Ballyclare High students battle it out in the Royal Courts of Justice

Ballyclare High School pupils at the Northern Ireland Mock Bar
Ballyclare High School pupils at the Northern Ireland Mock Bar

Pupils from Ballyclare High School joined schools from across Northern Ireland at the 25th National Mock Trial Competition on Saturday, November 18 at the Royal Courts of Justice, Belfast.

Organised by the Citizenship Foundation, in partnership with the Bar Council of Northern Ireland 15 pupils from Ballyclare High School took part.

Students from across the Province took on the roles of barristers and witnesses, with one team prosecuting and the other defending judged by senior members of the Bar and serving judges.

Speaking on behalf of the Bar Council Chairman Liam McCollum QC said:“The Bar Council is delighted to support the 25th Bar National Mock Trial Competition and each year, our members look forward to welcoming the students to the High Court.”

“We are committed to providing our young people with an exciting and innovative insight into the workings the Northern Ireland legal system.

“They learn more about their legal rights and justice system through the process and I want to recognize the barristers and judges who volunteer their time each year to work with these young people in bringing the legal system to life.

“It is fantastic to see a competition such as this thrive for 25 years, this is quite a milestone for all involved, present and past.”

The Bar Mock Trial Competition has run since 1991, involving more than 2,000 state school students in Years 10 up to 13, in fact, more than 53,000 young people have taken part over the 25 years, all learning how the legal system works.

The competition is made possible thanks to the help of many legal professionals who volunteer their time, including 300 barristers and advocates and 90 judges from across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.