27th Nov 2023

On Saturday 25th November 2023, the Crown Court at Manchester hosted the 2023 edition of the Schools Mock Trial Competition. This year’s competition marked the renaming of the event after Paul Dockery, who tragically passed away in 2022 and who had ran the competition for over 20 years.

Joshua Bowker, Laura Broome and Daniel Dockery, Paul’s son, took over the organising duties. On Saturday, over 120 students from 12 schools across Greater Manchester took part in a series of Mock Trials, taking on roles of barristers, witnesses, court clerks and ushers and journalists.

Following a series of trials, the final saw Withington Girls’ School prosecute Altrincham Grammar School for Girls, who represented Jean d’Arc who was accused of assault. The trial took place before His Honour Judge Dean KC, the Honorary Recorder of Manchester, with Altrincham sealing the victory by the barest of margins.

Joshua Bowker said: “it has been a real privilege to keep the competition running after Paul’s sad passing. It meant an awful lot to him, and both Laura and I are very proud to continue the work he put in for over 20 years.”

Laura Broome said: “Saturday was the culmination of many weeks of hard work in organising the competition, and it was amazing to see all the effort put in by the students and to see their very high levels of skill.”

Joshua, Laura and Daniel would like to express their thanks to the barristers from across the Northern Circuit who acted as mentors during the competition; to the members of the Judiciary who assisted with the trials; and the Court and security staff – without their help, the competition could not take place. 

For further details about 18 St John Street Chambers, our Pupillage and Mini Pupillage Schemes, and the Profiles of Joshua Bowker and Laura Broome please contact Chambers Director James Parks or phone 0161 278 1800.