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June 16, 2007

Georgia Holds First Comprehensive Mock Trials

Georgia’s first ever mock trial with prosecutors, advocates, and judges all participating 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 adversarial process—which is included in a new Criminal Procedure Code expected to be adopted this fall—the Rule of Law Initiative and the RLA developed training programs tailored specifically to each participant in the adversarial trial.  In this year alone, the Initiative‘s Criminal Law Program has trained thirty trainers and over 150 advocates in advocacy skills.  In some of those previous trainings prosecutors and advocates argued cases against each other, but this was the first time that Georgian judges presided over these 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 the country.  For more information please contact Mamuka Mamatsashvili at [email protected] or Matt Reger at [email protected].