All Berkshire state (non-fee paying) schools are eligible to enter.
For older students, Young Citizens run the Bar Mock Trial Competition. For further details click here.
Although this is a competition, the main aim of the Mock Trials is to provide students with a realistic insight into criminal justice and an opportunity to practice new skills and develop confidence in the setting of a real court.
Dates, Cost and Timings
* Applications are made to Young Citizens at www.smartlaw.org.uk and open on the 9th September 2019 closing on the 18th October 2019
* Entry Fees for a team are £160, but schools will receive a cheque for £30 on the day of their heat to offset some of this cost – funded from kind donations by former High Sheriffs of the Royal County of Berkshire.
* Berkshire heats are on Saturday 14th March 2020 (morning or afternoon) and Saturday 21st March 2020 (morning or afternoon) at Reading Crown Court – schools can state a preference before allocation to a heat
* Winners from each of the heats plus the best placed teams from across all heats will go on to the Regional Final on Saturday 16th May 2020 at Reading Crown Court.
* Successful teams go on to a National Final in June 2020.
* Open to students in Years 8 & 9.
* Team size between 12 and 16 students.
* Detailed, step by step preparation guides available online and free visits to your school from magistrates to get your team ready.
* Realistic case provided – recent offences include assault, theft, possession of a knife and harassment by social media – designed for relevance to young people.
* Different roles to include different capabilities.
* Magistrates, Solicitors, Usher, Defendant, Victim, Witnesses, Legal Advisor.
A typical morning timetable is:
9am Schools and guests arrive at Reading Crown Court and gather in Foyer
9:15am Teams are met by their Schools’ Liaison Magistrate who will show them around their court room
9:30 Return to Foyer for Welcome and safety briefing
9:45 Round 1 – teams go to their first court room and run through the case against an opposing school. One team prosecutes and the other defends.
10:45am Refreshments for students and guests
11:15 am Round 2 in a new court room, change from prosecution to defence
12:15 pm Return to Foyer for results
Afternoon Heats follow the same format but start at 1:15pm and finish at 5:pm
What Happens on the Day!
Families are welcome to attend Reading Crown Court (click on the map for directions) to support the teams and light refreshments tea/coffee/juice/light snacks) are provided – all free of charge