By 4L Matthew Cheung Have you ever noticed that some monuments in Hong Kong are closely related to the judicial system of our homeland? The North Kowloon Magistracy, a magistrates’ court, that was closed in 2005, is one of these monuments and we, STC’s Mock Trial team, had the chance to explore and learn more about our history. The Magistracy was erected in 1960 and served the community for over 44 years handling cases of the Kowloon district. It is a 7-storey building made of granite ashlar blocks and features a neo-classical architecture combined with stripped classicism which is a form of neo-classicism from which most of the traditional mouldings, ornament and details have been elided, visually emphasizing the structural and proportional systems. It is one of the only surviving examples of this building type. Another interesting fact is that after the closure of the court, it was converted into the Savannah College of Art and Design in 2009 until the government reclaimed it in 2020. What also makes this court unique are the cases that were adjudicated here. The Kwai Bing Hong case is an example of one of the three major criminals in Hong Kong who stood on trial here for assaulting two police officers and for the illegal possession of firearms. Members of our Mock Trial team had the opportunity to visit the cells and walk up the staircase to reach the defendant’s dock – an incredible feature of the Court where prisoners are held as they wait for a judge or jury to decide their fate. We also listened to accounts of thought-provoking cases and even participated in the judgement of a case of familicide, serving in the role of a jury. This experience provided us with basic understanding of the jury system and the severity of murder. Later on, an experienced judge shared insights closely related to the responsibilities that Hong Kong citizens should uphold. An ex-inmate shared his journey of reform since his release from jail, emphasizing the importance of obeying the law. This was a significant event for our students as we had an opportunity to interact with an ex-judge and an ex-inmate. As technology advances, law changes and we teenagers need to increasingly keep abreast of these changes so that we are fully aware of what constitutes a crime. It is, therefore, crucial to supplement textbook knowledge with out-of-classroom experiences which can provide a broader perspective on societal issues. Learning more about our home Hong Kong and the beauty of it in the forms of buildings was also a bonus in the journey.