Pupils from Ellon Academy have emerged triumphant after taking part in a competitive series of mock trials at Aberdeen Sheriff Court last Saturday, turning in a series of courtroom performances which observers described as ‘brilliant’.
Schools from all across the North East were involved in the competition, organised by Aberdeenshire Council’s Education, Learning and Leisure Service.
Teams of pupils had to either prosecute or defend in front of experienced Sheriffs in two true to life cases involving the alleged theft of a computer from a school and an alleged case of dangerous driving.
Each school had to prepare 2 advocates for each case, so that they were prepared for all eventualities. This meant preparing for cross examinations and a closing speech, as well as readying ‘witnesses’ for what to expect in court.
After the pupils defeated Banff in the final, Ellon teachers spoke of their delight at the pupils’ achievement.
“We’re highly delighted at the result”, said Head of Humanities Donald Morrison. “Both myself and my colleague from the English Department Zoe Whyte have been coaching the teams since the start of term.
“Ellon were runners up in last year’s inaugural competition, so we’re very proud of everyone who took us to victory this year.”
Ellon won each of their rounds on their way to victory, prosecuting against Westhill in round one, defending against Turriff in round two and prosecuting against Fraserburgh in round three, before going on to defeat Banff in the final.
In an added boost, all the pupils who took part will receive special accreditation if they wish to apply to Aberdeen University to study Law - a prospect which Mr Morrison said encouraged a number of pupils contemplating a career in the legal profession to participate.
“We encouraged pupils who were thinking about studying law to take part, not just for the experience, but also because of the help it might give them in applying for a suitable course”, he said.
“Aberdeen Law students will be holding legal debates at their ‘mooting’ society, which we hope now to be able to take part in.”