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 from 11th September 2023 Apply Now . APPLICATIONS NOW CLOSED.

• Applications for the 2023/24 competition open on the 11th September and close on the 13th October.

• Entry Fee is £210 per team , but £50 per team will be reimbursed to schools who take part 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 - this will be subject to court availability.

For Students and Families

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

• A chance to act out roles and compete in a real courtroom.

• Realistic cases typical of a Magistrates' Court.

• Students develop public speaking, debating and analytical skills as well as their team work.

• Increased understanding of how the Criminal Justice System works.

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 were made to Young Citizens at and open on the 11th September this year, closing on the 13th October.
* Entry Fees for a team are £210 , but schools who take part on the day will receive a reimbursement of £50 to offset some of this cost – funded from kind donations by former High Sheriffs of the Royal County of Berkshire.
* Three Berkshire heats will be held at Reading Crown Court on Saturday the 16th and Saturday the 23rd March 2024. 
* The Regional Final will take place in Reading Crown Court on Saturday the 18th May 2024. Sadly there will not be a National Final in 2024.


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          Teams arrive at coourt and will be met by a Schools' Liaison Magistrate who will show  them around their first Court Room.

9:30am    Welcome speeches in the Foyer.

9:45am    Round 1 - One team prosecutes and the other defends.

10:45am   Refreshment break.

11:05 am    Round 2 -  Change court room and switch from prosecution to defence

12:15 pm   Teams gather in Foyer to hear the results and for presentation of certificates and prizes by the High Sheriff.

Afternoon Heats follow the same format but start at 1:15pm and finish at 5pm.