I am currently studying politics, economics, geography and business studies for my A Levels in Bromley. It was through politics that I found out about Big Voice London and their various projects.
Supreme Court Judgment Review Project
My first experience of BVL was through the Supreme Court Judgment Review project which focused on three cases from the previous year. There were many legal speakers and academics that gave us an in-depth understanding of each case.
The cases in question were:
James Rhodes (Appellant) v OPO (by his litigation friend BHM) and another (Respondents)
R (on the application of Roberts) (Appellant) v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis and another (Respondents)
R (on the application of Evans) and another (Respondents) v Her Majesty's Attorney General (Appellant)
Each case had its own unique features and area of law. Once we had studied the three cases, we were each given the task of writing a report on one of the cases of our choosing. The best three would then be chosen and the finalists would then present their reports to judges at the Supreme Court. I chose the case concerning Prince Charles' letters and was one of the three which were fortunately to go through to the finals.
Speaking at the Supreme Court was a unique experience and one which I won’t forget. At the end of each of our reports the judges asked us questions related to various areas in our reports. After all speakers had presented their reports, there was a short break and upon the judges’ re-entrance into the court room, a winner was chosen. I came 3rd, but I really appreciated the opportunity of having the chance to practically experience law-related topics in an environment which wasn’t a classroom.
Photo: The finalists of the 2016 Supreme Court Judgment Review project with The Right Honourable Lord Justice Vos and The Honourable Mrs Justice Asplin DBE.
It was from the Supreme Court Review Project that I learnt about BVL’s mooting project. After the great experience of the previous project I was eager to apply.
Each participant was paired up with a mentor (a graduate studying law) and they acted as a guide and as junior respondent/appellant during the various stages of the mooting process.
Each week a new mooting question was set and the mentors and the mentees were put onto either the respondent or appellant side. Each week judges from all areas of the legal profession would volunteer their time to come in and judge our arguments and give feedback on how we had performed. This process continued through the practice round, knockouts, quarter final, semi-final and finals.
Each stage was a challenging process with its own characteristics and focus on a particular part of the law. I made it to the semi-finals and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. The project taught me how to utilise case law and common law examples to build a legal argument for getting my points across to the judge.
Overall I really enjoyed the experience and am grateful to Big Voice London for organising the various projects.