A University of Lincoln team consisting of two first year law students (Alex Johnston and Steven Williams) succeeded in making it through to the Finals Weekend of the above competition this month. They attended the University of Hertfordshire campus on the weekend of Friday 29th June – 1st July 2012 along with Lecturer in Law, John Kelly. The team benefitted from an Advocacy training session on the Friday evening provided for all participants by Ken Aylett, a Bencher of Inner Temple and a barrister of 40 years Call. Alex and Steven then competed in the quarter final against a team from the University of Exeter acting as defence counsel in the trial of R v Josiah Seabourn (a bookmaker accused of falsifying his accounts).
The quarter final was judged by His Honour Judge Warner, Max Hill QC (Chairman of the Criminal Bar Association) and Angelo Power. Although the Lincoln team didn’t manage to proceed to the semi-finals, both Alex and Steven received high praise from the judges who were particularly impressed that first year students had displayed such impressive advocacy skills at an early stage in their academic careers.
Notwithstanding the slight disappointment at not progressing further, the team attended the Competition Dinner on Saturday 30th June and had the opportunity to meet a number of Circuit Judges and Queen’s Counsel. They also acted as jury members in the Grand Final and received Certificates of Participation in the Finals Weekend which will prove a useful addition to their CV’s.