On September 3–5, the ABA Rule of Law Initiative’s (ABA ROLI’s) Cambodia program hosted its second annual mock trial competition at the University of Cambodia in Phnom Penh. The competition featured teams from five Cambodian law schools, each competing for the honor of being crowned national champion. The students performed as defense attorneys, witnesses and prosecutors in a case involving a stolen purse. The teams presented their casesto a panel that included local Cambodian judges and international lawyers.
More than 200 people from the legal, judicial and law school community watched the trials. The event received local media coverage, including in the Phnom Penh Post and on Radio Free Asia. Dr. Angus D. Munro, vice president of the University of Cambodia, and Piper Campbell, chargé d’affaires, at the American Embassy, announced that the team from Pannasasta University of Cambodia had won the competition.
The annual mock trial competition is a unique opportunity for Cambodian law students to learn about case strategy, logic, argumentation, examination andother important legal skills. The competition is part of ABA ROLI’s legal education reform project, which teaches advocacy skills to the future lawyers and judges of Cambodia. Led by ABA ROLI’s Steven Austermiller, the program willcontinue to hold moot court competitions and to work with local law schools.
ABA ROLI works in Cambodia as a subgrantee to the East-West Management Institute, under the USAID-funded Program on Rights and Justice.