Belfast Telegraph

Monday 24 November 2014

Budding legal eagles court a career in law

A Dungannon school student, who took part in a mock trial competition at the weekend, might be considering a career in the news after she won a special award.

Orla Dynes from St Patrick's Academy received the Belfast Telegraph Court Report Writing Award after taking part in the Ulster regional heat of the Bar National Mock Trial competition.

Twelve schools from across the province gathered at the Royal Courts of Justice on Saturday to battle for a place in the UK final.

The annual event gives 15 to 18-year-olds the chance to tackle complex cases, in the setting of a real working courtroom by taking on the roles of jurors, court staff and barristers.

This year, students tackled arson and theft cases by using their skills in argument and reasoning, and expanding their understanding of the law, by competing to present the most powerful cases in both prosecution and defence.

The event was organised by the Citizenship Foundation and was judged by practising circuit judges, recorders and senior barristers.

Lumen Christi College in Londonderry, which won last year, took out the honours and will go on to represent Northern Ireland in the National Finals in Cardiff . Runners up were Our Lady's Grammar in Newry and third was Christian Brothers School in Omagh.

Sinead Wylie who was also from St Patrick's Academy in Dungannon won the Publicity Portfolio Award and Gillian Young from Limavady Grammar received a special award the same category.

Tony Breslin, chief executive of the Citizenship Foundation, told the Belfast Telegraph last week that the competition provided students with an exciting and innovative way to learn about how the law was relevant to them.

"It also provides the citizenship skills to help them engage effectively in society as active, informed and responsible citizens," he said.

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