Competing at the finals weekend: UH/Blackstone’s Crim...

Competing at the finals weekend: UH/Blackstone’s Criminal Advocacy Competition

LLB Law students representing team NLSRepresenting NLS at UH/Blackstone's competition: Sophie Price (left), Alice Radford (right)

Alice Radford, LLB (Hons) Law (Full-time)

Sophie and I are so happy to have placed 3rd in the UH/Blackstone’s National Criminal Advocacy Competition 2016, after progressing to the semi-final and narrowly missing out on the final by a point or two!

On Friday evening we met all the other competitors and received an advocacy masterclass from an experienced barrister. This helped us settle in prior to the matches the next day. Teams from only 8 Universities made it through to the quarter-final, and after 4 matches were played, only 4 teams could progress to the semi-final on Sunday.

During the competition we got to wear actual barrister’s wigs, bibs and gowns which really helped us get into character! We had to make two pre-trial applications; one under s.78 of the PACE Act 1984 and one to adduce the bad character of a witness. We then acted for the prosecution in the trial of a fictitious case, R v. Arnott, which included making opening and closing speeches and conducting examination-in-chiefs and cross-examinations on professional actors.

After the match we received great feedback from the judge, who was an experienced barrister. During the competition dinner that evening, we were elated to find out we were one of the 4 teams who had made it to the semi-final! For the semi-final I had to make a bail application for the defendant which took place on Sunday. Unfortunately we just missed out on the final by a point or two, but we enjoyed watching the final take place from the jury box!

It’s definitely true that the more you partake in these activities, the more your confidence grows.

Overall we both had a lovely weekend and learned so much. It’s definitely true that the more you partake in these activities, the more your confidence grows. In addition to strengthening a variety of transferable skills such as communication, listening, questioning, presentation, and teamwork. We were also able to network with professionals and gain some useful tips.

We’re so glad to have taken up the great opportunity and would recommend it to any Law student – whether they want to be a barrister, solicitor or anything else; it helps improve confidence and strengthens transferable skills relevant to any career path.

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