Year 12 competed in a Bar Mock Trial on 1st Dec at Maidstone Crown Court, giving them a unique opportunity to gain unparalleled insight into the justice system. In the words of Year 12 student Georgia it was “an incredible opportunity to discover the way in which the courtroom works.”
Along with 15 other school teams they simulated fictional court cases which were presided over by real-life judges. The students were able to take on several roles including barristers, witnesses, court clerks and ushers. The competition helps supplement traditional classroom learning by encouraging the development of essential skills such as logical reasoning, clear communication and teamwork. It is open to students from all backgrounds and from all skill levels – there is no need to have any legal or debating experience in order to take part.
They began their preparations in September by familiarising themselves with the cases and started to devise their arguments. They had to become immersed in the mindset of an actual legal team to fully understand the intricacies of the cases and to work out how they could present either the defence or the prosecution to their best ability. As the competition date drew near they focused on practicing questioning of witnesses and following the real-life court procedure as closely as possible.
On the day of the competition, the students assembled in Maidstone and were drawn against various other schools either defending or prosecuting the cases. Joshua said that it was an “enlightening and eye-opening look into a world that I had never explored before.”
Due to last-minute illness, there had to be a little bit of switching of the roles at the last minute, but all the barristers, witnesses and ushers did brilliantly and received excellent feedback from the judges. All participants were praised immensely and of particular note was Zenia who questioned her witness most skillfully, despite having very little time to prepare.
TGS students performed extremely well and had a great time. It was especially helpful for those who are interested in law at either University or as a career. Jaya found it to be “an incredibly enriching experience as it allowed me to explore the role of a barrister in a friendly, yet serious, environment.” While Darcey enjoyed “a great insight into a career in law.”
Well done to everyone who was involved!
By Lilly, Year 12