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 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.
* 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