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24 May, 2011

Students battle in court for national title

Students from 14 schools across England, Wales and Northern Ireland will be taking part in the national final of the Citizenship Foundation’s Magistrates’ Court Mock Trial Competition on 18 June at the historic Victoria Law Courts in Birmingham.

The 14 finalist schools have taken part in local and regional heats involving over 6,000 young people from 400 state-funded secondary schools. At the final students will take on the roles of lawyers, witnesses, magistrates and court staff in two cases – one about domestic violence and the other dealing with the handling of stolen goods. Competing against other schools in real courtrooms, as prosecution and defence, their performance will be judged by real magistrates and legal professionals. 

As well as being an interesting and engaging opportunity to actively explore specific legal issues, the competition, now in its 17th successful year, enables teachers to deliver key elements of the citizenship curriculum, while developing students' skills of analysis, communication and team work.

The annual competition is organised by education and participation charity the Citizenship Foundation in partnership with the Magistrates' Association and local magistrates and court staff, and aims to introduce young people to the legal system in an innovative and exciting way.

The winning school will be awarded the prestigious national shield, along with £250 of educational resources, and individual shields and book tokens for each student.

Andy Thornton, Chief Executive of the Citizenship Foundation, said, ‘The Magistrates' Court Mock Trial Competition offers young people a hands-on introduction to the legal system, and how law can be relevant to their everyday lives.'

Schools participating in the national final are:

  • Bloomfield Collegiate School
  • Shoeburyness High School
  • South Holderness Technology College
  • Plumstead Manor School
  • Queen Elizabeth School
  • Spalding High School
  • St Gregory's Catholic High School
  • Penyrheol Comprehensive School
  • Bushey Meads School
  • The Bulmershe School
  • Kendrick School
  • Colyton Grammar School
  • Robert May's School
  • King Edward VI Handsworth School
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