Lord Justice Leveson to brush up on Scots law as he heads north with Judge Rinder

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By Judge John Hack on

Press inquiry impresario to judge top student competition — once he’s worked out what “not proven” means — with TV barrister also to appear as Bar Mock Trial final goes north of border


Lord Leveson — the Court of Appeal judge who brought a grateful nation hours of entertaining testimony from fading British film celebrities — is going to have to go back to law school.

Sir Brian — as his chums know the current president of the Queen’s Bench Division — is scheduled to judge the grand final of this year’s Bar National Mock Trial competition, which will take place on 28 March at the Edinburgh Court of Session after previous finals in Cardiff and London.

The judge-to-the-stars will be joined by 2 Hare Court barrister Robert Rinder, who is better known as daytime TV’s Judge Rinder. The celeb white collar crime specialist, who was best man at Benedict Cumberbatch’s recent wedding, will be awarding the prizes at the event, which is run by the Citizenship Foundation.

While the Scots narrowly decided they didn’t fancy having an independent country in last September’s referendum, they still insist on maintaining their own legal system.

Having opted for a Scottish final, the competition’s organisers have decided to do the polite thing and run proceedings in the law of the host city. That means Sir Brian has been brushing up his Scots law and procedure knowledge.

Indeed, the students, too, will have to familiarise themselves with the law and procedure equivalents to haggis and tartan (please note our noble restraint in not making a fried Mars Bar/pizza slice/anything else that’s vaguely edible reference).

Sir Brian is arguably best known across the UK and abroad for his year-long inquiry into press ethics, which brought stars of stage and screen such as Hugh Grant and Steve Coogan into the witness box and turned Robert Jay QC, lead counsel to the inquiry, into a matinee idol.

Joining Lord Justice Leveson on the mock trial judging panel are, among others, fellow Court of Appeal judge, Lord Justice Davis and Scotland Court of Session judge, Lady Rae.


Lawyers at Bar National Mock Trial Competition urge students to look beyond criminal bar [Legal Cheek]

Improving social mobility at the bar? Students at the Old Bailey is a start [The Guardian]