Recently, a group of Year 8 pupils from Chantry Middle School took part in the ‘Magistrates Court Mock Trial Competition’ and won! The competition involves a team of thirteen students in middle or high school taking on real roles of an actual court case in a magistrates court; including three magistrates, two defence lawyers, a defendant, a defence witness, two prosecution lawyers, two prosecution witnesses, and usher and a legal advisor.
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The way the competition works is that the defence lawyers, defence witnesses and usher, along with the magistrates go against the prosecution of another team with their magistrates and legal advisor, and vice versa, with with the remaining people of the teams. So the witnesses are cross examined by someone they’ve never seen before, and the lawyers are cross examining someone they’ve never seen before.
They were practicing the case for a few months before, and the case they were presented was the case of ‘Bek LeJohn’ who had been charged of domestic burglary, for stealing a Playstation 4 of ‘Rowan Brown’. The team couldn’t have triumphed if it weren’t for Mr Warner, a teacher at Chantry, that coached the team to the highest possible standard.
On 4th March 2017 the team went to Newcastle Law Courts to take part in the competition. Some of the teams they went against were much older than them, however, they still triumphed! The next round (the regional round) is in May, again in the Newcastle Law Courts. If the team succeed in winning that they will go to London for the final, national round. So good luck to the team!
By Gina, Year 8.