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9 March, 2007

Lumen Christi Wins Bar Mock Trial

Students from Lumen Christi College, Northern Ireland have won this year's Bar National Mock Trial Competition after beating Kesteven and Grantham Girl’s School from Lincolnshire in a closely fought final in Cardiff Crown Court on Saturday.

Winners of the 2006-2007 Bar National Mock Trial Competition.
Lumen Christi College, winner of the Bar National Mock Trial Competition 2007
A total of 158 schools have taken part in the Competition since the heats began in November last year with Saturday marking the culmination of months of hard work for the sixteen finalists. Judd School in Tonbridge and Ysgol Tre-Gib both won their Leagues but narrowly missed out getting to the final.

Suzanne Doogan from Lumen Christi played the role of a barrister. She said "The opportunity to work with real barristers and prepare a case has been a great experience. It gave us a real insight into how the justice system works”

Her teacher Dermot Hegarty added "I was impressed by how a number of shy students flourished and came out of their shells by taking part in the competition and the level of articulation and analytical skills was heartening to see. The actual day in court showed me how readily students rose to the challenge of such a pressurised setting. Their confidence shone through. The school was enlivened by our victory and the level of support has been fantastic."

Run by the Citizenship Foundation in partnership with the Bar Council, the competition provides a unique opportunity for 15 -18 year olds to learn about the law through playing the parts of barristers, witnesses and jurors. School teams compete against one another in a live format with the trials being judged by real-life barristers and judges. This year’s cases examine the issues of assault and criminal damage in the form of graffiti.

Now in its 16th year, the Competition provides a stimulating and fun way for young people to engage with the law and the legal system.

Speaking about the Competition, Tony Breslin, Chief Executive of the Citizenship Foundation said: “Congratulations to all the schools who took part, the standard this year was exceptional. The competition seeks to make the law relevant and stimulating to young people, and after watching the trials today the level of excitement and knowledge exhibited by those taking part is testimony to its success.”

Geoffrey Vos QC, Bar Council Chairman, commented: “The Mock Trial Competition is an excellent opportunity for young people to gain a clear understanding of our legal system, and the importance of the rule of law in a democracy. The competition relies on the commitment and enthusiasm of the students and also on the help of many volunteers such as judges, barristers and court staff who dedicate their time to this worthwhile cause”.

Entries for next year will be accepted from May/June 2007. Email bmt@citizenshipfoundation.org.uk to register your interest now.

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