Buckingham students reach next stage of national mock trial competition

Two teams of students from schools in Buckingham have reached the regional final of a national mock trial competition.

Teams representing The Royal Latin School and The Buckingham School have reached the next stage of the competition after coming in the top two in the Buckinghamshire heat.

The Royal Latin School team alongside dignitaries who attended on the day

The Royal Latin School team alongside dignitaries who attended on the day

After triumphing in the heat, the team from the Royal Latin were presented with the High Sheriff’s shield by the county's High Sheriff Professor Ruth Farwell.

The teams from Buckingham were competing against teams of students from Northampton, Hertfordshire and other Milton Keynes schools.

Students between the ages of 12 and 14 took on the roles of lawyers, witnesses, magistrates, court staff and a defendant in the 25th annual competition, run by Young Citizens in partnership with the Magistrates’ Association.

Students were given a special criminal case in which the defendant stands accused of the theft of a moped.

Pupils from The Buckingham School with their mock trial certificates

Pupils from The Buckingham School with their mock trial certificates

The aims of the competition are to enable students to learn about all aspects of the criminal justice system - the law, procedures, consequences and the staff – and to develop confidence in personal skills such as public speaking, analysis techniques and working as a team.

Local magistrates, law students and other legal professionals help the teams prepare by giving them information on the everyday workings of magistrates’ courts and hosting court visits.

There is also a court artist and court reporter competition for budding journalists and artists.

There are 45 heats across the country followed by regional finals in May before the national final at the Victoria Law Courts in Birmingham in June.

Mike Porteous, a teacher at the Latin who accompanied the students during the competition said: “It was very encouraging to see our students take on the legal roles with such maturity and confidence.

"It was particularly pleasing to see the two Buckingham teams go forward to the regional final.”