IU Law School Co-Sponsors China’s First National Mock Criminal Trial Competition
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,” Lancaster said.
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.”
The IUPUI professor also served as judge in the final round where students from Dalian Maritime University won the competition, beating the team from Renmin University.The competition was organized as part of the China Model Advocacy Courthouse Project that 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.