June 16, 2007

Georgia Holds First Comprehensive Mock Trials

Prosecutor Besik Bekauri makes his opening statement to the judge

Georgia’s first ever mock trial with prosecutors, advocates, and judges allparticipating was held on June 16, 2007, thanks to the efforts of the ABA Ruleof Law Initiative’s Georgia office and the United States Department of Justice Resident Legal Advisor.  The case scenario for the joint mock trial, held at the Tbilisi Appellate Court, involved neighbor threatening another neighbor. Participants from the Prosecutor General of Georgia, the Tbilisi District and Appellate Courts, the Georgia Legal Aid Office, and the Georgian Bar Association all came together in making this event a success.

A total of thirty trials with sixty advocates and prosecutors and fifteen judges were held with patrol officers and law students serving as witnesses.  To prepare judges, prosecutors, and advocates for an adversaria lprocess—which is included in a new Criminal Procedure Code expected to beadopted this fall—the Rule of Law Initiative and the RLA developed training programs tailored specifically to each participant in the adversarialtrial.  In this year alone, the Initiative‘s Criminal Law Program has trained thirty trainers and over 150 advocates in advocacy skills.  Insome of those previous trainings prosecutors and advocates argued cases agains teach other, but this was the first time that Georgian judges presided overthese mock trials. 

These same trials will be repeated in July and are expected to expand in the fall into trainings held outside of Tbilisi in the various regions of thecountry.  For more information please contact Mamuka Mamatsashvili at mamuka@abarol.ge or Matt Reger at matt@abarol.ge.