Judge Jury

This strategy will help students to: 

  • The Judge Jury provides feedback to both teachers and students as to how well they have researched the topic. It is a great activity to build students’ public speaking skills.
  • This is a strategy that involves students arguing a case on a debatable issue in the setting of a court. It requires two students to analyse the issue from the opposite perspectives and then prepare and present their opposing cases. A third student listens and evaluates both viewpoints and delivers his/her verdict.



  1. TOPIC

A debatable issue is chosen by the teacher, such as ‘Drugs in sport are inevitable, so should be allowed’.

  1. ROLES

Assign a number to each students being 1, 2, or 3. If there is a shortage of numbers, the teacher could either fill in the numbers or assign the remaining students as number 3s.

  2. Number 1s re the defence, number 2s are the prosecution, number 3s are the judges
    1. The students individually research/prepare their case.
    2. The number 1s (‘defence counsellors’) meet in groups of three-five to prepare their case.
    3. The number 2s (‘the prosecutors’) meet separately in groups of three-five to prepare their case.
    4. The ‘judges’ meet to discuss the main points of the case, to anticipate the points of the defence and the prosecution and it develop the criteria for deciding the case.
    1. The number 1s are allowed 90 seconds to present the defence’s case to the judge. After allowing time for the judges to make some notes, a 90 second argument is presented by the prosecution. Note: To foster courtroom atmosphere, ask both parties to refer to the judge as ‘Your Honour’.
    2. Again, after allocating time for the judges to make some notes, the number 1s are allowed a 30 second right of reply.
    3. The judges are allowed one minute to complete their judgement and then present their findings one by one to the class. The judges may begin their address with:

“After considering the views of the defence and the prosecution, I find in favour of…”

The judges must then justify their decision by evaluating the arguments of the defence and the prosecution.

  1. A master of the arguments for and against may be recorded on the whiteboard during the judgements for students to record in their notebooks.

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