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28 April, 2005

Schools in international legal wrangle

Colyton Grammar School, winner of the Bar National Mock Trial Competition 2004/05, will compete against St Joseph's School from Ireland, in an international version of the competition on 29 April at the Royal Courts of Justice in London.

The schools will be competing in a theft case, judged by barrister Bernard Richmond.

Colyton Grammar School, from Devon, won the 14th Bar National Mock Trial Competition in March. Organised by the Bar Council and the Citizenship Foundation, the Bar National Mock Trial Competition provides a unique opportunity for 15-18 year old students to gain hands on experience of the workings of the legal system. They play the parts of barristers, witnesses, court staff and jurors, competing against one another in mock trials, judged by real-life circuit judges.

St Joseph's School, from Galway, was the winner of a mock trial competition run during what is called a 'transition year' in Ireland, when students are about 15 years old. This is an optional year during which there is no formal education, and instead students become involved in business and charity projects.

With young people increasingly targeted by new Government legislation ranging from a crack down on anti-social behaviour, to changes to drinking laws, the organisers are keen to combat alienation, and help young people understand how the law affects them.

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