Wilmslow High School in Cheshire has been named as the winner of the 27th annual Bar Mock Trials National Competition, after their performance in the Final at Cardiff Crown Court on 24 March.
Every year, students from secondary schools across the UK compete for months to claim the title, under the mentorship and assessment of 90 judges and 300 barristers and advocates.
The competition, which is a Citizenship Foundation (Young Citizens) initiative and is principally sponsored by the Bar Council of England and Wales, has, since 1991, enabled 53,000 students from state schools across the country to compete in mock criminal trials, in real courts. Students are presented with written cases based on real trials and assume various roles involved in a criminal trial. The Mock Trials are performed before real judges who assess student performances and their knowledge of the judicial process.
The final was attended by Andrew Walker QC, Chair of the Bar, who commented: “I have been thoroughly impressed at the talent that has been displayed by so many who took part in the Bar Mock Trials National Final today. Events like this make an important contribution towards ensuring that the best and brightest minds are entering the profession, unimpeded by and irrespective of social background. They also help us to increase public understanding of the criminal justice system and of the legal profession, by bringing the courtroom to life for young people across the country, and by bringing them into direct contact with members of the Bar and judges. We hope they will take that understanding into their adult lives and into whatever careers they may pursue. Our long-standing support of the competition reflects those goals.
“On behalf of the Bar Council I congratulate the winners on a well-deserved victory, and I hope to encounter at least some of those I saw, from all of the finalist schools, in counsel’s row in our courtrooms in a few years’ time.”
Also in attendance were Malcolm Cree CBE (CEO of the Bar Council), The Rt Hon. Sir Brian Leveson QC (Head of Criminal Justice for England), Jeremy Miles AM (Welsh Labour and Co-operative Party Assembly Member in the National Assembly for Wales for Neath) and other legal representatives.