Rochester Grammar School competes in 2023 national final of the Bar Mock Trials

March 30, 2023 10:55am

The Rochester Grammar School Bar Mock Trial Team for 2023, outside of the Royal Courts of Justice, London.

Following the school’s success at the regional heats in Kent, fifteen Year 12 students from The Rochester Grammar School competed at the national final of the Bar Mock Trial competition on Saturday 25th March. The finals took place at the Royal Courts of Justice, London, where the school competed alongside twenty-one other regional heat winners from around the country, including fellow TSAT school, Plymouth High School for Girls.

As part of the competition, students were divided into five different roles: barristers, witnesses, court clerks, ushers, and jurors. The students were required to pick apart and argue two hypothetical trials as either the prosecution or the defence against another school in real courtrooms, in front of the country’s top judges. This year, the hypothetical trials included possession with intent to supply drugs and a drunken assault outside a nightclub.

[Left] Student barristers, Ria, Ingrid, Isabella and Elina 
[Right] Winner of the individual prize for "Best Witness", Rachel Acquah


To prepare for the trials, students learned about the laws that applied to their cases, dissected the witness statements to find strengths, weaknesses, and contradictions, and then prepared opening and closing speeches that summarised their arguments and supported their side of the story. On the day of the competition, the barristers gave an effective presentation of the prepared speeches, followed by asking examination-in-chief questions to the school’s witnesses. The witnesses then answered cross-examination questions from the opposing school’s barristers. Throughout the trial, the students who were tasked to be court clerks and the ushers completed the administrative work within the courtroom, while the RGS’ jurors attended the trials of two competing schools to decide upon the guilty or not guilty verdicts.

The schools each competed in three demanding trials, in which Rochester Grammar School earned enough points to finish in 9th place overall, with student Rachel Acquah winning an individual prize for "Best Witness."

Reflecting on the experience, class teacher Mr Hoptroff said, "This is an incredible achievement for the students to first of all win the Kent regional heat and then perform so well in the national final, especially considering that this was their first national final and with the majority of the preparation work being done independently by the students themselves.

"We very much look forward to next year’s competition with next year’s Year 12s!"

The Bar Mock Trials Competition saw 1,938 young people from 144 schools take part across the country. The team acted in a smart and professional manner throughout the whole experience, leading to an outstanding result. From winning their regional heat to then coming in 9th place in the national final, they should be very proud of this accomplishment.

Well done to Team RGS!

To follow the team's Bar Mock Trial Competition journey, read about their regional win here: Rochester Grammar School win Regional Heats in the Bar Mock Trail
To discover more about the Bar Mock Trial Competition, run by Young Citizens, click here