Lumen Christi Wins Bar Mock Trial Competition
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.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”.
To find out more please email:
- Catherine Torazzo
T:0207 566 5034
Notes for editors:2. The Bar National Mock Trial Competition is aimed 15-18 year olds and seeks to introduce the legal system to young people in an innovative and exciting way giving them the opportunity to gain hands on experience. The competition is entering its sixteenth successful year and involves young people from schools throughout England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Every year over 2000 students, 200 barristers/advocates and 90 judges are involved. See www.citizenshipfoundation.org.uk/bmt for details
3. The Citizenship Foundation is an independent charity (no. 801360) working throughout the UK and overseas to promote more effective citizenship through education about the law, democracy and society. Founded in 1989, it aims to empower people, particularly the young and disadvantaged, with the knowledge, skills and understanding to engage positively with their communities. www.citizenshipfoundation.org.uk
4. The Bar National Mock Trial Competition is sponsored by the Bar Council, the Bar Council of Northern Ireland, the Faculty of Advocates, the Inns of Court and the Circuits, and is organised by the Citizenship Foundation, also supported by Her Majesty’s Courts Service
6. The Bar Council of Northern Ireland is the regulatory and representative body for barristers in Northern Ireland: www.barcouncil-ni.org.uk
7. The Faculty of Advocates is the regulatory and representative body for advocates in Scotland: www.advocates.org.uk
8. The Inns of Court provide educational activities and support for Advocates and student Advocates. The four Inns of Court are Lincoln’s Inn, Inner Temple, Middle Temple and Gray’s Inn.
9. The Circuits provide important sources of support, advice and representation for Advocates practicing in the six Circuit areas. They are Midland, Northern, North Eastern, South Eastern, Wales and Chester and the Western Circuits.
10. Below is a list of schools competing in the final in Cardiff on 10th March:
Calder High School
Catholic High School
Kesteven & Grantham Girls' School
King Edward VI School Stourbridge
Leyton Sixth Form College
Lumen Christi College
Peter Symonds College
Sir John Leman High School
St. Bernard's Convent School
St. Michael's RC School
Wirral Grammar School For Girls