In order to provide the next generation of Georgian lawyers with the information and skills they need to make their new adversarial-based system work more effectively, on December 6-7, EWMI-JILEP sponsored Georgia’s 4th National Trial Advocacy Competition for Georgian law students. The competition used a mock trial format, which allowed students to play the roles of prosecutor and defense attorney in a hypothetical criminal trial. Law school professors coached the students, representing 10 different law schools, and experienced Georgian and international lawyers served as volunteer judges. Sulkhan-Saba University hosted the preliminary rounds, while the semifinal and final rounds took place at the Supreme Court of Georgia. In preparation for the competition, EWMI delivered an trial advocacy skills workshop in October for 65 law students and ten law professor “coaches." During the workshop, students learned such skills as opening and closing arguments, and direct and cross-examination of witnesses. The program’s interactive format required students to practice many of the skills in front of their peers using sample cases. The participants also received instruction on aspects of the new Georgian Criminal Procedural Code that most directly impact the practice of trial advocacy. Free University won this year’s National Trial Advocacy Competition while Akaki Tsereteli University (Kutaisi) was runner up.
EWMI Encourages Skills Development in Legal Education