The Bar Mock Trial competition is a unique opportunity for students aged 15-18 from all over the UK to gain unparalleled insight into the justice system. The competition immerses students in all aspects of a criminal trial, as they take on the roles of barristers, witnesses, clerks, ushers and jury members. Students appear in real crown courts in front of real judges.
Our team of students were drawn in the Cambridge heat and travelled to the Cambridge Crown Court on the 18th of November to compete against schools from across the region. One trial involved a drug possession, with potential intent to supply, whilst the other involved a drunken assault occasioning actual bodily harm in a nightclub.
Students fought fiercely to either prosecute or defend each case and had varying success on the day. The jury returned a not guilty plea in our first case (Barristers – Annalise Ryan and Crystal Lai), resulting in our defendant (Caleb Gearty) receiving a conditional discharge.
Notably, Barrister Alfie Colman and witness Sammah Syed receive judicial acclaim, with Alfie’s tactics being compared to those of a Junior Barrister and Sammah providing not one but two convincing witness accounts for two separate trials! Barrister Shannon also deserves a mention for getting an accidental confession from the defendant in her trial; quite the feat from the giggly, nervous and perhaps underprepared witness in front of her!
Hear from the participants themselves:
“My experience was very eye opening into the world of law. As someone that doesn’t take law it was fascinating to see first hand, not just from programmes on Netflix! Getting a first hand experience is undefeated in comparison to be in the classroom. It brings all the law together and develops your understanding much more.”
Sammah Syed (Year 13 – witness)
“I had a really good experience of the Bar Mock Trial! Although we didn’t get through to the next round, I learnt a lot a lot about how the English court worked and I have a better understanding of the English Legal System. I also have a better understanding of the role of the jury and the barristers from the defence and prosecution team. The role of the judge is more clear to me! I really enjoyed the Bar Mock Trial overall! “
Erin McCann (Year 12 – witness)