Would-be barristers from the College of Law (CoL) have been able to put their cross-examination skills to the test in a real Crown Court setting, complete with police officers and practising members of the bar acting as judges.
As part of a new pilot scheme CoL has moved its annual mock trials for Bar Vocational Course (BVC) students out of its mock court-rooms and into Crown Courts in London and Birmingham.
Barrister Andrew Jackson from St Philips Chambers in Birmingham played the role of the judge at Birmingham Crown Court.
He said: “The huge benefit of a mock trial, especially in a real courtroom, is that it gives students a taste of the immediacy of the action. They have to think on their feet, cope with targeted questioning by qualified lawyers and learn to, as one judge put it, ‘sell their product’ to a sceptical audience.”
More than 350 students acted as barristers during the trials, which will be rolled out every year for full-time and part-time BVC students.
Meanwhile, over 100 police officers from Hendon Police Training School and West Midlands Police took to the stand to give evidence, while nearly 100 practising barristers and members of the judiciary took the roles of judges.