Trinidad and Tobago: Promoting Trial Advocacy Skills

In May 2017, NCSC and pro bono partner DLA Piper hosted a three-day basic trial advocacy workshop for police prosecutors at the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service Academy in Port of Spain, Trinidad. The program focused on improving the participants’ direct examination, cross examination, opening statement and closing argument techniques. Skills development training included strategic tools for persuasion, physical presentation, controlling difficult witnesses, introducing forensic evidence, and rhetorical devices. The workshop employed a “learning by doing” approach, involving teaching through joint plenary sessions alternating with hands-on workshops in a simulated courtroom.

The training was the second in a series of five workshops which make up a multi-staged training program that addresses effective tools for investigation of cases; best practices in case management; preparation of files to ensure successful prosecution; and improved trial advocacy skills for police prosecutors.

NCSC’s partnership with DLA Piper has enabled the program to deliver high-impact, cost-effective program interventions that build upon previous trainings and capacity building in the region. DLA Piper has partnered with NCSC for more than 10 years, providing millions of dollars in pro bono legal assistance to USG-funded justice sector strengthening programs. 

The workshop was hosted as part of NCSC’s ongoing work under the Justice Sector Assistance to the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative Program (CBSI), funded by the Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs. By working with police prosecutors and investigators through a focused country-by-country series of training workshops, along with ongoing advanced trial advocacy program for prosecutors’ offices, NCSC and its partners are developing a uniform capacity to investigate crimes and properly prepare and organize case files for use in evidence-based trials across the region. Visit the CBSI program's website for more information.