The Criminal Justice Club Hosts Second Edition of the Mock Trial

By Lauryn Ojore

The Criminal Justice Club hosted the second leg of the in-house Mock Trials on November 16, 2022 at the USIU-Africa Moot Court. In Criminal Justice education, the use of simulation can provide students with an exciting opportunity to experience “real world” situations in the classrooms or in extracurricular activities such as Mock Trials. It offers a chance for students to satisfy their natural curiosity through role play.

A Mock Trial is a competition in which students simulate a real trial using pure fictional cases. It allows students to practice lower-court trials where they represent a party, prepare a case for trial and try the case to a jury. The competition is made up of two teams, one side being the prosecution side and the other being the defense side.

The trial then begins with opening statements, direct examinations, cross-examinations, and closing statements. Since each team provides 3 witnesses in a round, a total of 6 witnesses will be presented in each round of competition, each requiring a direct examination (by an attorney on their team) and a cross examination (by an attorney from the opposing team). All of these are prepared prior to trial.

The case for this semester was centered on Battered woman syndrome. Presided over by the judge, Claudia Mugaki, the Prosecution team made up of Lauryn Ojore, Salma Osman and Victor Mwendwa tried to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the defendant, “Mrs. Zalika Asani” was guilty of murder, while Defense, made up of Stacie Mwangi and Millicent Mudiwa had a goal to defend the defendant on grounds of self-defense. This was an exciting, engaging experience, not only for the attorneys but for each and every role player who brought the whole court to life. Defense attorney Stacie says, “I am more confident speaking in front of crowds. I have learned how to approach issues in a creative manner and effectively communicate my client’s position to a judge.”

Giving credit where it is due, CJC could not have thrived without the guidance and tutelage of club patron Dr. Christopher Cooper and co-patron Rachael Ngumi. As a club, CJC has witnessed immense growth this year and have plans to continue building partnerships through empowerment and strength not only in USIU-Africa, but all over the world through their associations.

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