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25 June, 2007

Colyton Grammar wins Magistrates' Competition

Colyton Grammar School in Devon was on Saturday named National Winner of the Magistrates’ Court Mock Trial Competition at the National Final in Nottingham.

Colyton Grammar School, winner of the Magistrates' Court Mock Trial Competition 2007.
Colyton Grammar School wins the Magistrates' Court Mock Trial Competition 2006-07
Eighteen schools competed on Saturday having fought off competition from over 300 schools in local and regional heats earlier this year. The Stanway School in Colchester was named national runners up.

In the competition, each team of 12-14 year olds used carefully constructed witness statements to prepare the prosecution and defence of two specially written criminal cases: R v Sam Beatter where the ‘defendant’ was accused of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal and R v Marty Dixon, an actual bodily harm case.

They took on the roles of lawyers, witnesses, magistrates and court staff and competed against each other in a live format, with one team prosecuting and the other defending. Their performances were judged by real magistrates and other legal professionals.

Speaking about the final, Ruxandra Ratiu, Competition Project Officer said "it was fantastic seeing all the students enjoying themselves so much. Everybody was just amazing, including teachers, students, volunteers and Court staff. I am really happy I had the privilege to organise an event that is so inspiring for all those who take part in it!"

The competition, run by the Citizenship Foundation in partnership with the Magistrates’ Association, aims to demystify the law for 12-14 year olds by providing first hand experience of the legal system. The final was this year opened by Sir Andrew Buchanan, Lord Lieutenant of Nottinghamshire and the Closing address was given by Lord Mayor of Nottingham, Councillor Muhammed Munir.

The winning school was awarded £500 book vouchers courtesy of Hodder Murray.

Alongside the main competition, James Mitchell from Edgbarrow School in Berkshire was awarded first prize in the Court Artist Competition and Lucy Button from St Egwin’s Middle School in Worcestershire won the Court Reporter Competition.

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Your comments

From Anne Slater -
What about the Runners Up? The Stanway School beat stiff competition all along the line, particularly as a non-selective school, and deserve a photo and a mention on the website.

From Edward reeves - Colchester
It was a very stiff competion for our part and im just pleased that the best team won. I in The Stanway School have to say that all the teams did there best and would like to thank both of our teachers at Stanway who helped and the Citizenship Foundation for running such a great event. As a defence lawyer it was a more difficult job but everyone i saw did amazingly. Well done and thank you all.

From B Summer - Devon
although i am part of the winning team, colyton grammar, for this year i would like to say that i agree with anne slaters comments. Out of all of teh pictures that where taken where did they go?! i think everyone that got through to the finals should have recognition because everyone did so well and both of the schools we played against where amazingly good so how we are the only ones that where recognised i'm not sure. To tell you all the truth everyone from our school thought we had got runner up when our school was read out so congratulations to everyone that had got to nottingham!

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