Students felt the full force of the law yesterday as they paid a visit to London’s Old Bailey, the Central Criminal Court of England and Wales. This court deals with major criminal cases from within Greater London, and on occasion those from elsewhere in England and Wales. On yesterday’s roster was a grim array of terrorism cases and drug deals, and two ‘celebrity’ cases: Jack Newbury, of Channel 4’s Coach Trip ‘fame’, is being prosecuted for fraud amid claims that he laundered profits of £430,000; former Premier League footballer Sam Sodje is accused along with his three brothers of committing a charity fraud. Our law students took the chance to sit in on the trials and get to grips with the finer points of English legal proceedings ―the wigs and gowns were something of a novelty for some.
Making the most of their day in London, they also enjoyed a tour of Middle Temple, one of England’s four Inns of Court, and stopped off at the King’s College Maughan Library for a browse of its extensive law collection.
Over in Oxford, those studying Art and Architecture took a closer look at the city’s most famous buildings in a specialist tour with teacher Stuart Bebb. Amongst other key buildings, they learned about the grand Sheldonian Theatre, where they had seen a rousing debate just the day before ―Christopher Wren’s second work (his œuvre includes St Paul’s Cathedral, the Monument to the Great Fire of London, and the Royal Observatory in Greenwich), it is said to be modelled on the Theatre of Marcellus, which was erected in Rome in the first century BC.
All students reconvened in Wadham College gardens for some outdoor theatre in the form of Shakespeare’s Much Ado about Nothing. The production was a creative take on the original, bringing the Messina setting into the era of the Second World War; rather than the Battle of Lepanto, Shakespeare’s characters are fending off Allied bombardment and Nazi occupation in the latter stages of the international conflict. Students thoroughly enjoyed the production, especially when the actors invited them to join the congregation for the famous wedding scene.