IU Law School Co-Sponsors First National Mock Criminal Trial Competition
Indiana University School of Law – Indianapolis and Renmin University of China School of Law in Beijing co-sponsored the first ever mock criminal trial advocacy competition in China. Students from law schools throughout mainland China participated in the event which was held in Beijing on December 3rd and 4th, 2005.
Associate Clinical Professor Robert Lancaster from the IU Law – Indianapolis faculty served as chief judge in the preliminary and semi-final rounds. “This competition is significant because Chinese law schools typically do not teach trial advocacy. Historically, the Chinese criminal process has been an inquisitorial system rather than an adversarial proceeding,” says Prof. Lancaster. The Chinese government changed criminal procedure in 1996 to allow for and encourage more adversarial processes in the criminal trial. However, until now there has been no training to prepare lawyers for this new system. Lancaster says, “This competition is significant because it is part of the training that will ultimately redefine criminal procedure in China.” Prof. Lancaster also served as judge in the final round where students from Dalian Maritime University won the competition and competed against the team from Renmin University, who came in second.
The competition was organized as part of the China Model Advocacy Courthouse Project the law school has been running in China since 2004. Visiting Professor Herb Bowman, who serves as a Fellow in the Center for International and Comparative Law, organized the competition which was judged by Chinese and American lawyers.
(Pictured above: Professors Robert Lancaster and Herb Bowman are pictured third and forth from the left in the back row along with students from Renmin University of China School of Law’s team.)