A few months ago I applied for a role in a Magistrates Court Mock Trial competition. This is a competition where students aged 12, 13 and 14 years old compete against other schools. There are many roles that you could apply for such as a lawyer, magistrate, witness, court artist etc. I was lucky enough to be chosen as a defence witness. As it is a mock trial the students play a key character in a role play situation.
Sam Fenton was the name of the defendant and the charge was “being in possession of a bladed article in a public place without reasonable excuse”. The whole case was fictional and different schools portrayed the witnesses statements in their own way.
As I entered the court to start the mock trial the tension was high. As the last witness, and in a pivotal role, all my nerves built up and I was very scared and anxious to get into the stand. My role required being interviewed by the defence and prosecution. Obvisiouly I had practiced questions with the defence and I knew the questions for my team. The opposing team asked many detailed and challenging questions about my statement some of which I could not answer.
The two schools our team went against were incredibly well rehearsed and organised, however the Magistrates found in our favour – with the stronger case. Although we won both cases we unfortunately did not win the whole competition. There were many other schools who took part, and sadly my school did not come in the top two. Overall it was a great experience and an amazing idea to get young people interested in the justice system.