This year is our last year in Chantry, which means lots of opportunities! One of them is to get a chance to participate in Magistrates Mock Trial. We got given a trial case to audition with, and we had to argue whether we thought ‘Chantelle’ was guilty or not. We argued our case in front of Mr Warner (the teacher who runs Magistrates) and in front of anyone else who was auditioning. Less than a week later, 13 students who Mr Warner deemed the best for each role where picked, to start practicing with our case every Friday afternoon.
The different roles consist of:
3 Magistrates: Alice, Rebecca and Kelsey
2 Prosecution Lawyers: Amrit and Isobel
2 Defence Lawyers: Alice and Millie
1 Legal Advisor: Conall
1 Defendant: Kate
2 Defence Witnesses: Kate and Elise
2 Prosecution Witnesses: Joe and Finlay
On 24th March we will compete as a team defending and prosecuting the case.
We (Rebecca and Alice) are magistrates and our role is to decide whether or not the defendant is guilty. We have to weigh up the credibility of the witnesses and if we believe that the defendant is telling the truth or not. This case is incredibly difficult as it all depends on the credibility of the witnesses as there is reason to believe that the defendant may have not done the crime however there is also evidence to suggest that they did! Unlike the lawyers, we have to have a balanced argument and take into account both sides of the story and decide what’s fair.
I, (Alice) am a defence lawyer and my role is to be very one sided by twisting the prosecutions side of the story to make the defendant innocent. I question one prosecution witness and one defence witness trying to make the defendant seem innocent either way. Also I have to give a closing speech trying to persuade the magistrates the defendant is innocent. So unlike the magistrates, I have to only use one side of the case to do my job and the prosecution lawyer does the opposite to me (make the defendant guilty). Overall, it is my job to keep the defendant out of prison, no matter what the case.
We are very excited to be taking part in this competition but the pressure is on as Chantry have won it many times before! We’re looking forward to experiencing what a court is like and taking the roles that many adults do!
Alice, Alice and Rebecca (Year 8)