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PHSG Bar Mock Team are placed in the top 5 at the National Finals!

Following their victory in the virtual first round, the PHSG Bar Mock Trial team travelled to London this weekend to compete against other schools from across the UK in the national final of the competition at the prestigious Royal Courts of Justice.

We are incredibly proud that the school placed 5th from a starting point of 144 schools and 22 finalists. Students enjoyed the challenge and improved their skills of analysis, teamwork and public speaking, as well as finding out about how our justice system works and the potential careers within it.     

Students took the roles of those involved in criminal trials, including barristers, witnesses, defendants, usher and clerk, to prepare and present cases in front of the country’s top judges.

The team competed in three demanding rounds. In the first, they defended a young person accused of assaulting a security worker at a nightclub. The defence secured a not guilty verdict, with presiding Judge Gary Woodhall highlighting a deciding factor being our barristers forcing the other team’s witness to admit preconceived prejudices, before offering bespoke advice about routes into the legal profession.

Later, the team prosecuted the same case, this time focusing on the negative effects related to perception and self-control that the consumption of alcohol had on the defendant at the time of the attack. HHJ Christopher Kinch KC, who presided over the famous Hatton Garden Burglary trial, commended the team on being so well prepared.

Another case involved defending a defendant suspected of possession with intent to supply a class A drug. Our team were given high praise and great feedback from the judge, HHJ Russell Gumpert KC, who is well-known for prosecuting the first case of modern slavery in England to conviction and is currently training Ukrainian judges on how to preside over war crimes trials.    

Throughout the competition, our witnesses were utterly compelling and convincing. The skills with which our barristers adapted arguments in response to what they heard was exceptional. All the while, the usher and clerk maintained order in the courtroom with professionalism and jury members considered their verdict seriously. Several judges on the day urged members of our team to consider a legal career for the future.

Well don Team PHSG!