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For Immediate Release
January 9, 2006
For More Information Contact:
Elizabeth Allington, 317-278-3038 eallingt@iupui.edu

IU Law School Co-Sponsors China’s First National Mock Criminal Trial Competition

IUPUI Professors Robert Lancaster and Herb Bowman are pictured third and forth from the left in the back row along with students from Renmin University of China School of Law.

IUPUI Professors Robert Lancaster and Herb Bowman are pictured third and forth from the left in the back row along with students from Renmin University of China School of Law.

INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana University School of Law – Indianapolis and Renmin University of China School of Law in Beijing co-sponsored the first ever mock criminal trial advocacy competition in China.  Students from law schools throughout mainland China participated in the two-day event which was held in Beijing in December.

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.
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