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5 October, 2009

Magistrates' Court Mock Trial Competition Open for Entries!

Schools are being invited to sign up by 6th November 2009 to take part in the 2009/10 Magistrates' Court Mock Trial Competition.

The Magistrates' Court Mock Trial Competition is organised in partnership with the Magistrates' Association. The competition aims to demystify the law and the magistracy for year 8 and 9 pupils in a fun, interactive and educational way. It helps teachers fulfil a key component of the citizenship curriculum at Key Stage 3 by enabling pupils to explore the legal and human rights and responsibilities underpinning society, and to gain a basic understanding of the criminal justice system.

Each team of students will use carefully constructed witness statements to prepare the prosecution and defence of a specially written criminal case. They take on the roles of lawyers, witnesses, magistrates and court staff and compete against each other in a live format with one team prosecuting and the other defending. Real magistrates and other legal professionals judge their performances which take place in real magistrates' courts.

There is no need for students or teachers to have studied law before taking part in the competition. Schools will receive a guide to help them prepare the case and will have access to online lesson plans.

A participating teacher in the 2008/09 competition said: "This competition is unique in its ability to inspire the students and stretch their abilities and imaginations."


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