On July 29, 2022, at Hanoi Procuratorate University, Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) - Viet Nam Program in collaboration with Hanoi Procuratorate University (HPU) organized a mock trial on adjucating offences against regulations on management and protection of endangered and rare animals. Following the training course "Enhance debating skills for students", this mock trial was conducted within the framework of the project “Combating Wildlife Trafficking in Viet Nam” funded by the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL), United States Department of State.
Students role-played in the mock trial, Ha Noi, July 2022
Assoc.Prof.Dr. Phan Van Tam, Principal of the HPU, Ms. Hoang Bich Thuy, Country Director of WCS Viet Nam and about 90 HPU lecturers and students, WCS Viet Nam staff attended the mock trial.
Taking a real case in adjucating the act of illegally storing and killing pangolins in a restaurant for food purpose, HPU lecturers developed a script for a first court hearing in convicting crime violating regulations on management and protection of endangered and rare animals. In this mock trial, 15 students were divided into 4 groups: the jury panel group, the lawyers group, the prosecutors group and the group of others involved people in the trial (including the defendant, people with related interests and obligations, etc.). They need to advance their knowledge and debating skills in legal argument in order to clarify the progress and details of the case, then make appropriate decisions to sentence the offenders. This mock trial is not only an opportunity for students to understand the rights and responsibilities of relevant authorities and individuals engaging in the criminal procedure, practise their knowledge and skills applied to the case trial in the future, but also conveys educational message to raise awareness of HPU students and lecturers about wildlife protection laws.
In the future, WCS will continue to collaborate with law training schools to organize a series of mock trials and debating competitions, which will help students to practice their knowledge and skills, as well as critical thinking on legal issues in general and on wildlife protection laws in particular.