On Wednesday March 30th, newly appointed chief prosecutor for the BES, Mr. Guillano Schoop, together with Mr. Gerald Simmons from the Public Entity Saba, gave a presentation to forms two, three, and four of the Saba Comprehensive School (SCS) on different careers in law and the teenagers also participated in a ‘Mock Trial’ of a fictive case.
Both gentlemen shared their experiences on getting into law school, completing law school and their individual career choices. “Law school can give you a solid foundation to choose many different career paths. Choosing law school opens the options to the traditional professions, such as becoming a lawyer, a prosecutor, or a judge. It also provides a strong basis for working in the private sector and the public sector. Many directors, managers, advisors in companies have a background in law and many mayors, governors and other public administration decision makers do as well. Choosing law school, therefore gives you a lot of different options to choose from later in life. Especially when you don’t exactly know what you want to become, like me when I was 17. Law school is a great choice that keeps your options open,” said Simmons.
During his part of the presentation, Guillano Schoop shared with the students information on what the role is of the prosecution office and what a day in the life of a prosecutor looks like. “The prosecutor stands for justice and, together with the police, investigates crimes. Then, the prosecutor makes the decision to charge the person or persons with a crime and to take them to court where the judge will decide based on proof and evidence if the person is guilty or not. The prosecutor does this job with the mandate from and on behalf of the community,” said Schoop.
Students had many questions for Schoop, such as if there is such a thing as the death penalty, or if you really do have to go in prison for life if you get a life sentence. Another question was why judges, lawyers and prosecutors have to wear the black robes. Schoop answered all the questions of the students and shared a lot of information about the prosecutor office in general and his personal experiences in being a prosecutor on Curaçao. Simmons was also able to share with the students what a day looks like in the life of a lawyer and working at local government, the Public Entity Saba.
Together, Schoop and Simmons then facilitated a ‘mock-trial’ session. The group was divided in half. One represented the Government of Saba and the other the people of Saba. Both groups appointed a representative. For the Government of Saba this was SCS student Greco Bautista and for the People of Saba it was fellow student Bernardo Baker (both in the picture). They were given black robes and white collars to wear before pleading their case to the judge, Teacher Ms. Julijnes Woods. Bautista pleaded on behalf of his client the standpoint that the children of Saba had to adhere to the new regulation of the Saba Government, namely that there was a curfew for all children on Saturdays at 8pm. Baker pleaded on behalf of the people of Saba that this was an unfair and unnecessary regulation. The hard choice was eventually for Judge Woods to decide which party was in the right. She decided in favor of the Saba Government, due to lack of arguments on the side of the people of Saba. The group roared in their enthusiasm after the mock trial verdict of Ms. Woods, which shows that it was a fruitful presentation.