Sombre Saltmarket to come alive for schools competition

25 Nov


Glasgow’s High Court will be bristling with young legal prodigies this weekend, as 12 schools compete for the title of Scottish mock trial champions.

The event is part of a UK competition organised by the Citizenship Foundation, and is supported north of the Border by the Faculty of Advocates.

Now in its 26th year, the Bar National Mock Trial Competition sees volunteer legal professionals going into non-fee-paying schools to prepare students aged 15-18 to take the roles of prosecutors, defence lawyers and witnesses in trials for drug possession and theft.

Tony Lenehan, Advocate, has been Scottish organiser of the event for the past seven years. He said: “The Faculty provides mentors to each of the schools and I had 15 volunteers - in their own time and at their own expense - spread around the country this year, from Kelso to Stonehaven.

“I look forward every year to seeing the normally sombre atmosphere of Saltmarket come alive with enthusiasm and enjoyment from the school teams, and take great pride in the skill, commitment and effort from colleagues in the Faculty who make the event a day to remember for scores of aspirant lawyers.

“The pupils wear real wigs and gowns, brought in by members of Faculty, and invariably enjoy the day enormously.”

Six courts host three rounds of heats, presided over by experienced silks, Donald Findlay, QC, Bert Kerrigan, QC, Edward Targowski, QC, Gary Allan, QC, Kenneth Campbell, QC, and John Hamilton, QC.

The final will be before Lord Clark, and the winning team progresses to represent Scotland at the UK final next spring.