Mock Trial Report
The Mock Trial competition is run by the Citizenship foundation and gives young people a chance to learn more about the legal process as well as developing their critical thinking, acting skills and confidence. The team take on roles that are all essential in making a courtroom work efficiently: Lawyers, Magistrates, Witnesses, Legal Advisers, Ushers and Court Reporters.
On Saturday the 5th March, a team consisting of Year 8 and 9 students made their way to Reading Crown Court. Greeted with a slightly unusual flurry of snow, we soon found our way to courtroom 4 to face our first opposition, Upton Court team 2. Our prosecution team took part, against Upton Court’s defence. Both teams presented and argued their cases well, with witnesses of both schools facing challenging cross examination. The magistrates were faced with a tough decision, but the majority’s final verdict was ‘not guilty’. Although Upton Court defence team effectively ‘won’ the case, this wouldn’t affect either schools final score.
After a short break, it was time for the second round of cases to begin. This time, it was our defence team, playing against Garth Hill’s prosecution. Both our defence lawyers picked up on critical key points witnesses had made. As a result the magistrates all voted ‘not guilty’ for the second time around, meaning our defence had undoubtedly argued their cases well. Now, all we could do was wait for the results.
After a long, apprehensive wait, the judges were finally ready to announce the winners of the competition. Although we narrowly lost out to Upton Court team 1, Ranelagh came second out of the ten schools that took part, meaning that we would be going through to the regional heats, held in May, a fantastic result all round. The team worked really hard and thoroughly deserve their success.