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Once again, we extend our thanks to Cambridge Crown Court, Karim Khalil QC and the supporting barristers, who make possible our annual mock trial on July 3rd.

A simulation of a legal scenario, a mock trial gives students the opportunity to develop advocacy skills and have a real taste of the pressures, rigour and stimulus on a legal career. The venue, a real crown court and the presence of the court’s staff, helps one to understand the roles of a whole series of officials as well as grasp court procedure and protocols.

This year, the case to be examined centred on benefit fraud, requiring the barristers to master the intricacies of the benefit system and the complexities of residence issues and the like. Jean- Luc Hammersley and Olivia Grant showed an impressive mastery of their roles and much dramatic talent as the two defendants, who were arguably most unfortunate in being convicted by a cold hearted jury. Advocacy prizes also went to Carys Leaves and Chloe Merrell for their excellent opening and closing speeches. Nevertheless, the real prize lies in the experience and it was impressive to see those who approached the task with some natural trepidation, perform so well.

Without question, preparing for a mock trial and demonstrating the flexibility to develop and adapt one’s questioning and arguments under pressure is a taxing experience. It was clear that the students benefitted hugely from the challenge and, for many, it clearly served to strengthen their resolve to read and practise Law in the future.