The Law Society of NSW Mock Trial Competition
Sylvania High School’s 2011 champion team – Sydney Region winners and State Semi Finalists.
C. Edwards, S. Chapman, C. Celik, Y. Tsathas, N. Leivesley, M. Redston
Sylvania High School’s 2013 champion team – Sydney Region winners and State Semi Finalists.
D. Lynch, S. Hausman, S. Christie, P. Tsathas, P. Charleston, J. Redston
Sylvania High School’s 2016 champion team – Sydney Region winners and State Semi Finalists.
C. English-White, A. Rigg, A. Oluk, A. Lorenz, L. Redston, H. Diviney
Each year Sylvania High School enters a team in the Mock Trial Competition. The Mock Trial Competition is conducted by the Law Society of NSW 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 enhance core skills such as; listening, speaking, writing, reading, as well as team work and working under pressure. 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.
The Mock Trial Competition is open to students in years 10 and 11 up to the age of 21.
How the mock trials are conducted
Each team consists of 6 students who play the roles of barristers, lawyers and witnesses. In most cases the Law Society will assign a Coach to each team, who is a qualified barrister or solicitor. The Coach provides information about court procedures and advocacy techniques.
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. 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 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.