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A group of Alnwick students have been honoured after their success at the Royal Courts of Justice.
The Duchess’s Community High School team and their parents and sponsors were invited to a tea party, hosted by Northumberland Estates, to celebrate their third place in the national final of the Magistrates’ Court Mock Trial Competition, held in London.
The party was held at Alnwick Castle, where the girls gave a short presentation of their work and thanked sponsors for their help.
At the end of the party, there was a video message from TV quiz show The Chase’s barrister Shaun Wallace, who congratulated the Duchess’s team and their teachers.
The 12 girls began their journey in March when they took part in the local heats of the competition at Newcastle Crown Court, competing against schools from across the county.
Their weeks of hard work paid off, earning them a place in the regional heats against schools from Durham, Teesside and Cumbria.
Having won the regional heat, the girls then had two cases to prepare for the final, as well as plan their trip to the capital.
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With only a £150 travel bursary available, they appealed to the community for help and were met with a fantastic response from Coun Gordon Castle, Northumberland Estates, The Rotary Club of Alnwick and the Mayor.
The Magistrates’ Court Mock Trial Competition is part of the Young Citizens citizenship experiences and helps to improve young people’s life skills, their understanding of the justice system and the legal system.
The competition has been running since 1994 and annually involves more than 4,000 students from more than 270 schools across England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
The students, aged 12 to 14, take part in mock trials inside magistrates’ courts and crown courts using specially written cases, in the roles of magistrates, defendants, witnesses, lawyers, legal advisers and ushers.
As well as learning about different aspects of the law, the team gained skills in public speaking, critical thinking and team work.