On Saturday 6th June, the Solicitor General Robert Buckland QC MP welcomed school students from all backgrounds across the UK as they prepared to put their legal knowledge to the test at the Citizenship Foundation’s Magistrates’ Mock Trial Competition final in Birmingham’s historic Victoria Law Courts.
The High Sheriff attended the event and witnessed the mock trials where young people performed the judicial roles including the Magistrates, Jury, Prosecution, Defence and Witnesses. It was a great educational as well uplifting event with a high level of skill delivered by the 12 school groups that got through the regional heats to get to the Final. Clearly their had been a great deal of preparation put into everyone’s contribution and many teachers and parents attended.
Some 4,700 secondary school students and 1,400 magistrates from across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have been involved in this year’s competition. 208 students from 16 schools got through to the final, and the winning team was Fairlands Middle School from Cheddar in Somerset.
The High Sheriff was introduced by Chair of The Birmingham Bench Richard Trengrouse and assisted by Mushtaq Khan, Chair of the Birmingham Law Society in praising all the young participants and their supporters..
The High Sheriff was proud to present the awards to all the participants. Photographer Paul Clarke captured a rather wonderful moment following the winning announcement that was shared on twitter.
There was a great ‘buzz’ in the historic court as the tension rose throughout the ceremony culminating in the winner announcement.
The Citizenship foundation have a strong innovation programme to spread the value of the mock trials and bring judicial knowledge to a wider audience.
The Foundation have also recently released a smart phone app that entertains and informs young people about the law by connecting the dots between popular culture and everyday legal situations. It is a fun but legally accurate format that helps young people to separate fact from fiction and understand their legal rights and their responsibilities. SmartLaw is available free to download from the App Store and Google Play now.
And it was designed in birmingham by iedesign.