RGS students step up to the bar

ASPIRING young RGS lawyers are preparing for a courtroom challenge after winning through to the final of a prestigious mock bar trial competition.

The school’s lower sixth form law society members faced Bradford’s Woodhouse Grove and Manchester’s Parrs Wood Sixth Form in the first two rounds, which were conducted online.

Having triumphed in both cases, played out in front of a team of legal experts in the University of Bradford competition, the thirteen students will now compete in a real court on May 9 against Bingley's Beckfoot School.

Amélie Chaduc explained how students did all their own research for the first two cases, using lunch times to learn about the legal process and systems while discussing tactics.

In the first, students argued for the prosecution in a dispute over a missing dog. The second case involved defending a client accused of assault after a player’s nose was broken in a conker match.

“We reasoned the cases by ourselves, looking over past cases and precedents as well as relevant statutes the government has passed.

“In the case of the missing dog, we explored what theft meant and what criteria had to be met for an act to constitute theft. In the case of the conker match, we had to explore how consent to risk of assault in sport is used in a legal context.”

Preparations for the final, which will be held in the Lady Hale court room at the university, have included speaking to Harrogate Judge Judy Dawson about how to address a judge and jury in a real court: “She also discussed how to initially plan cases and how to advocate in a confident, convincing way," said Amélie.

“We have found the process challenging but extremely interesting and for many of us looking at doing a law degree, it has given us a brilliant insight into what the nuances of law are. It’s been a wonderful opportunity to explore the subject in more detail.”

Head of careers Bob Walker said students had to push themselves out of their comfort zones: “They have had to think on their feet under pressure and have really risen to the challenge. Whether they decide to go into law or not, this is something they can put on their personal statements and CVs which really makes them stand out.

The mock trial competition for local schools, first launched in 2020, is an annual event run by the University of Bradford.

A spokesperson said: “A mock trial is a really good way to build students’ skills, not only for those who would like to study law, but for all students in terms of transferable skills, such as communication, advocacy, research, analytical thinking and team working.

"For those who are considering law, it gives them a taste of an aspect of what a career in law might involve."

The RGS legal team: Amélie Chaduc, Tess Duffy, Oliver Kitson, George Turner, Grace Nelson, Adam Dickinson, Tess Holloway, Flora Jackson, Evie Williamson, Imogen Ward Lane, Nick O’Keefe, James Brine and Julia Wojtyna.