Mock Trial Takes Case Seriously

Gumley House Girls Win Place in National Magistrates Competition

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Future magistrates and lawyers had the chance to pit their legal skills against each other in a competition at Feltham Magistrates’ Court last weekend.

Pupils from Heston Community School, The Heathland School, Brentford School for Girls and Gumley House School took part in the National Magistrates’ Court Mock Trial Competition which aims to introduce young people to the magistrates’ court system which deals with over 95% of all criminal cases.

The Year 8/9 students took on the roles of everyone involved in a trial including lawyers, witnesses and magistrates. They were taking part in a case especially written by the RSPCA in which the defendant in the case was accused of neglecting and mistreating a pet rabbit. The teams were judged by magistrates, legal advisers and others from the criminal justice agencies.

Jenny Kerr JP who organised the event, explained,“The event was not judged on who got the best verdict but on who came across best in the role they were playing. All the teams did very well but unfortunately only one school could go through to the next round.”

Gumley House School won the competition and will go forward to the regional finals also to be held at Feltham Magistrates’ Court on May 19.

The competition is organised by the Citizenship Foundation and supported by the Magistrates’ Association. Last year the competition attracted over 45,000 entrants and the national final was won by a team from Devon.

March 16, 2007