On the 14th November, 17 Sixth Form students took part in the regional stage of the Mock Bar Trial competition at Maidstone Crown Court. Students took on the roles of barrister, clerk, usher and witnesses to enact court cases against other local schools.
In the Prosecuting team, the barristers had to argue that the defendant was guilty: a particularly difficult task in cases that were full of uncertainties. As we learnt, in the UK the law states that a person can only be convicted if they are thought to be guilty beyond all reasonable doubt. The witnesses meanwhile had to memorize statements and be quizzed gruelingly on the fine details by barristers from other schools. The clerk was responsible for reading out the charges and Police statements, as well as escorting the jury to agree upon their verdict. At the end of the last case, the Judge commented particularly on the polished and clear delivery of our students in the Prosecuting team.
Five of us took on the role of juror. This meant that we had to listen to all of the evidence given in court by the witnesses and the lawyers, and then decide whether the defendant was guilty or not guilty. To do this, after the evidence had been heard we went into a room with five jurors from another school. We discussed the evidence to reach our decision and then went back into the courtroom to deliver our verdict to the judge.
The event was an excellent opportunity for us, as students, to experience the workings of court and the roles of key professionals in this field. Many of us taking part have aspirations of following such a career, we fell very lucky to have taken part.
Written By Isabella and Emily