Seventeen good men and true

A QE team has progressed to the regional heat of a national mock trial competition after winning the same case when they successively prosecuted and defended it.

The team of boys from Years 8 and 9 overcame Welwyn School and Skinners’ Academy in the first round of the competition run by the charity, the Citizenship Foundation.

“The boys were allocated roles such as magistrates, lawyers, witnesses and court reporters, and had to both prosecute and defend a case,” said English teacher Peter Morton, who accompanied the boys. “Our boys went head-to-head with their counterparts from the other schools and were complimented on the skill and balance with which they reached their decisions.”

""The foundation says that over 95% of criminal cases, more than a million every year, are dealt with by magistrates, yet many people know very little about what they do. The Magistrates' Court Mock Trial Competition, which has been running annually since 1994, aims to introduce the legal system to young people in an innovative and exciting way.

The adjudication of the competition, which was held in Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court, was based on the performance of the participants rather than the results of the trial. However, Mr Morton added: “Given that both trials were for the same case, to win in both directions is testimony to the strength of our performance!”

Alexandros Wilkinson of Year 9 followed a line of questioning when prosecuting, during which he asked the defendant whether he expected the court to believe the truth of his story, extracting the answer, “no”. 

""“All the team members provided invaluable support, from the ushers to the legal advisers and the court reporters and court artists,” said Mr Morton. The work of the reporters and artists will be separately adjudicated. [One of Kriisan Manoharasundaram's sketches is shown right.]

The team progresses to the regional heat on 11th May, with a chance to qualify for the national finals, which will take place in Nottingham in June.

The team, who were accompanied by Mr Morton and fellow staff members Simon Demetriou, Sarah Snowdon and Tahmer Mahmoud, is named below:

Magistrate 1 – Yuta Tsuchiya
Magistrate 2 – Nabil Haque
Magistrate 3 – Sanchit Agrawal
Legal Adviser – Abbas Adejonwo
Prosecution Lawyer 1 – Shiv Bakrania
Prosecution Lawyer 2 – Alexandros Wilkinson
Prosecution Witness 1 – Imad Mohammed Nazar
Prosecution Witness 2 – Rahul Kanwar
Defence Lawyer 1 – Abhishek Srivastava
Defence Lawyer 2 – Maaz Shahzad
Defendant – Ijtihad Chowdhury
Defence Witness – Roshan Shah
Usher – Ravi Karia
Court Artist 1 – Ishanka Amarasinkhe
Court Artist 2 – Kriisan Manoharasundaram
Court Reporter 1 – Aran Patel
Court Reporter 2 – Zain Danish