Five law students got a taste of the courtroom this week, when they took part in the first round of Bradford University’s Mock Trial Competition.
The Competition was first run last year and is designed to provide students with invaluable, practical experience of the law in action. Each of the 14 schools and colleges taking part have been allowed to enter only one team. Stepping up for Notre Dame were the following lower sixth A-level and BTEC Law students:
- Feruz Tesfay (acting as a barrister)
- Ana Grecu (acting as a barrister)
- Zara Qandah (acting as a solicitor)
- Molly Crowther (acting as a solicitor)
- Layla Smith-MacDonald (acting as a solicitor)
Prior to the first round of the competition on Wednesday March 17, the students attended a virtual tutorial with the University that covered the legal issues involved with their scenario. They were also invited to an online session with academics discussing the relevant criminal law aspects of their case, and were introduced to courtroom advocacy and etiquette.
Our team were acting for the defence. The case to be tried concerned a man at a nightclub inadvertently hurting other people on the dancefloor due to his erratic dancing style. He had been charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm under s. 47 of the Offences Against the Person Act 1861.
Notre Dame’s students scored 66 out of 100 and were particularly praised for their legal knowledge and the quality of their closing submissions. They pitted their research and public speaking skills against those of their opponents, and had to think on their feet.
Law teachers Mrs. Lydia Newman and Mr. Tom Sampson helped the Notre Dame team to prepare. Mrs. Newman said, “The students worked hard to develop their case together. Unfortunately, they did not qualify for the next round but this was still a fantastic experience for our aspiring solicitors and barristers, and we are very proud of our students’ performance.”