Students Staff

17 April 2013

Expert witness and top QC help law students understand the reality of being a witness

Students at our School of Law are being offered a valuable insight into the often daunting challenge of being a witness in court through a unique training session and mock trial being staged at our Colchester Campus on Wednesday April 24.

Award-winning expert witness Trevor Gilbert, from Trevor Gilbert & Associates, and top criminal QC Stephen Harvey will teach students about how to give evidence and then stage a mock trial to put their courtroom skills to the test. The partnership between the School of Law and specialist training company Witness Box is aimed at promoting ‘witness familiarisation’, a new form of legal training that prepares witnesses for the challenge of giving evidence in court.

Dedham-based Mr Gilbert has been in and out of the witness box for 20 years and is one of only 25 employment experts in the UK. Last year, his company won its category of the national Personal Injury Awards.

In 2012 he launched ‘The Art of Giving Evidence’ course based on his own experiences and designed for first-time witnesses. The training session will also see Mr Harvey, from leading London-based chambers One Paper Buildings, subject four students to intense cross-examination during the mock trial.

“I am delighted to present our unique and innovative programme to students from the University’s School of Law,” said Mr Gilbert. “Students will gain more insight into court processes and in particular the role of the witness. They’ll be taught techniques to deal with cross-examination by me and a few will undergo the daunting experience of being questioned by a leading QC!”

The mock criminal case involves a fictional serious firearms incident in Wivenhoe, Essex. While fictional, it is highly relevant, reflecting the impact of gun crime in wider society.

Mr Harvey said: “I am sure that students will benefit from this experience and I intend to make it as life-like as possible for them.”
Senior law lecturer Dr Karen Hulme, who organised the visit, said: “The School of Law strives to broaden and enhance the student learning experience. By simulating a criminal prosecution, our law students will experience the excitement and realities of the courtroom.”

Notes to Editors

Media invitation: The course takes place from 4pm to 7pm in room 5S.4.9 in the School of Law at the University of Essex on Wednesday April 24. Journalists are welcome to attend.

For more information contact the University of Essex Communications Office on 01206 874377 or e-mail:

For more information about Trevor Gilbert & Associates go to:

For more information about Witness Box go to:

...more news releases