Since 2019, ABA ROLI and Panama’s academic sector have worked together to improve integration of law schools into the country’s accusatorial criminal justice system. Under ABA ROLI’s New Advocates Training Course, law students learn about written and oral litigation skills in criminal procedures within the accusatory justice system in Panama. Students from the country’s four judicial districts also participate in mock trial competitions and study tours, which functions as a complement to the educational course. The program, Strengthening Legal Education in Criminal Law and Procedure in the Panamanian Accusatorial Criminal Justice System, is funded by the US Department of State Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs.
Hosting A National Mock Trial Competition
ABA ROLI will host one nationwide Mock Trial Competition with teams from private and public law schools across four judicial districts throughout the country. Select teams will litigate simulated criminal cases as “prosecutors” and “defense attorneys,” while appearing before “trial judges.” Active legal experts will evaluate the teams’ performance.. At the conclusion of the event, ABA ROLI will organize a week-long study tour to Puerto Rico for the winning team of the mock trial competition to learn about the criminal justice system in the U.S. (at the federal level).
Enhancing Law Students’ Oral Advocacy And Mediation Skills
The training course includes knowledge and practical training on basic trial advocacy and mediation skills. Law students will learn about the Accusatorial System and topics such as the Theory of the Case, Opening Statement, Direct Examination, Cross-Examination, Closing Argument, and the Laws of Evidence and Ethics, and Mediation and Conciliation. These courses employ a “presentation-demonstration-application” methodology, with plenary lectures and breakout sessions.
Consultative Meetings With The Isjup And Universities
ABA ROLI collaborates directly with the Superior Judicature Institute (Instituto Superior de la Judicatura, or ISJUP), a key partner in supporting the collaboration between the seven Panamanian law schools we work with on the Proposal for Curriculum Reform for courses on Criminal Procedure (May 2017). Through this collaboration, ABA ROLI will roll out a new Training Course on Oral Advocacy and Mediation in the Penal Accusatory System (PSA). In conjunction with ISJUP, ABA ROLI will hold meetings in Panama City with key stakeholders to discuss the Training Course development and implementation.
Panamanian Coalition For Oral Litigation Competitions (PCCLO)
ABA ROLI has convened key stakeholder representatives from ISJUP, public and private universities, the National Association of Lawyers of Panama, and the Panamanian Debate Association to establish the Panamanian Coalition for Oral Litigation Competitions (PCCLO). This committee plays a crucial role in ensuring the mock trial competition is technically sound and responsive to the needs from various law school teams.