Plea in Mitigation Competition 2023
In Partnership With BPP University Law School

The Plea in Mitigation Competition in Partnership with BPP will be the largest single day plea in mitigation competition held nationally. Read below for information about this year’s competition and on how to sign up. 

Click here to sign up

Plea in Mitigation Competition in partnership with BPP University Law School


Saturday 20th May 2023

9:00 am until 3:00 pm

What is a plea in mitigation

A plea in mitigation is an argument made in court by the barrister or solicitor representing a Defendant that has pleaded guilty to or been found guilty of a criminal offence. The purpose of the plea in mitigation is to outline the mitigating factors in a case and therefore obtain the best possible sentence on behalf of their client. This is a type of advocacy undertaken regularly by criminal barristers and solicitors.


About the competition

The competition is open to:

– Law undergraduates and graduates;

– GDL students and graduates;

– Masters, BPTC and LPC students and graduates

– Those falling outside of the above parameters at the discretion of the organisers

Participants enter as individuals rather than teams and represent themselves and not their university. There is therefore no limit on the number of students that can enter from any given institution.

Submissions will be limited to 5 minutes per participant. The bundle will be sent to participants by no later than 6.00 pm on Friday 19th May 2023.  By sending out the bundle the night before the competition, we are replicating the scenario in practice when a barrister or solicitor receives a later brief to appear in court the next day. The bundle will include all  of the required materials, meaning no additional research is required. As this is a plea in mitigation competition, no drafting will be required. As there is no research or drafting, participants will be tested on their oral advocacy alone. The competition is judged by practising barristers and solicitors.

How it Works

The competition will take place on Zoom on Saturday 20th May 2023. The competition will run from 9am until 3pm. The entire competition will take place over the course of a single day.


Competition format

The target size for the competition is 120 participants. Everyone that signs up will take part in the competition. The competition will take place over the course of a single day. We will therefore go from having 120 competitors all the way to having a winner in a single day. 

For the first round, the 120 competitors will be split into 12 groups of 10. Each group will have their own judge(s). One by one, each competitor in a group will perform the bail application in front of the judge(s). The judge(s) will determine the top two individuals from each group. The top two competitors from each group proceed to round 2, which will take place in the afternoon. 

There will therefore be 24 participants progressing to round 2. These will be split into 6 groups of 4. They will each perform their bail application in round 2. Once again, each group will have its own judge(s). The judge(s) will decide the winner from each group. This means that 6 participants will proceed to the final. 

In the final, the 6 competitors will perform their bail application one final time in front of a panel of judges. The winner and runner up will then be decided by the panel. 


The winner will receive an iPad. The runner up of the competition will receive a £75.00 Amazon voucher.


The cost for entry to the competition is £30.00. The entry fee is non-refundable. 

Sign up

To sign up for the competition, click here. 

John Dove

Founder of the National Speed Mooting Competition