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10 May, 2006

More courtroom drama!

Teams of students from all over the UK will battle it out in the court room this month at the Magistrates’ Court Mock Trial Competition regional finals to win a place in the national grand final.

The Competition, organised in partnership with the Magistrates’ Association, gives young people a hands-on introduction to the law. Pupils use carefully constructed witness statements to create a case for the defence and a case for the prosecution in order to take on the roles of lawyers, witnesses, court staff and magistrates in a real court room.

Having succeeded their way through local heats, schools from Plymouth and the surrounding area were the first to participate in this year’s regional finals. Teams debated cases on racism in football and joyriding. Colyton Grammar School from Devon were announced the Plymouth regional winners and they will go on to compete in the National Grand Final, which will take place at Trafford Magistrates Court in June.

Superintendent, Morris Watts from the British Command Unit commented on the high calibre of all the participants:

“I constantly read in the media stories that portray young people in a negative light but at events like this it is clear that the vast majority of young people contribute really positively to communities and that this competition demonstrates that we have so many fantastic role models within this generation of young people.”

As well as being an interesting and engaging way of exploring specific legal issues using active learning, the competition enables teachers to deliver key elements of the citizenship curriculum, whilst developing pupils’ skills of analysis, communication and team work. The competition is funded by the Department for Constitutional Affairs and Wilkinson, and prizes are donated by educational publisher, Hodder Murray.

Further information

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