Courtroom win for RGS

RGS's lower sixth form Law Society members triumphed in the first round of a University of Bradford Mock Trial competition. ADAM DICKINSON reports

WE'VE all encountered court room dramas, maybe on the screen through Jack Nicolson’s famous outburst or the suspense and intrigue of Suits. However, students of Ripon Grammar School recently had the opportunity to become a part of this world.

The students took part in a virtual bar mock trial as part of a competition run by the University of Bradford, which, if they continue to do well, will lead to a bar mock trial in a real court room. In this first round they triumphed against Woodhouse Grove School as the prosecution facing a tough case of a stolen dog made complicated by the morals and seemingly benevolent nature of the theft. 

One member of the RGS team told me: “I found the experience to be incredibly interesting as it required identification of the other team’s mistakes, intelligent use of the information we had and drawing out the information we wanted from witnesses, so we had to be on the ball and listening out for opportunities. Another member of the team said, “I really enjoyed it because I got to spend time brainstorming and learning new analytical skills as well as developing my own knowledge on the legal process and systems.” 

The team had prepared extensively for this, researching past cases, writing scripts and plans and using lunch times to discuss tactics and expectations. This really helped them with their ability to plan, work as a team and research, skills useful not just in the courtroom but in many other aspects of school life and then the world of work. The next round this team must face takes place in February and I’m sure with all the experience they’ve gained, they’ll perform.