Ho Chi Minh city, September 9, 2022 - University of Law, Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) - Viet Nam Program in collaboration with School of Law - Vietnam National University, Hanoi (LS - VNU), Ho Chi Minh City University of Law and University of Law - Hue University organized mock trials on "Adjudication of wildlife crime cases". The mock trials are a part 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, Ho Chi Minh City, September 2022
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Tran Hoang Hai - Acting Rector of Ho Chi Minh City University of Law; Assoc. Prof. Dr. Nguyen Thi Que Anh - Dean of School of Law - Vietnam National University, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Doan Duc Luong - Rector of University of Law - Hue University, Ms. Hoang Bich Thuy, Country Director of WCS Viet Nam and more than 100 lecturers and students of three universities attended face-to-face the mock trials. There are students from relevant univeristies attending virtually through the fanpages of the universities and WCS.
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Tran Hoang Hai - Acting Rector of Ho Chi Minh City University of Law delivered the opening remark, Ho Chi Minh City, September 2022
In the opening remarks, Assoc. Dr. Tran Hoang Hai - Acting Rector of Ho Chi Minh City University of Law said: “After participating the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in 1994, Viet Nam has made many efforts to reform the legal framework on wildlife protection through amending and improving a lot of legal documents, and revising stronger punishments. However, the situation of violation of wildlife law is still complicated. Is that because of ineffective law enforcement action or punishments are not strong enough for deterrence, or any other reasons?..” …”Integrating wildlife law protection topics into pre-service training program will help students understand their responsibility. The mock-trials not only help students to challenge, study, exchange judicial knowledge and skills but also provide opportunities for teachers and lecturers to further improve the training programs, meeting the needs of the labor forces."
Ms. Hoang Bich Thuy, Country Director of WCS Viet Nam added: “According to the survey results done by selected lecturers of the School of Law - Vietnam National University, Hanoi in collaboration with WCS conducted in 2022 in Viet Nam, the integration of legal framework on wildlife protection in law training programs in Viet Nam will become very crucial, specially in an alarming situation of violations of regulations on wildlife protection and the need for human resources in law enforcement and judicial agencies related to wildlife protection. In the discussion with representatives of 20 surveyed law training institutions, legal framework and regulations on wildlife protection was not commonly done therefore, the mock trials are not only an opportunity for students to practice knowledge and skills into the process of adjudicating wildlife criminal cases, but also valuable teaching materials for participating schools, and at the same time mock trials help raise awareness on wildlife protection law among students.”
Students played role of prosecutor in the first mock trial, Ho Chi Minh City, September 2022
Started in early August 2022, the mock trials has attracted nearly 150 students from three universities. In the preliminary round, students had completed essays expressing their interest in wildlife protection and mock trial activities. 60 students were inititally selected to continue to randomly selecte one of the five wildlife life crime cases, and recorded a video presentation of points to prove in the cases.
The contest helped students improve knowledge on wildlife protection laws; especially violations of the criminal law on wildlife protection. After the selection process, about 30 outstanding students continued to participate in the training course for each position group, including Judge, Prosecutor, and Attorney before participating the official mock trials in the Ho Chi Minh city. Also within seven days of participating in the training course, students also had access to two wildlife trial case files related to illegal action such illegal captive, hunting and killing endangered animals. Without any real play script/scenario, students had to search and study case files, develop interrogations and impeachments, defenses and indictments in consultation with experts from reputable law training institutions and judicial officers with practical experience in adjudicating wildlife criminal cases. At the end of the training sessions, the students drew to select positions at the mock trial, each trial was attended by students from all three universities.