Students from East Yorkshire will have a real taste of what life is like inside a courtroom when they take part in the 2013 Magistrates’ Court Mock Trial competition.
The local event will take place on Saturday March 9 at Beverley Magistrates’ Court. About 45 youngsters aged 12 to 14 will take on the roles of magistrates, lawyers, defendants, witnesses and court staff in this the 19th national competition organised by the Citizenship Foundation in partnership with the Magistrates Association, local JPs and court staff.
This year’s specially written criminal case centres on a fight in a pub in which a defendant has pleaded not guilty to an assault, claiming he did not get involved in the incident.
The aim of the annual competition is for schoolchildren to learn about all aspects of the criminal justice system as well as develop confidence in personal skills such as public speaking, analysis techniques and working as a team. Magistrates from the East Yorkshire Bench have been helping the teams prepare by visiting schools and hosting court visits.
The East Yorkshire heat will comprise students from Hornsea School and Language College, South Holderness Technology College and St Mary’s College, Hull. Among the judges will be the High Sherriff of East Riding, Julie Good. The winning team will go on to the regional finals, which then lead to the national final in June. More than 6,000 students from 420 schools are taking part in 69 heats throughout the UK.