Scottish pupils excel at Bar Mock Trial Competition finals

28 Mar

Bert Kerrigan KC, one of the judges for the Bar Mock Trial Competition, Kenneth Cloggie, Keith Gilmour, Ian Donaghey, and Gareth Reid with the Bishopbriggs Academy team.

PUPILS from Bishopbriggs Academy excelled at the finals of the Bar Mock Trial Competition, where they placed third and were judged the best overall new team.

The finals were held at the Royal Courts of Justice in London over the weekend. 

Before the finals commenced the Bishopbriggs Academy team met High Court and Appeal Court Judge Sir Akhlaq Choudhury, a former pupil at Bishopbriggs High School. Bishopbriggs Academy came into existence when Bishopbriggs High School and Thomas Muir High School merged.

He invited the team to his chambers where he spoke about his career path in the legal profession. 


The team attended the finals with their head teacher, Mr Ian Donaghey, and their RMPS teacher and coach, Mr Keith Gilmour, as well as the two Members of Faculty, Kenneth Cloggie and Gareth Reid, that mentored and assisted them throughout the competition. The pupils advanced to the finals after winning the Scottish heat in the competition.

"Our team have loved this experience from the very start and is immensely grateful for the excellent mentoring we have received throughout. The pupils have been fascinated to learn how our criminal justice system works in jury trials and are thrilled to have been so successful in this year's final," said Mr Gilmour.

“The Faculty is a strong supporter of this competition to allow pupils from state schools, who may not have a connection to the Faculty of Advocates, to understand that hard work and dedication are the foundation of self-improvement and success. This competition promotes inclusion and diversity among state schools. The only criterion for success, much like entry to the Faculty, is ability. It was very rewarding to see the pupils grow in confidence before they embark upon the next chapters of their lives after school,” said Mr Cloggie.

“It has been a privilege working in partnership with the students of Bishopbriggs Academy,” said Mr Reid. “It was extremely impressive to observe their enthusiasm, commitment and well-honed advocacy skills on show at the Royal Courts of Justice. Mr Gilmour has set a high standard for the mock trials competition,” he added.

The Bar Mock Trial Competition is run by The Citizenship Foundation and is open to 15 to 18-year-olds from non-fee paying schools in Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland. 

Students who take part are encouraged to think critically, build arguments, and boost their confidence. Their participation helps them build employability skills and develop a sound knowledge and understanding of the role of law and the justice system.

The Faculty of Advocates has sponsored the Bar Mock Trial Competition for several decades, and Members of Faculty volunteer their time to mentor participating teams across Scotland each year. Faculty’s involvement in the competition is currently coordinated by Craig Findlater.

Further information on the Bar Mock Trial Competition can be found here.