for schools will also be available at

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