For Teachers

• No previous law knowledge required and help is on hand to support and guide you through the process.

• Thorough online resources with a step by step guide to getting your team ready.

• Magistrates will visit schools when needed to guide your preparation and answers to questions are available via email whenever they arise.

• Applications are made through the Young Citizens website Apply Now .

• Applications for the 2021/22 competition are already open and officially close 24th September 24th 2021, although in Berkshire we will accept late applications if there is available space in the heats.

• Entry Fee is £165 per team or £215 for 2 teams, but £50 per team will be reimbursed to participating schools on the day of the March heats thanks to donations by former High Sheriffs – to help offset the cost to schools. Schools new to the competition are urged not to enter two teams in their first year.

• Open Day (subject to Covid-19 restrictions and court availability) to enable teams to familiarize themselves with a real courtroom and practice their material. Date to be advised.

For Students and Families

• A fun opportunity to find out more about how the law works.

• Families and supporters welcome (limited seating in some courts).

• A chance to act out roles and compete in front of family and supporters as well as VIP guests in a real courtroom.

• Free light refreshments provided mid-morning or afternoon (tea/coffee/juice/biscuits/cake).

Charters School, Ascot - National Final 2018 3rd Place

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 and are already open, closing on the 24th September 2021, but in Berkshire we will accept late applications subject to space being available in the heats.
* Entry Fees for a team are £165 and £215 for 2 teams, but schools will receive a cheque for £50 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 will be held in March 2022.  Due to the uncertain situation with Covid-19, the exact dates and whether we are able to hold them at Reading Crown Court will be subject to Government guidance at the time and court availability. 
* Winners from each of the heats plus the best placed teams from across all heats will go on to the Regional Final, usually held in May and again hopefully at Reading Crown Court, but subject to court availability and Covid-19 restrictions.
* Successful teams go on to a National Final , usually held in June.


Team Information

* 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

12:30pm   Finish

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