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THE CHELMSFORD SCHOOLS LEGAL DEBATE 2009

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Gepp & Sons was founded in Chelmsford in 1768 and has been in the town continuously from that date. The firm has a long history of community involvement, particularly with young people. Indeed, former Senior Partners were trustees to the Chelmsford Charity School as early as the late 18th Century. Various Senior Partners have acted as Undersheriff of Essex for over a century and we remain active in raising funds for good causes which support our community in numerous ways. On Thursday 22nd October 2009, eight teams from sixth-forms in the Chelmsford area descended on The Shire Hall, to take part in a debate hosted by Gepp & Sons on the motion that: "sentencing those under eighteen years of age to terms of imprisonment is both inhuman and counterproductive". The judges on the night included HHJ Gratwicke, Ms T Szagun, Mr Justice Burnett, The Right Honourable The Lord Petre and G Courtauld Esq. DL. As anticipated they were able to provide our teams with some excellent observations and some difficult and daunting questions. In addition to these distinguished judges, many other guests were present from the local civic community and beyond. After the completion of the first round the teams and guests enjoyed an extensive buffet and were treated to a presentation by the University of Cambridge, which included some great advice on how to gain places at the top Universities. This was followed by Danny Carter of Gepp & Sons who gave a talk on the day to day role of a lawyer and enlightened the audience with his own particular experiences in the legal profession. The Final between St John Payne Catholic Comprehensive School and Chelmsford County High School for Girls was finely balanced. St John Payne, however, managed to prevail with the team members producing some well thought out & well balanced arguments which demonstrated a high degree of accuracy, knowledge and research on the issues involved. The 'best speaker' prize was awarded to Andruidh Mathur of King Edward VI Grammar School, who particularly captured the attention of the Judging panel by speaking very eloquently with a high level of clarity and effectiveness. We at Gepp & Sons would like to thank all those who attended and hope you enjoyed what has been widely acclaimed as a thoroughly successful evening.