After months of preparation and hard work, 16 Richard Huish College students participated in the South West heat of the Bar Mooting Competition held at the University of Plymouth Law Department.

Taking place on Saturday 2nd December, A Level Law students participated in the all day competition, competing in 3 rounds acting as both prosecution and defence teams after being asked to provide a substitute team at the last minute by event organisers, totalling 6 rounds. Although Huish were unsuccessful in winning the overall heat, they did ‘win’ 4/6 of the rounds, even persuading the jury to deliver a verdict in their favour!

Over the previous 8 weeks, students prepared 2 cases. Case 1 ‘R v Newton’ involved the misuse of a computer and Case 2 ‘R v Hynes’ explored the law on public nuisance. Students had to unpick the case looking at witnesses’ statements, the ‘law’ and the evidence. Students also had to write opening and closing statements and develop questioning skills in chief and cross examination. The team also took on the role of witnesses and fully embraced the characterisation, and one of our talented art students attended as a ‘court artist’ – these images will be entered into the national competition to take place next year.

The day consisted of mock trial rounds in front of real judges, a photo opportunity for each team with the legal personnel attending, and a Q&A with the judges to round off the day. Students said they found the competition great fun and particularly enjoyed playing out their skills with other colleges and were able to develop their oracy communication skills, alongside team working and critical thinking. All received a certificate of participation

Rowena Mudge Course Manager for A Level Law said “I couldn’t be prouder of the mooting students. They have worked so hard and really threw themselves into the day. Feedback from the judges was phenomenal with HHJ Johnson (seen pictured with the prosecution team) from Plymouth Criminal Courts commenting that the performance of Huish students was at the standard of pupil barristers. The scoring was tight with only 1 team from the heats going through to the final. This is the first time we have competed, and we learnt so much. Next year we hope to go one step further and get through to the national finals. Although we didn’t ‘win’ the heat,  the ‘win’ for us was seeing our students performing at such a high standard. They developed confidence, resilience and I know they have bright futures ahead of them”.