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Preparing For A Trial

Preparing For A Trial

In this module, you will be preparing to hold your mock trial.

The aim of holding a mock trial is to improve your understanding of court procedure.

You will work with your teacher to assign the various roles people will play in the trial. You will need to prepare for your role, which may require out-of-class meetings of prosecution barristers, solicitors and witnesses and the same for the defence.

Work through these slides to gain an understanding of the steps taken in the trial of Sam Beckham.






A person must be aware of the laws that they have been accused of breaking.

Sam Beckham is being charged with offenses under the 'Non Fatal Offences Against the Person Act, 1997':

Section 2

A person shall be guilty of an offence of assault who, without lawful excuse, intentionally or recklessly-

(a) directly or indirectly applies force to or causes an impact on the body of another,


(b) causes another to believe on reasonable grounds that he or she is likely immediately to be subjected to any such force or impact, without the consent of the other.

Section 3

(1) A person who assaults another causing him or her harm shall be guilty of an offence.

(2) A person guilty of an offence under this section shall be liable-

(a) On conviction on indictment to a fine or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 5 years or to both.

Note: “harm” means harm to body or mind and includes pain and unconsciousness.

The Cort Registrar will read out the charges against Sam at the beginning of the trial.

You, SAM BECKHAM on the   [  date  ]   at    [  location   ]    in the County of the City of [ city ] assaulted ALEX ROONEY causing him harm, namely a broken collarbone contrary to section 3 of the Non Fatal Offences against the Person Act 1997.


On the    [  date   ]   Sam Beckham, an avid   [  name of club   ]     football supporter, whilst attending a football match with his son and daughter in     [  town   ]    at    [ stadium  ]    is accused of assaulting ALEX ROONEY, a member of    [the away fans]     Supporters Club, breaking his collarbone.

Students who have been assigned the roles of witnesses for the prosecution and the defence should review their statements.

Students playing the roles of barristers should prepare questions (remember that you should not ask leading questions - opposition barristers can object to your line of questioning if you do).

The student in the role of the judge has overall control of the trial and introduces each element:

  • The reading of charges
  • Asking the lawyers for the prosecution and defence to make their opening statements.
  • Asking the registrar to call the witnesses (including the defendant).
  • Asking the lawyers for the prosecution and defence to make their closing statements.
  • Giving directions to the jury.

When the jury return with their verdict, the judge considers what sentence to hand down if the verdict is 'guilty'.  If found 'innocent' the judge releases the defendant and the trial ends.

If students have been assigned the roles of court reporters, they should have the opportunity to prepare ((or even record) short articles for 'publication' or 'transmission'.

Sketch artists can provide drawings to accompany the 'news reports'