Mock Trial team make ‘Mackie proud’

The Mock Trial Team before they headed off to Cardiff
The Mock Trial Team before they headed off to Cardiff

Mackie Academy’s Mock Trial team have made their school proud, despite coming away empty-handed from the UK final in Cardiff last weekend.

The team travelled to Wales for the final round of the competition on March 23, but despite three hard-fought rounds they were beaten to the top spot.

The odds were stacked against them, as they were competing following English Law which they had never previously done.

Mock Trial is a rare opportunity for pupils to gain valuable insight into the workings of the judicial system and to develop public speaking and team working skills through participating in roles such as advocates, witnesses and court clerks in fictitious cases put before a judge with one school prosecuting and the other defending.

The participants are awarded points according to how well they perform in their role. The schools’ points for three cases are then totalled and the two schools with the highest number of points go on to the final.

In Cardiff, those schools were Tunbridge Wells Girls’ Grammar School and Aquinas Grammar School from Northern Ireland. Aquinas then went on to become UK champions.

The competition is run by the Citizenship Foundation in partnership with the Bar Council.

In the first round, Mackie defended George O’Reilly, a teacher accused of perverting the course of justice and protecting a pupil, while Tunbridge Wells Girls’ Grammar prosecuted.

Next, Mackie defended Chris Howells, an 18-year-old accused of assault on a nightclub doorperson, Queen Mary’s College from Reading prosecuted.

Finally, Mackie returned to the Howell’s case however this time prosecuting with Dalriada School, another from Northern Ireland, defending.

The Mackie team performed extremely well in all rounds with star performances from several advocates and witnesses.

The team were accompanied on the trip byrector, Louise Moir, former acting rector Jennifer MacDonald and teacher and trip organiser Lynda Swanson.

Ms Moir said: “I thoroughly enjoyed my weekend with the Mock Trial team. It was great to see them in action and in the grand setting of Cardiff Crown Court. Although we didn’t win the team did Mackie Academy and Scotland proud with their performance.”

The group travelled down on the Friday, taking a coach from Mackie Academy to Edinburgh airport and flying from there to Cardiff in a journey lasting roughly six- and--a-half hours.

The trip was made possible by the extensive fundraising efforts of the team, such as a ceilidh and a bag pack, and also by the generous donations of various people and organisations.

There is still the possibility of the team being invited to New York to compete in the Empire International Mock Trial Competition as the eight highest scoring schools from Cardiff will be invited. They awaits their points result.