Navigation

News and events

Legal ace draws a crowd

01 July 2014

Rachel Atkinson

UCLan alumnus Stuart Ripley lent his support to the Lancashire Science Festival

The Power of Law event saw UCLan alumnus Stuart Ripley joined by members of UCLan’s Law School to re-enact an 1832 trial for pupils from St Cecilia’s RC High School in Longridge.

There was a familiar face sitting in the judge’s seat as part of a special educational event held at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan).

Former England and Blackburn Rovers footballer Stuart Ripley, who is now a specialist sports law solicitor, lent his support to the ‘Power of Law’ workshop as part of the ‘Power Up’ themed Lancashire Science Festival.

Stuart, who spent four years studying for his law degree and legal practice course at UCLan’s Preston Campus, donned a wig and gavel as high school children from St Cecilia’s RC High School, in Longridge, and Burnley College students acted as the jury in a trial re-enactment.

Staff from UCLan’s Law School joined with current students to dress in period clothing for the 1832 trial, which dealt with the outcome of the Reform Bill riots.

Principal Lecturer Vivienne Ivins, Course Leader for UCLan’s Legal Practice Course and Professional Skills Course, said: “The children learned about the trial process with each participant and their role being introduced individually. The trial was a mix of drama and humour and the children in the audience acted as jury – deciding the fate of the unfortunate young defendant by holding guilty or not guilty placards. They also had interactive quizzes to generate discussion on sentencing and we had a lively debate on prejudice in relation to gender and voting rights.

“Stuart is one of our alumni and a great supporter of activities in the Law School. Although he is more used to hearing conflicts in the sporting world, he was pleased to take part, and had a great courtroom presence as judge in the full-bottomed wig."

She added: “Stuart is one of our alumni and a great supporter of activities in the Law School. Although he is more used to hearing conflicts in the sporting world, he was pleased to take part, and had a great courtroom presence as judge in the full-bottomed wig.”

Stuart has been very successful in his legal career to date and he recently judged the Football Association’s tribunal in the John Terry racism case. He said: “I loved my time at UCLan and have kept in touch with some of the staff. It was lovely of them to ask me to back for this and I’m more than delighted I was able to help out. For me it’s all about getting children interested in the law. It’s a great profession and I just hope that this event gives these children a taste of what a career in the law could be like.”

UCLan Honorary Fellow His Honour Judge Anthony Russell QC, Recorder and resident judge for Lancashire, played the role of the trial judge for the free public event on the following day.