The Mock Trial Competition is conducted by The Law Society of New South Wales and is a practical means of introducing students to the law and to increase understanding of the basis of our judicial system.
The competition also helps students to increase basic skills such as listening, speaking, writing, reading and analysing. The goal is not to win for the sake of winning, but to learn and understand the meaning of good citizenship through participation in our system of law and justice. All who participate in the Mock Trial Competition are winners in this sense.
How the mock trials are conducted
Each team consists of 6 students who play the roles of barristers, lawyers and witnesses.
The Law Society also provides ‘the case’ for the mock trials. The cases are confined to simple criminal and civil matters heard in the Local or District Court. The case scripts for every round of the Competition are posted online by the dates specified in the Competition timetable. Please note that the script material is password protected to ensure fairness. The Mock Trial Coordinator will email a password to you.
A team may act as either the defence or prosecution during a trial, with each team member taking on the role of a barrister, solicitor, court officer or witness, pitting their skills against the opposing side – a team from another school.
Each trial is presided over by a Magistrate (a solicitor or barrister who will be allocated by the Law Society), who awards marks to each team based on a range of criteria, such as opening addresses, closing submissions and cross examinations. The team with the highest mark wins the trial.
It is up to schools to organise the time and place of their mock trial and return their scores to the Law Society by the due date specified in the Competition timetable.
Any amendments or changes to scripts or timetables are emailed immediately to teachers and posted in the News section of the Mock Trial Competition homepage.
How the competition works
The first four rounds of the Competition are run on a regional round robin-basis, and the rounds are held in each of the ten regions from February to late June.
The top 64 scoring teams across NSW and the ACT then compete on a knockout basis until two schools are left to meet for the Grand Final in early December. The winner of the State Grand Final is then eligible to compete in the International Mock Trial.