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St Clement's High School

St Clement’s court success

Our budding barristers showed off their courtroom skills when they claimed second place in a prestigious national competition.

The ten Year 10 students from St Clement’s High School had previously come first in the Regional Heats of the Bar Mock Trials, before joining 21 other Regional winners in the National Final, which took place at the Royal Court of Justice in London.

Launched by the Young Citizens charity in 1991 to improve young people’s understanding of the law, the annual competition is sponsored by the Bar Council and sees over 2,000 students from state schools across the country participate, with the support of over 200 barristers and advocates and 90 judges.

The contest involves a series of mock court cases, with the students from each school representing the members of legal prosecution and defence teams in turn.

“At the final, we were re-enacting two court cases,” explained Eliza Bennell, Senior Leader at our school, which is a member of the West Norfolk Academies Trust.

“In one case we had two prosecutors and two witnesses against the other school’s defendant team, defendant and witness.

“The prosecutors put forward their case to the jury, which included examination in chief speeches, and cross-examined the witnesses and defendant. In the second case, we were the defending barristers.”

It was the first time that St Clemen’ts had taken part in the competition, and, as well as achieving second place, the team also received the Best New School award for being the highest scoring newcomers – despite being among the youngest participants.

“Competitions like this are very important,” continued Mrs Bennell. “The students have had an amazing experience.

“This competition has helped build the students’ confidence. It also benefits students who might want a career path in law.

“We are extremely proud of what they have achieved, especially as they were one of the youngest teams taking part – the majority of the schools were sixth formers.”