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11 March, 2011

Gearing up for the 20th annual Bar National Mock Trial Competition

The Citizenship Foundation, in partnership with the Bar Council, which represents barristers in England and Wales, the Faculty of Advocates in Scotland and the Bar Council of Northern Ireland, is gearing up for the 20th annual final of the Bar National Mock Trial Competition.

To be held in the Royal Courts of Justice in Belfast on Saturday 12 March 2011, the competition provides a unique opportunity for state school students aged between 15 and 18 to gain practical experience of the workings of the legal system. Sixteen schools from across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland will participate in the final to present trials in front of serving judges and senior members of the Bar.


Andy Thornton, Chief Executive of the Citizenship Foundation, said, ‘The Citizenship Foundation is extremely proud to be celebrating the 20th year of the Bar National Mock Trial Competition. It is incredible to think that, 20 years ago, the competition started with a modest eight schools in Reading Crown Court and is now operating 16 heats annually and received applications from 230 schools in this year alone.


‘As a result of the generous support of the Bar Council, Faculty of Advocates and Bar Council of Northern Ireland, the competition has helped to develop many hundreds of young people's legal knowledge and understanding, and key life skills such as public speaking and problem solving, through active learning. The experience of working with court clerks, barristers and judges not only raises aspirations, but also offers students a positive introduction to the law, which is surely one of the competition's greatest achievements.'


Speaking on behalf of the partner organisations, David Hobart, Chief Executive of the Bar Council, said, ‘It has been a privilege to watch the Bar National Mock Trial Competition growing and developing over the years and it is something which the Bar Council is immensely proud to support. The competition is a triumph of opportunity, excellence and achievement. It opens a new door for students and gives them knowledge, understanding and a practical feeling for the fascinating subject of law in action.


‘Whilst not intended as a recruitment tool for the profession, participation in the competition has led to a number of young people going on to study law and enjoying a successful career at the Bar and a range of other professions.


‘We look forward to watching the competition continuing from strength to strength.'



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