Law students outside Reading Crown Court
A team of 14 A level law students came second in the recent National Bar Mock Trial competition at Reading Crown Court.
The event, organised by the Citizenship Foundation, is very prestigious and provides an excellent opportunity for students to observe first-hand how the legal system works. The students had been given two criminal cases to prepare in advance and on the day, students played the roles of barristers, witnesses, jurors and other court staff presenting each case in front of a real robed judge.
The competition day involved three preliminary rounds where teams from twelve schools battled it out against each other. The two highest scoring teams, of which Farnborough was one, then went ‘head to head’ in the final round in front of a bench of three judges.
The College team had been divided into two sub-teams, each taking on the preparation and delivery of one case. One half of the team was given a challenging theft and fraud case to prepare. Testing questions and persuasive advocacy alongside composed delivery were demonstrated by our barristers, Amelia Grinham and Georgia White. Our witnesses were played by Cerys Bull and Connor Rigby who gave compelling performances from the witness stand. Elizabeth Marsden ensured that proceedings ran smoothly in court by swearing in the jury and reading uncontested statements of witnesses. As court usher, Jemima Wescourt looked after the judge and witnesses, seeing that the judge was collected from chambers and the witnesses were escorted to the witness box and suitably sworn in.
The other half of the team were given the task of preparing the case of a defendant arguing self-defence to an accusation of grievous bodily harm. Emma Watkins and Kundai Nhandara acted as Counsel whilst Charlotte Inglis and Olivia Warnes both acted as witnesses. Both barristers gave assured and commanding performances, posing incisive questions when cross examining witnesses and exuding a calmness when delivering their speeches to the jury. Our witnesses were both very convincing and stuck to their versions of events in the face of rigorous cross examination.
Georgie Barrow, Olivia Fox, Mariana Meneses and Shaked Yanko acted as our jurors and played a vital role in deciding the verdict of the accused in each case.
Judge Morris congratulated the students on their impressive performance, paying particular tribute to the students’ excellent delivery and ability to ‘think on their feet’.
Sian Richards, subject tutor for law remarked, “Every member of the team performed impressively, they have done both themselves and the College proud. Well done to all.”