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Bar Mock National Champions
Posted on: 27th Mar 2017
A team of students from Plymouth High School for Girls have emerged victorious from the prestigious national final of a legal competition presided over by Sir Brian Leveson, Mrs Justice McGowan and The Honourable Lady Rae at the Royal Courts of Justice in London.
The students, aged 15-18, took on the roles of barristers, witnesses and other court staff to present criminal cases against teams from 24 other schools who had won their regional final earlier in the year, from a starting point of 230 state schools.
Throughout the day, they prosecuted and defended cases after spending months preparing from witness statements and legal statutes. Real judges assessed their performance to whittle it down to the final two schools.
The closely fought grand final saw Plymouth High School for Girls prosecuting whilst Kesteven & Grantham Girls' School defended in a case about whether it could be proven that a defendant had knowingly taken a knife with her to an altercation in a public park.
It was only when Sir Brian Leveson announced the result and the barrister (better known as TV's Judge Robert Rinder) awarded the sought-after shield that it became clear that Plymouth were victorious, much to the delight of the team.
Law teacher Lucinda Findlay said, "The standard was extremely high this year but our students performed brilliantly as a team to earn their win. Most importantly, they really enjoyed the experience and have developed valuable skills."
Over 2,000 students take part in the competition annually which is organised by the Citizenship Foundation and supported by the Bar Council. The aim is to introduce the legal system to young people in an innovative and exciting way, giving them the opportunity to gain hands-on experience.
Student Rose Harman, who took the role of prosecution barrister in the final, said, "It was a great day. Winning felt fantastic but we got so much more out of the experience. I'm now certain that Law is the career for me."
This is the fourth time that Plymouth High School for Girls have secured a place in the national final in the past five years and the second time that they have been awarded the impressive title of national Bar Mock Trial champions.