National Mock Trial Competition @ the Royal Courts of Justice

On Saturday 28th November The Citizenship Foundation, in partnership with the Bar Council of Northern Ireland, held its 24th annual National Mock Trial Competition at the Royal Courts of Justice, Belfast. Students from across Northern Ireland took on the roles of barristers and witnesses, with one team prosecuting and the other defending, judged by senior members of the Bar and serving judges.

Over the last two months, 14 of Grosvenor’s pupils in Lower and Upper Sixth have spent time preparing two cases to be performed in the competition, drawing up the defence and prosecution for each with the help and guidance of QC John Orr and their teachers, Ms. Seaton and Miss Elwood. Whether in the role of barrister, witness, court clerk or usher, all pupils performed extremely well against their opposing teams on the day, and agreed that it was an enjoyable and extremely worthwhile experience.

The pupils involved were: Upper Sixth - Martin Taylor, Hannah Gibson, Sarah Wheatley , David Campbell; Lower Sixth - Cameron Hamilton, Niamh Bell, Bella Robinson, Lauren McCaskie, Sian Creelman, Emily Neill, Adam McBurney, Lois Hagan, Rebecca Hamilton  and Rose Gilmore.

Speaking on behalf of the Bar Council, Chairman Gerald McAlinden QC commented:

“The Bar Council is delighted to support the 24th Bar National Mock Trial Competition and each year, we look forward to welcoming the students to the High Court. We are dedicated to providing young people with an exciting and novel insight into the workings the Northern Ireland legal system.  They learn more about their legal rights and responsibilities through the process and I want to publically acknowledge the barristers and judges who volunteer their time each year to work with these young people in bringing the legal system to life. Again congratulations to all the pupils who took part.”

Well done to all of Grosvenor’s pupils who participated so commendably on the day as well as to Ms. Seaton and Miss Elwood for their own dedication and commitment throughout the preparation process; hopefully many of this year’s group of Grosvenor participants will go on to enjoy successful legal careers in our courtrooms and on the benches over the year to come.