Mock Trial Advocacy - LAWS6570

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2023 to 2024
Spring Term 5 3 (1.5) Darren Weir checkmark-circle


This non-contributory module provides an introduction to the Courts of First Instance and the skills required of an advocate to win their case. This will include an introduction to the purpose and structure of a trial, workshops on the skills required to prepare for trial, and participate as an advocate in a trial. This will lead to participation in an internal mock trial competition using a hypothetical case scenario. Other students (or members of the wider community) will take the roles of e.g. Court Clerk, Usher, Witness, Defendant and jury members. (Any student participating in these roles will be eligible for Employability Points).

Students will be expected, in their own time during the first 3 weeks of the module (or before), to visit a Crown Court or other Court of First Instance (as directed) and observe trial proceedings for at least half a day. They will need to submit a "News Report" on what they observed – see s.13 below. If a student has already been to Court on work experience or mini-pupillage, they may use that experience for the purpose of their news report. (Independent proof of the visit may be requested).


Contact hours

Total study hours: 30
Contact hours: 14
Private study hours: 16


All single and joint honours Law programmes. Not available to first year students.

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods

All elements are pass/fail and each element must be passed in order to pass the module. Assessments comprise:

• News report – 300-500 words (following Court observation visit – see s.10)
• Participation in seminar/workshops
• Internal mock trial competition

Reassessment methods
Given its format, the internal mock trial competition cannot be repeated in the standard University re-assessment period. Students who fail the module through non-submission or non-participation will have the module removed from their degree records. It cannot be repeated.

Indicative reading

Richard Du Cann, The Art of the Advocate (Penguin, 1993)
D.Hill & D.Pope, Mooting and Advocacy Skills (Sweet & Maxwell, 2007)
Robert McPeake (Ed.) Advocacy (Oxford University Press, 2018)
Iain Morley QC, The Devil's Advocate (Sweet & Maxwell, 2015)

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1. Explain the purpose and elements of a Crown Court Trial and/or other applicable Courts of First Instance;
2. Demonstrate an understanding of what a trial advocate does; how advocacy is managed and conducted in court;
3. Demonstrate detailed knowledge and understanding of the techniques used in trial advocacy;
4. Demonstrate skills in case preparation and analysis;
5. Demonstrate the ways a trial advocate can persuade.
6. Undertake the questioning of witnesses effectively and with confidence;
7. Reflect on the relationship between the substantive law and how this applies in a trial situation;

The intended generic learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1. Demonstrate skills in identifying and analysing issues;
2. Accurately identify the issue(s) that require research;
3. Demonstrate confident oral skills.


  1. Credit level 5. Intermediate level module usually taken in Stage 2 of an undergraduate degree.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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