NWU-Juta Mock Trials – decade of bridging the gap between practice and theory
The popular annual NWU-Juta Mock Trial competition celebrated its 10th birthday and finals in a virtual courtroom on 2 August. This was the first time the entire competition, from the first elimination rounds to the finals, took place online.
A combined NWU team of third-year students representing the state were this year’s winners. The team, comprising Jacob Masumpa, Thato Montigwe, Luthando Swartz and Raymond van Vuuren, was victorious in a domestic violence case in which the complainant had not only been assaulted and stabbed, but the accused had also contravened the terms of a protection order. The trial fit into the theme of social justice during COVID-19 and was the Faculty of Law’s start to Women’s Month.
Presiding officer Advocate Mark Adams, who has been involved in the NWU-Juta Mock Trial competition since it started in 2011, found in favour of the state. He says although both teams impressed with their preparation during the trials, it was the winning team that managed to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt.
“They did a wonderful job by referring to case law that was in line with the points that the court made. I was impressed by the way they led the witness, the detail they placed on record and their excellent cross-examination.”
Adv Steve Allcock from Juta commended all the participants for their dedication and says everyone should be proud of what they achieved. “Trial preparation and presentation in court are hard skills to master. Trial skills are essential in understanding the course of the litigation process and in preparing a proper case on behalf of a client.” He says it was inspiring to see the well thought-out and prepared presentations. Juta has been a co-sponsor of the mock trials competition since 2013.
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