At the session entitled “Guilty or Innocent: The case of Tom Dudley and Edward Stephens”, Ms Barclay illustrated the following scenario to the participants:
In the 1800’s, following the sinking of a ship in a storm off South Africa, four men found themselves adrift in a life boat with no water and little food. After the third week afloat, the cabin boy (Richard Parker) fell into a coma and the ship’s captain made a dreadful and unenviable decision - to sacrifice the cabin boy’s life in order to save the remaining three sailors.
This infamous case, known as R v Dudley and Stephens (1884), has fascinated law students, academics and ethicists for many decades. During the WOW classroom experience, the participants were arranged into groups of jury panels to determine whether the sailors were guilty of murder following the death of Richard Parker. In order to reach a decision, they had to put themselves in the shoes of the men on the life boat and decide whether they could cannibalise another person if necessary, to survive.
According to Ms Barclay, the guest participants had demonstrated very advanced reasoning skills in reaching their decisions. She said, " I hope that they have enjoyed a taste of what life is like for a law student at KDU, and I look forward to teaching them."
For more photos, please view them from photo gallery at www.kdu.edu.my