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Year 9 Mock Trial Trip to Stevenage Magistrates Court

Tuesday, 07 February 2017

On Tuesday the 7th of February the Year 9 Mock Trial Team and staff went on a trip to The Stevenage Magistrates’ Court to explore various aspects within the legal profession, become more familiar with the legal system and watch over a set of live trials. Whilst there, the team met and conversed with several prosecuting and defending lawyers, local magistrates, ushers and legal advisors who spoke to us about what their jobs involve and what it’s like to be an active part of the legal system.

During the visit, we saw the layout of a conventional court room, the same one which we would be competing in when we participate in The Magistrates' Court Mock Trial Competition. As well as first hand experiencing courtroom etiquette and behaviour. In addition, we witnessed several real life trials, some which we found structurally similar to our case study and became familiar with the sequence of events, positioning and other details of a trial. I believe that this trip was very worthwhile as it gave us a flavour of what we would be doing and helped us get into character for our roles as well as showing us a range of styles of putting forward legal arguments and responses.

Personally, seeing the techniques of qualified lawyers in the trial really gave me an insight into how I might argue as a defence lawyer in the competition. In my opinion, this trip provided a very insightful view into the world of law and formed a good foundation and experience for those considering taking up law as a career in the future. Generally, it provided us with a fantastic preview of what our competition will be like on the 18th of March. The visit will motivate us to work even harder, both individually and as a team in preparation for our trial. We have further evaluated the learning outcomes of our visit in our weekly rehearsals. I write on behalf of the whole team in saying that we found this trip very informative and constructive. We would all like to thank the court staff who were happy to answer any questions that we had and, of course, our teachers: Miss Bray, Mr Rowley and Mr Spurgeon, for organising a very educational and helpful visit.

Ayesha Unadkat (Year 9)