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Mock Trial Competition

Tonbridge School’s aspiring lawyers made the final of the inaugural Independent Schools Mock Trial Competition 2018.

A team of eleven Tonbridge boys took part in the contest, organised by the Citizenship Foundation and held at London’s Wood Green Crown Court on Saturday 3 February. The boys were narrowly beaten by St Paul’s Girls’ School in the final, described by the Crown Court judges as “at a level equivalent to mooting by post-graduates at the Inns of Court, and at a level of members of the Bar who appear in criminal trials”.

The event gave students from various schools the opportunity to take part in a ‘criminal trial’, working together in teams as crown prosecutors and defence barristers in front of real judges and in a realistic setting. Presented with cases specially prepared by professionals in the legal profession, students had to display skills in teamwork, public speaking and verbal reasoning.

Lindsay McDonald, Oxbridge Coordinator, and Sarah Pinto, Head of Debating, organised the Tonbridge team, with the invaluable help of Steven Gee QC (PH 66-71) and volunteer James Sutherland, a criminal barrister.

Lindsay said:

“The judges praised the boys’ efforts, so they clearly made a good impression. The boys themselves felt the mock trial was an excellent way to learn more about the legal profession and the workings of the justice system, and they had great fun along the way.”

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