While the competing team from St Joseph’s consisted of Jorja (1st Barrister), Olivia (2nd Barrister), Brittany (Instructing Solicitor), Libby (Court Officer), Ethan (Witness) and Jacquelyn (Witness), all of the Year 11 Legal Studies students assisted in the preparation of the case material.
The case for the day’s competition was a criminal matter involving an alleged common assault with the St Joseph’s team taking on the role of defending the accused who allegedly assaulted the president of a protest group called ‘The Young Radicals’. The defence case centred around this being a false allegation, with no unlawful contact made between the accused and the victim on the day in question.
Hunter Valley Grammar School were the opposing team for the prosecution whose role it was to prove all elements of the charges to the standard of beyond reasonable doubt.
While the prosecution team had very strong arguments, the magistrate awarded St Joseph’s the highest points on the day thanks to the team members’ excellent advocacy skills, teamwork and professionalism throughout the three-hour trial.
The magistrate presiding over the case, Dr John Woodward of the Faculty of Business and Law at the University of Newcastle, was also very complimentary of the students’ public speaking skills.
On behalf of the team, we would like to thank Dr Woodward for presiding, the Hunter Valley Grammar School’s team for a very competitive round and the Maitland Mayor, Loretta Baker, for providing an excellent venue as well as giving up her valuable time to meet with with the students before the trial began.
The Law Society of NSW Mock Trial Competition is open to Year 11 and 10 students around the state. Teams of students from different schools take part in mock criminal and civil trials against each other in order to develop their understanding of the adversarial courtroom processes and procedures.
For the St Joseph’s students, the competition provided an invaluable experience, particularly for current Year 11 Legal Studies students who are currently studying Part One, The Legal System of the Stage 6 syllabus, as it builds the foundations for understanding key concepts of the legal system.