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23 February, 2007

5,000 12-14 year olds to go to Court!

From 24th of February to 17th of March, more than 5,000 students will be competing in the Magistrates’ Court Mock Trial Competition run by the Citizenship Foundation in partnership with the Magistrates’ Association, with nearly 70 heats taking place around England Wales and Northern Ireland.

The competition will see teams from more than 350 schools compete against each other, as students from years 8 and 9 take on the roles of magistrates, lawyers, defendants, witnesses and court staff to simulate carefully designed cases, this year examining animal rights and the responsibility of care. Teams will compete as either the prosecution or the defence against students from other schools. They will be judged on their performances by real magistrates and legal professionals.

Tony Breslin, Chief Executive of the Citizenship Foundation said “Over 95% of criminals cases are dealt with by magistrates, yet very few people know enough about their vital role. The Magistrates’ Court Mock Trial Competition offers young people a hands-on introduction to the legal system and the role of magistrates' courts in local justice and how laws are administered.”

One of the participants from Valley Gardens school, spoke about last year's competition saying, “it has been one of the best learning experiences I’ve had. Although daunting at first, it is a thoroughly enjoyable experience and you learn a lot. It’s great.”

Winning teams will get the chance to take part in the National Final at Nottingham Magistrates’ Court in June.

Further information

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