07 October 2019

Aberdeenshire pupils compete in court room contest

Young people from schools across Aberdeenshire made their case to be crowned the area’s top legal eagles in a court room competition.

Pupils from four secondary schools became lawyers, witnesses, court staff, jurors – and even court reporters and press officers – when they took part in the tenth annual ‘Mock Trials’ competition on Saturday, October 5.

They received tips and a verdict on their performance from legal professionals during the day-long event at Aberdeen Sherriff Court.

The schools involved were Alford Academy, Ellon Academy, The Gordon Schools in Huntly, and Mackie Academy. 

Cllr Gillian Owen, Aberdeenshire Council’s Education and Children’s Services Committee chair, said: “The Aberdeenshire ‘Mock Trials’ give pupils a real insight into the court process. The competition has inspired pupils who have taken part in the past to forge successful careers in the legal profession. However, it also gives those participating a snapshot of the support provided by court staff and jurors too. I would like to thank all those organisations who have worked tirelessly to make this competition such a success.”

Committee vice chair Cllr Rosemary Bruce said: “I would like to congratulate the pupils from the winning school and thank all those involved who have worked so hard in making this year’s competition a success. The fact that the Aberdeenshire ‘Mock Trials’ is celebrating its tenth year demonstrates the competition’s enduring success. I am sure the pupils taking part will receive a fascinating flavour of a day-in-the-life of our courts and legal system.”

The winning school was Mackie Academy, the Gordon Schools finished runners-up, Alford Academy came third. The best lawyer was Alex Garrett from Mackie Academy and Georgie Evans, also from Mackie Academy was the best witness.

The ‘mock trials’ were organised by secondary school modern studies teachers in conjunction with the Scottish Courts and Tribunals service, based at Aberdeen Sheriff Court. It was kindly sponsored by Dentons UK and Middle East, LLP.

Sherriff Morag McLaughlin said the event had been a joyous day for the sheriffs to be involved in and praised the pupil’s preparation and the guidance and support given by teachers.