The annual Magistrates’ Courts Mock Trial Competition is run by the the Citizenship Foundation.and supported by the Magistrates Association.
The aims of the competition are to introduce the criminal justice system to young people in an innovative and exciting way. The competition takes place in our courtrooms with the enactment of real cases that tackle the issues facing young people.
‘The competition is a challenging and fulfilling opportunity to watch students blossom in confidence and excel in a way they never thought possible.'
Teams consist of 12 or 13 students, from years 8 and 9, who use carefully constructed witness statements to prepare the prosecution and defence of a specially written criminal case. Students take the roles of lawyers, witnesses, magistrates and court staff and compete against other schools in a live format. Their performances are judged by magistrates and other legal professionals and all the heats take place in magistrates' courts, usually on Saturdays. The competition provides a fun way to deliver key elements of the citizenship curriculum to key stage 3 students.
When asked how the students benefit from taking part, 95% of teachers said it improved their:
Knowledge and understanding of the legal system
Ability to develop an argument
St. Gregory’s Catholic High School, the winners of the 2011 Mock Trial Competition having been presented with their awards by Mrs. Diana Barbour (the then High Sheriff of Cheshire). St. Gregory’s also won the 2012 competition
Who can enter?
State schools in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Students must be aged 12-14 years and in years 8 and 9 in England and Wales (9 and 10 in Northern Ireland). Unfortunately fee-paying schools cannot enter this competition.
Who to contact?
We hope you will view such a competition as being of real benefit to your students. If so please contact one of the following: