Mock Trial Report

On the evening of Friday 3 September, Trinity’s Mock Trial team, consisting of Will M, Josh P, Dylan W, Keith K, Daksh C and James H, set out to solidify our qualification into the elimination stage of the NSW Mock Trial Competition by facing the opposing team from Knox. We were set the task of defending a father named ‘Harry Sutton’ (played by Keith), who had been charged with affray. We set out to do this on the grounds that Harry acted in self-defence, or more specifically to defend his son, Julian Smith (played by Daksh).

During the Prosecution’s questioning of their first witness, 1st Barrister Will successfully made many objections, immediately placing pressure on the opposing counsel. In his following cross-examination, Will managed to draw several important concessions from this witness, which further supported our case. Likewise, 2nd Barrister Josh made several important objections during the examination-in-chief of the Prosecution’s second witness. Even more significantly, Josh undermined the credibility of this witness during his cross-examination, and was also able to draw valuable concessions from them, further solidifying our case.

At this point, Will delivered the opening address for the Defence, scoring 29/30 points for this. The focus then shifted to the examination of Harry Sutton by both the Defence and Prosecution. Under significant pressure, Keith performed excellently, scoring an almost perfect score of 36/40 for his execution of this role. Similarly, our second witness, Julian (ie. Daksh), kept his cool even under increasing pressure from the Prosecution. Accordingly, Daksh earned 37/40 points for the team.

However, those who spectated the trial would all agree that the highlight of the night was the closing address delivered by Josh. Across fifteen minutes, Josh articulately broke down the components of the case, seamlessly integrating evidence from the various witnesses throughout. Josh then made a compelling referral to legal precedents, before forming a final submission to the magistrate that she should find Harry Sutton ‘not guilty’. Not only did Josh score 28/30 points for this, but the magistrate commented during her closing remarks that Josh’s closing address was among the best she had ever heard across years of experience adjudicating state and national mock trial competitions.

At this point, mention must be given to Dylan, who served as the instructing solicitor for the Defence, keeping a detailed record of the most important evidence that was revealed throughout the case, which proved invaluable when Josh was constructing his closing address. Special mention should also be made to James, who undertook his duties as Court Officer excellently.

In the end, our team was awarded the victory in the case, meaning that Harry was indeed acquitted. More importantly, we were also awarded the victory in the Mock Trial, with a final score of 282 points compared to the 258 points earned by Knox. Seeing that we have now won all three of our trials in the round-robin, with an overall for/against score of +86, we are in a very strong position going into the ‘Round of 16’, which will be held early next term.

Will Martin | Barrister 1

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