Faculty of Public Services, Law & Criminology Visit Parliament

Humanities, Criminology & Law

Three groups of students from the Faculty for Public Services, Law & Criminology visited the Houses of Parliament and the Supreme Court in December. 

They were given a tour around the Houses of Parliament, seeing the Lords Chamber, the Royal Entrance, the Robing Room and the Royal Gallery - where the Queen prepares to open Parliament - and the Central Lobby. They also visited the oldest parts of Parliament: St. Stephen's Hall and Westminster Hall. Whilst in St. Stephen's Hall, they were able to view the original statues four suffragettes chained themselves too in protest when campaigning for votes for women. One statue is still damaged from that day in 1909. Westminster Hall dates back to Henry VIII and is the oldest remaining part of Parliament.

After a tour rich in history, our students were given a workshop about petitioning and the different ways in which to have changes made. They focused on the women's suffrage movement and animal testing. They had to work in groups to plan their petitions all with different methods - including collecting signatures, protesting, and using the internet to gather support. 

Itchen MP Royston Smith popped in after Prime Minister's Questions to speak to our students, explaining a little more about what had been going on in the House of Commons that morning and offering an insight into his role as the college's MP.

The Supreme Court is directly across the road and our students were given the opportunity to sit in on an actual appeals case. This court is the final appeals court in the UK and it plays an important part in determining UK law. Our students were given the opportunity to sit in one of the empty courtrooms, putting the knowledge they have learned about the layout of the court in their classes into context. 

The very busy day was packed full of useful and interesting moments and it hopefully only helped to inspire our budding politicians, lawyers and police officers. 

(When one of the groups - made up of Uniformed Services students - toured Parliament, they also visited Buckingham Palace, Downing Street and the War Museum. See their photos on the right.)