Plea in Mitigation Competition

The competition will be held on Saturday 18th September 2021 from 9 am to 5 pm. The competition will take place virtually on Zoom. Read below for details. 


The competition is now full. To be notified of future competitions, join our mailing list by clicking here. 

Plea in Mitigation Competition
Summer Cup 2021

Saturday 18th September 2021

9am to 5pm

On Zoom

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 competitions

The competition is open to:

– Law undergraduates and graduates; 

– GDL students and graduates; 

– Masters, BPTC and LPC students and graduates from these courses. 

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 on Saturday 11th September 2021. This means that you will have week to prepare. 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 18th September 2021. The competition will run from 9am until 5pm. The entire competition will take place over the course of a single day. 

Competition format

The target size for the competition is 128 participants. Everyone that signs up will take part in the competition. Each participant will have at least 2 attempts of the plea in mitigation during the day.


The 128 competitors will be split into 16 groups of 8. Each group will have their own judge(s). One by one, each competitor in a group will perform the plea in mitigation in front of the judge(s). The judge will determine the winner of the group and that individual will go through to Round 2 which will take place in the afternoon.


The remaining participants that didn’t progress will have a second opportunity to go through. These remaining participants will now be split into 16 groups of 7. They will each have the opportunity to present their plea in mitigation to a different judge(s) from the judge(s) they presented to initially. The judge(s) will determine the winner from each group and that individual will go through to Round 2 in the afternoon.  


There will therefore be 2 participants from each of the 16 groups (36 in total – 16×2) progressing to Round 2 in the afternoon.


In Round 2, the 36 competitors that progressed will be split into 6 groups of 6. One by one, they will perform the plea in mitigation in front of their judge(s). The judge(s) from each group will decide the winner from that group.


The six winners of the groups will then present one last time to the full panel of judges.

The winner and runner up will then be decided by the panel.


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


John Dove

Founder of the National Speed Mooting Competition