The Citizenship Foundation, in partnership with the Bar Council of Northern Ireland, held its 24th National Mock Trial Competition on Saturday 28th November at the Royal Courts of Justice, Belfast and 14 pupils from Aquinas Diocesan Grammar School took part. Our students, along with many others from across Northern Ireland, took on the roles of barristers and witnesses, with one team prosecuting and the other defending judged by senior members of the Bar and serving judges.

bar mock 2015

It is always a pleasure to take part in the National Mock Trial Competition. It is a fantastic opportunity for our students to see, first hand, the criminal justice system in action and also to develop invaluable skills as public speakers, decision-makers and socially aware young people. Our wonderful team, led by prosecution barristers Mebh Wills and Eve Carnie and defence barristers Eva O’Connor and Lucy Nixon, performed to such a high standard on the day of the competition. After weeks of very hard work and preparation the whole team delivered a strong, confident and polished performance in the Belfast Crown Courts. A special vote of thanks must be made to our barrister mentors Rachel Bergin and Clare McLoughlin for all their support during the preparation and the competition itself.

Speaking on behalf of the Bar Council Chairman Gerald McAlinden QC said:

“The Bar Council is delighted to support the 24th Bar National Mock Trial Competition and each year, our members look forward to welcoming the students to the High Court.”

“We are dedicated to providing young people with an exciting and novel insight into the workings the Northern Ireland legal system.  They learn more about their legal rights and responsibilities through the process and I want to publicly acknowledge the barristers and judges who volunteer their time each year to work with these young people in bringing the legal system to life. Again congratulations to all the pupils who took part.”