In September 2018, NCSC began implementing mock trial training for students from four high schools in the cities of Banja Luka and Sarajevo. As part of the program, students meet weekly to complete assignments on the justice system and participate in simulated exercises practicing the functions of judges, prosecutors, attorneys and witnesses in criminal proceedings. The students’ understanding of the criminal justice process is enhanced through visits to courts to observe trial proceedings.
The program educates students on Bosnia and Herzegovina’s criminal justice system and includes mock trial competitions so that students develop advocacy skills by participating in simulated criminal trial proceedings. The four best students from each school will participate in a final mock trial competition in Konjic, which will take place in December 2018.
Intended to be practice-based, the Program’s curriculum consists of eight modules covering the justice system and the phases of a criminal proceeding. All course materials are accessible online and can be easily integrated into the curricula on other justice system subject matter. The students share and interact with their peers through blog posts. These connections build friendship, serving not only as powerful tools against prejudice and discrimination, but also establishing a network of future young leaders, who are committed to the rule of law and able to rise above divisions stemming from ethnic and cultural differences shaped by political rhetoric.
The Mock Trial Program is part of the Student Law Practicum Program, funded by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs.