Mock Trial Competition

Mock Trial Competition Overview

Mock Trial Competition Overview


The Law Society coordinates an inter-school Mock Trial Competition each year for students enrolled in Years 10, 11 and 12.

What is the Mock Trial Competition?

A mock trial is a simulated court case in which teams contest a fictitious legal matter presented in the Western Australia court system. The cases are presented by two teams – a prosecution/plaintiff team and a defence/defendant team – made up of students playing the roles of barristers, solicitors, witnesses and court officials.

The Mock Trial Competition provides an enjoyable, dynamic way of introducing students to the law. It provides students with an opportunity to learn valuable skills in research and in the development and presentation of a persuasive argument.

The whole class can benefit by being involved in some of the suggested learning and teaching activities that can be used to help prepare the teams for the trial.

Who can participate?

The competition is open to students enrolled in Years 10, 11 and 12 who are not older than 18 years of age as at 31 December of the year of the competition.

A team must consist of no fewer than eight students and no more than 12. Students take the following roles:

  • two barristers
  • two witnesses
  • one instructing solicitor
  • one court orderly or judge’s associate/magistrate’s clerk
  • up to six reserves (maximum). Minimum of two reserves must attend coaching sessions

Schools may enter more than one team, however no student shall be included in more than one team and students may not change between teams.


There is a registration fee of $110 (inc GST) for each team. Schools may enter more than one team, up to a suggested maximum of five teams.

Venue and Time

Mock trials take place at the Supreme Court of Western Australia, Stirling Gardens, Barrack Street, Perth and if required, at the Mandurah Courthouse. The Grand Final is held at the Supreme Court of Western Australia.

All trials begin promptly at 6pm (Mandurah Court House trials commence at 5.30pm). Each trial takes no more than two and a half hours.

What is involved?

Teams are provided with a comprehensive competition manual that details the mock trial rules, procedures, dates and the skills that are assessed in each mock trial.

There are seven rounds involved in the competition. The first three rounds work as a round robin and allow each team to go up against teams from three other schools in a random draw. These rounds are held during semester one (the Standard Level Endorsed Programme).  At the conclusion of the first three rounds the 16 top scoring teams progress to the elimination rounds on a knock-out basis in semester two (the Advanced Level Endorsed Programme), until two teams remain to contest the Grand Final.

Lawyers and law students volunteer their time and are appointed to each school to coach the students on court procedure, presentation and preparation of case material. Volunteers also adjudicate the mock trials, acting as the judge. For impartiality, no-one can be both a judge and coach in the same year.

Judges award points based on: understanding of the case, knowledge of court procedure and presentation.

For more information

Please contact the Mock Trial Co-ordinator or (08) 9324 8604.

Proudly supported by

Murdoch University
Dates for 2018

Dates for 2018


Round 1  (all teams) 6 March – 22 March
Round 2  (all teams) 7 – 24 May
Round 3  (all teams) 11 – 28 June
Round 4  (Finals – 16 teams) 30 July –  2 August
Round 5  (Finals – 8 teams) 21 – 23 August
Round 6  (Finals – 4 teams) 12 – 13 September
Round 7  (Grand Final) Second week in October
Murdoch Scholarship

Murdoch Scholarship


The Murdoch University Most Outstanding Mock Trial Student Scholarship is awarded each year to a Year 12 student who has competed in the Mock Trial Competition.

The Law Society congratulates Nicholas Troy from Wesley College who has been awarded the 2017 Murdoch Scholarship for the Most Outstanding Mock Trial Student.

The Scholarship has been awarded at each year’s grand final to the following recipients:

  • 2017 – Nicholas Troy (Wesley College)
  • 2016 – Daniel Morey (Shenton College)
  • 2015 – Calum Moultrie (Lake Joondalup Baptist College)
  • 2014 – Sandra Paige Stevens (Lake Joondalup Baptist College)
  • 2013 – Zia Van Aswegen (Lake Joondalup Baptist College)
  • 2012 – Heather Costello (St Mary’s Anglican Girls’ School)
  • 2011 – Hannah Bailey (St Stephen’s School – Carramar)
  • 2010 – Amy Ryan (Ocean Reef Senior High School)
  • 2009 – Amy Wakefield (Carine Senior High School)
  • 2008 – Daniel Harrop (Carine Senior High School)
  • 2007 – Annelise Nielsen (Presbyterian Ladies’ College)

Scholarship Outline

The Year 12 student adjudged to be the best performer of the Mock Trial Competition by a selection panel is invited to join a team that represents Murdoch University School of Law in one of the prestigious moot competitions as decided by Murdoch University  School of Law. This may include (amongst other competitions):

  • The Manfred Lachs Space Law Moot
  • International Maritime Law and Arbitration Moot
  • International ADR Competition
  • Kirby Contract Law Moot

Each of these competitions takes place either interstate or overseas.

The Scholarship offered by the University covers the recipient’s moot competition airfare and accommodation.  As a member of one of the Murdoch Law School mooting teams, the recipient will receive extensive training in legal advocacy and research in preparation for their participation in an international Moot.
The Candidate will need to adhere to the following conditions in order for the scholarship to apply:

  1. The recipient of the Scholarship must place Murdoch University Law first in their TISC preference selection and must subsequently enrol in Law at Murdoch University and cross the first census date (31 March) in that year.
  2. The recipient must make himself/herself available for intensive training over the summer period prior to the Moot Competition to be held, and is expected to participate in that training as a member of the Murdoch Team.
  3. The recipient must be 18 years of age, but if the recipient is under 18 years of age at the time of travel, his or her participation will be delayed until the following year.

Mock Trial Competition ‘Most Outstanding Student’ Selection System

Schools participating in the Mock Trial Competition are to identify and if applicable nominate no more than two students for the Most Outstanding Mock Trial Student Scholarship. In order to aid this process, a selection criteria as to how to assess the ‘Most Outstanding Mock Trial Student’ will be sent to each participating School.

One essential element of the award is participation; the student must be a participant (in any capacity) in each of the first three rounds of the Mock Trial Competition.

The nominees will prepare an opening address for a given case and present their address before a selection panel arranged by Murdoch University School of Law.

The student must possess a clear understanding of the Mock Trial Competition rules.

Selection Criteria

In the spirit of the competition, teamwork is paramount. The nominated student must therefore actively participate in the first three Mock Trial rounds, (this may be in any capacity). The student must possess a clear understanding of the Mock Trial rules.

Students may be assessed on their:

  • analytical and advocacy skills
  • research skills
  • ability to develop and present a persuasive argument
  • ability to effectively communicate

Scholarship Selection Date

Schools will be notified by email with the nomination form, details and date of the Murdoch Scholarship competition after completion of the first three rounds of the Mock Trial Competition.

Murdoch University



2017 Grand Final

On Thursday, 12 October 2017, Court 1 of the Supreme Court in Stirling Gardens was packed to the rafters for the Grand Final of the 2017 Mock Trial Competition. The Grand Final case was a criminal matter in which the accused was charged with stealing examination papers prior to the 2016 WACE exams. The defence case rested on mistaken identity. The season’s top two teams were the Abogados from PLC Perth and How to get away with Objections from Chisholm Catholic College. The teams were very evenly matched, but Chisholm Catholic College edged ahead to win the trophy.

231 Mock Trial 2017

1194 school students participated in 2017, and 200 trials were held. 740 students achieved accreditation towards their high school graduation through their participation. In all, 127 teams from 55 schools took part in the Competition. 77 volunteer lawyers acted as judges throughout the year, and 65 legal practitioners and law students acted as coaches for participating schools.

 Previous Grand Final Winners

2017 Chisholm Catholic College
2016 Chisholm Catholic College
2015 Hale School
2014 Mt Lawley Senior High School
2013 Mt Lawley Senior High School
2012 Presbyterian Ladies’ College
2011 Wesley College (Team Gold)
2010 St Hilda’s Anglican School for Girls
2009 St Hilda’s Anglican School for Girls
2008 Shenton College
2007 Christ Church Grammar School
2006 Mercedes College
2005 Methodist Ladies’ College
2004 Carmel School
2003 Methodist Ladies’ College
2002 St Hilda’s Anglican School for Girls

2001 Morley Senior High School
2000 Christ Church Grammar School
1999 Santa Maria College
1998 Guildford Grammar School
1997 Carmel School
1996 Frederick Irwin Anglican Community School (Mandurah)
1995 Perth College
1994 Wesley College
1993 Wesley College
1992 St Mary’s Anglican Girls’ School
1991 Bunbury Cathedral Grammar School
1990 Morley Senior High School
1989 Servite College
1988 Mercedes College
1987 Christ Church Grammar School

Murdoch University Mock Trial Seminar

Murdoch University Mock Trial Seminar


On Saturday the 1st of April 2017, Murdoch University welcomed 44 secondary school students and their teachers from across Perth to attend a Mock Trial Seminar and Workshop. The Mock Trial Seminar is a combined initiative of The Law Society of WA and the Murdoch Law School and is in its third consecutive year. The Seminar is designed to develop the advocacy skills of secondary school students from years ten to twelve involved in the Law Society’s Mock Trial Competition.

Murdoch University has a strong mooting culture and is consistently involved with national and international mooting competitions such as the International Maritime Law Arbitration Moot and the Philip C Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition. Murdoch Law School also provides advanced advocacy training through various academic units and the extra-curricular Moot Court Bench. The law students who attended the Seminar have all competed in various advocacy and mooting competitions, with many being ex-members of the Moot Court Bench. All the law students were eager to share their advocacy experiences with the high school students.

Law School Alumnus Alexander McVey began the day with a presentation in the Herbert Smith Freehills Lecture Theatre, Murdoch’s very own high-tech moot court. Alex introduced the students to the purpose of the trial, evidence, objections, the roles in the courtroom, case theories, courtroom etiquette, openings, examinations-in-chief, cross-examinations, and closings.

Following the seminar, the students broke for morning tea. This provided a great opportunity to mingle with each other and meet new people from the different schools. They also had the opportunity to talk to the law students. Many of the high school students had questions about attending law school and the different mooting opportunities offered by Murdoch.

After morning tea, the students were split into small groups of six to seven for a workshop. The students received a mock trial question to work through with the guidance of a Murdoch mooting alumni. The students were coached through each aspect of a trial. They were shown how to break down an offence into elements, discussed case theories, practiced presenting effective openings and closings, and dissected the question to pull out the relevant facts and evidence that would strengthen the case for either the prosecution or defence. The students were encouraged to actively participate and share their ideas, and received constructive feedback on how to improve their arguments and techniques. All of the workshop leaders were very impressed with the students’ work and their enthusiasm for the Mock Trial Competition.

Murdoch Law School enjoys engaging with advocacy education. Murdoch has a strong relationship with The Law Society of WA and the Mock Trial Competition. Many mooting and Moot Court Bench alumni coach mock trial teams or judge the competition throughout the year. Every year, Murdoch also offers a scholarship to the ‘Most Outstanding Mock Trial Student’. This scholarship gives a student a position on one of Murdoch’s national or international moot teams, enabling extensive training in legal research, writing and advocacy. The scholarship also covers the costs of airfares and accommodation for the moot.

Thank you to all of the students and teachers who attended the Mock Trial Seminar. It was fantastic to meet you all. I would also like to thank Alex McVey, Lorraine Finlay, Michelle Barron, Annie Warburton and the Murdoch Law students who volunteered their time. Without your hard work, this event would not have been possible.

Murdoch Law School looks forwards to working with The Law Society of WA in the near future to continue supporting this excellent competition and engaging more students in advocacy training.

By Emily Bell (Final year Murdoch University Law & Criminology student)