Monday, June 11, 2007

The Fun Group?!

This is odd. SCMP had a profile about the mock trial for PCLL last Saturday, and Group 10 was coined the "Fun Group." But why Fun? Why not the "Profound, Sophisticated, Thoughtful, Intelligent Group?" Had me wondering....

Life's a trial for young lawyers
Nick Gentle
Updated on Jun 10, 2007

Someone once said the only reason young lawyers hang around the courts is because they have nothing else to do, and they may have a point.

That person may have been surprised, then, to discover that the 330 or so aspiring lawyers wandering about the halls of the High Court yesterday actually had something to do.

They were taking part in the mock trial - or, more specifically, trials - of a man charged with serving an alcoholic drink to someone who was already intoxicated, a completely fictitious offence (in Hong Kong at least) designed to test the advocacy skills of the soon-to-be graduating students.

The trials were organised by Vandana Rajwani, a teaching consultant and barrister, as the final test for those studying the postgraduate certificate of laws (PCLL) at the University of Hong Kong.

Ms Rajwani likened organising the event to a military operation, co-ordinating the students, a host of volunteers and the various barristers and members of the judiciary who trained them.

"The Law Society has said they want everyone [undertaking the PCLL] to do this," Ms Rajwani said.

The students had rotated through the various roles of lawyer, counsel, judge and clerk.

As the students gathered after the conclusion of their trials, the members of Group 10 - they called themselves the "Fun Group" - seemed very happy with how their hearing had panned out.

The students said they had not been phased by the court setting, as they had already had a few oral exams in courtrooms.

Leo Hoye, from the HKU geography faculty, played the part of the accused barman and also was a witness for both the defence and prosecution.

"I thought the quality of the students was very high, not just because of their English but their technique and their knowledge was excellent," he said.

Copyright © 2007 South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All right reserved

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