Donoghue v Stevenson

The Paisley Snail MiniTrial

Chapter 1 – Outline

“MiniTrials” are simulated court cases designed to be conducted by secondary schools – within roughly two double periods – or as tailored to suit the class.

In this remix of the famous case of Donoghue v Stevenson participant students take part in a reconstruction of a Scottish civil jury trial. They convene the court, hear the evidence and return their own verdict – with the help of lawyer volunteers.

The MiniTrial materials have been prepared by Scottish lawyers – and are based on what actually happens in a Scottish Court. They are designed to help students learn about the Scottish legal system, courts and the people who appear in them in an interesting and enjoyable way. MiniTrials can be challenging but they are fairly simple to run. The materials will guide the students step-by-step through the trial so that lengthy preparation is not required. The trials can be exciting and are conducted seriously along the lines of real trials. The materials can be tailored to suit the interests and abilities of the class concerned. The aim is to improve understanding and discussion about our legal system. Other MiniTrial materials are available free – by email or download from

In this “Remix” students will:

  1. Become familiar with the role of a civil trial court. They will also be introduced to court procedure and the function of the jury.

  2. Develop an appreciation for the roles of various people who work in the courtroom.

  3. Practice communication and critical thinking skills as they prepare and present their case.
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