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Year 9 success at the Mock Magistrates Trial

On Saturday 23rd March, a small group of Year 9 students headed to Bromley Magistrates Court for the inter-schools regional competition. The students had been working with Mrs Belton Owen and Mrs Ellis to prepare over the last half-term. This had been a big commitment from students, as they had to understand the case, take responsibility for preparing how to question witnesses as well as understand the role that they had to play in the trial. Students had the opportunity to play all the key roles, including magistrates, lawyers, witnesses, legal advisers and ushers. I was lucky enough to go into the first competition and witness them in action. I was hugely impressed with their ability to perform under pressure and respond to the witnesses' responses. The judges commented that Bexley Grammar students were well-prepared and asked very good and clear questions. Judges commented that our three magistrates were very attentive and able to speak and justify their opinions, which helped make decisions about the case.

After working very hard on our case, Kartikeya and I went up against Harris School for Girls. Their prosecution team put up a good case, but ultimately we won.

Overall, it was nerve-racking, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. As the 2nd defence lawyer, I questioned the witness on the stand. I have loved this experience overall, working with my friends and learning how to prepare a case. I am so glad I took part in this opportunity.

Yasmin Mofakham, Year 9 

Being in court the room felt surreal; being cross-examined by the opposing school prosecution was certainly more pressure than I had anticipated. When the magistrates came back in, I was sure that I would be found guilty, but we won. I would definitely do this again.

Emily Chan, Year 9

Overall, we came second against the other local schools in the competition. Feedback from the competition judges quoted

“Bexley Grammar School prosecution were excellent and presented good arguments that showed knowledge of the case”.  Also, that “the defendant was natural and confident and the court usher was clear, precise and accurate”.

My congratulations go to all the students that took part in this opportunity.

Well done, they are definitely future lawyers in the making.

Mrs Belton Owen
Director of Studies, Year 9