Youngsters in court for mock trial

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AROUND 60 young people will be in Beverley Magistrates’ Court on March 10 as participants in the 2012 Magistrates’ Court Mock Trial Competition.

Groups of 12 to 14 year olds will take on the roles of lawyers, witnesses, magistrates, court staff and a defendant to take part in the 18th annual competition, which is run by the Citizenship Foundation in partnership with the Magistrates’ Association.

A specially written criminal case is used, which involves a scenario where teenagers are accused of handling stolen goods following an attack on a newsagents.

The students learn about all aspects of the criminal justice system as well as developing confidence in personal skills such as public speaking, analysis techniques and working as a team.

Local magistrates from the East Yorkshire bench help the teams prepare by visiting schools to give information on the everyday workings of magistrates’ courts and hosting court visits at Beverley Court.

The East Yorkshire Magistrates’ Court local heat will include students from Driffield, Hornsea, South Holderness and Hessle secondary schools.

There are 65 heats nationwide over the next three weeks.

Winning teams progress to regional finals in May which then lead on to the prestigious national final at Nottingham Magistrates Court in June 2012.

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