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Mock Trial Competition

For the last two years,  LCA has entered a team in the Magistrates’ Court Mock Trial Competition (Years 8 /9), and for the first time this year we will be entering a team into the Bar Mock Trial Competition (Years 10 /11).

These are  national competitions involving in total over 6,000 students from over 300 schools; 1,700 legal professional volunteers from 50 Magistrates’ Courts; and 300 barristers and 90 judges from Crown Courts across the United Kingdom.

Our Year 8/9 teams have performed extremely well in both competitions, reaching the regional final in South Wales last year.  We hope to replicate that performance with our new Year 10/11 team who are preparing for the Bar Mock Trial Competition in November at Truro Crown Court.

Students work in teams to defend and prosecute specially written criminal cases, developing their advocacy, communication and many other skills. Depending on the competition, students take on the roles of magistrates, barristers/advocates, defendants, witnesses, court staff and jurors and their performances are judged by real judges, senior barristers or magistrates.  Part of our preparation involves a visit to see real trials in Plymouth Magistrates’ Court and Plymouth Crown Court.  During these visits the court ushers take our students into an empty courtroom, before the mornings proceedings, to explain the roles of the court staff and how the courts work.  Occasionally, we have been lucky enough to speak to the prison officers and visit the cells downstairs.  The courts are keen for our young people to visit and, if time allows, the Judges, Magistrates and legal advocates are happy to answer any questions.

These competitions are organised by the Law in Schools programme, run in partnership with the Magistrates Association and the Bar Council, and  gives our young people an insight and understanding of the justice system helping them to understand that the law touches every aspect of their lives.  We hope that this valuable experience will inspire some of our students to consider law (and related professions) as a possible future career.