​Budding RGS lawyers win case

A TEAM of budding young RGS lawyers triumphed in the courtroom when they won their case in a prestigious mock bar trial final.

But they missed out by just a few points on the winning the University of Bradford competition crown, awarded to Bingley’s Beckfoot School.

Honorary recorder of Bradford, Judge Jonathan Rose, who presided over the mock case, praised all the students.

Speaking after the final, he said: “Young students never cease to amaze me, with the talent that they have. I did not know how old the students were before, but they demonstrated a maturity beyond their years.

“It is inspirational that these students take part in this competition. They are prepared to stand up and engage in advocacy with an appropriate amount of confidence and extreme eloquence.”

The RGS students prosecuted and Beckfoot were the defence during the mock trial, featuring defendant Joshua Jericho, who faced a criminal damage charge. Jericho was accused of destroying a public statue in the fictional city of Braduniville during a peaceful environmental protest.

The court heard tree surgeon Jericho had climbed a plinth, spray-painted the bronze statue of Victorian industrialist, Jebediah Braduni, who Jericho branded ‘a climate criminal’, with black paint to symbolise oil, before he decapitated the statue with a hacksaw.

The participating students took turns to call witnesses, all from the School of Law, who they cross-examined. The other trial witnesses were Colossus Rhodes, Chief Superintendent De Milo and fellow environmental protester Athena Colston.

The winners were decided by a panel including Judge Rose and representatives from the University of Bradford’s School of Law.

RGS careers coordinator Bob Walker said: “It is a great experience for the students as they get to see how a courtroom works. One of our students who took part in a previous year has since been called to the bar.”

The mock trial was held in the university’s Lady Hale Court, named after the Yorkshire-born former president of the Supreme Court, who was the first woman to be appointed to the Law Commission.

Professor Engobo Emeseh, head of the Law School at the University of Bradford, said: “We were excited to be hosting the fourth in the series of these competitions.

“We are really happy to be part of the next generation of lawyers’ journey and that they get a taste of what advocacy is like, but more importantly, developing their skillset whatever career they choose to pursue.

“Students benefit in many ways from taking part in this competition – they build their confidence, teamwork and their ability to think on their feet.”

Launched in 2020, the mock trial competition for schools is an annual event at the University of Bradford. The mock trial final followed two earlier rounds which were held online earlier in the academic year and initially involved eight participating schools from West and North Yorkshire.