Teams from Victoria College and Jersey College for Girls will contest the final of the fourth annual Baker & Partners Youth Advocacy Competition in the Royal Court next week.

Nearly 80 students from five sixth forms took part in the first three rounds of the competition, which started earlier this year and saw teams of two arguing their case against teams from other schools in a number of different court scenarios, ranging from a bail application to a civil injunction.

Those teams have now been whittled down to just two – Ross Benest (17) and Peter Hucker (17) from Victoria College and Holly d’Anger (17) and Isobel Pedley (16) from JCG.

In the final, which takes place at 5 p.m. on Monday 27th June, the two teams will be required to take on the roles of the prosecution and defence in a mock trial, including a number of acted witnesses. As well as reviewing transcripts, cross-examining witnesses and arguing their cases, the finalists will each have to give closing speeches to the court, which will be presided over by Bailiff Michael Birt. Advocates Stephen Baker, David Wilson and Emma Jordan from Baker & Partners will be acting as Jurats.

The finalists will be judged on the quality of their presentation, clarity in speaking, understanding of legal principles and their ability to deal succinctly and clearly with points. The winning team will be crowned ‘Baker & Partners Youth Advocates 2011’, be presented with a trophy and receive a week-long mini-pupillage at top London Chambers Seven Bedford Row, including travel and accommodation. The winning team’s school will also receive a trophy.

Advocate Stephen Baker, Senior Partner at Baker & Partners, said:

‘Throughout this year’s competition, we have again been impressed by the quality and maturity displayed by the teams. That so many young people continue to take part is hugely encouraging and demonstrates a hunger for excellence amongst local aspiring lawyers. It also gives real experience of legal practise outside of TV portrayals. The final promises to be particularly interesting – and we are fortunate that the Bailiff will be presiding over it.’