CGA Extracurriculars: Mock Trial Competition Experience

Last April, our CGA Mock Trial Club participated in the 4th Law Association for Crimes Across History (LACAH) Mock Trial Competition. This was the first time that our Mock Trial team collectively took part in a competition, and it turned out to be a very valuable experience!

 

LACAH is a non-profit, student-run mock trial competition that puts notable historical figures on trial for their alleged crimes against humanity, with both prosecution and defense teams arguing to win their respective cases. These teams consist of 3 to 4 members, with each student taking on the role of an attorney or a witness. One of LACAH’s unique features is that teams have to participate from both sides of the court (namely as prosecution and defense) across multiple trials. Thus, participants are given a chance to argue from both perspectives.

 

The individual on trial for the 2022 LACAH was the former Vietnamese President, Ngo Dinh Diem. The participants were challenged to prove him either guilty or not guilty on two charges of ecocide and extermination for his use of Agent Orange, a highly dangerous chemical, during the Vietnam War. 

 

Our CGA Mock Trial team consisted of four members: Vivian Weng, Daryana Gubareva, Maryam El-af, and myself, Eaindray Mo. We came out of the competition with 2.5/3 wins and during our role as the defense attorneys for the first two trials, we managed to prove the “defendant” not guilty on both charges. However, acting as the prosecution during the third trial proved to be a little more challenging, as we were only able to find the “defendant” guilty on one out of the two charges. It was definitely an intellectually stimulating experience, as our team was put under pressure throughout the competition and learned to deal with both victory and defeat. 

 

With team members based in different countries across the world (a unique feature of the CGA Team), time zone differences proved particularly challenging when we had to meet up on Zoom for practice sessions. Additionally, the actual LACAH mock trial sessions were very early in the morning for most of our members. 

 

Despite being exhausted by the end of the two-day competition, the entire team agreed that we would do the whole thing again! Being able to present opening and closing statements, and to raise objections against the opposing side as one would do in an actual courtroom were particularly fun parts of the competition. 

 

Our Mock Trial Club would like to use this LACAH experience as a stepping stone to participate in more advanced mock trial competitions in the future, and always welcomes new students looking to join!

 

CGA Mock Trial Club Meeting Times: Sundays, 4PM AEST

 

For more information, please contact the Team Leader, Vivian Weng, on Slack.