The Inner Temple Pupils' Advocacy Course has at its core a residential weekend, held at Wotton House near Dorking, Surrey.
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Pupils Advocacy Course
During the three-day course, pupils participate in a session on presentational skills led by professional actors, followed by a series of talks on examination in chief, cross-examination and re-examination, skeleton arguments, previous convictions and previous inconsistent statements. Practical sessions focus on closing speeches and witness handling for both civil and criminal cases.
Each pupil is video-reviewed throughout the weekend to give him or her the opportunity to identify and correct any bad habits which affect their overall advocacy performance.
In addition to the weekend, pupils attend an introductory session at the Inn and case analysis evenings to help them prepare for the cases used at the weekend. They also take part in a full mock trial held at the Royal Courts of Justice, and attend a day at the Inn spent on interlocutory applications.
The exercises are taught by barristers and judges of all levels, who have been trained in advocacy teaching, and many of whom are also Benchers of the Inner Temple. The witness roles at the mock trials are played by student members of the Inn on the Bar Professional Training Course. The exercises provide basic advocacy confidence and experience, allowing pupils the opportunity to be assessed and receive constructive criticism from highly experienced practitioners, in a more relaxed and supportive environment, away from the pressures of chambers and tenancy decisions.