Advancing the potential of the judiciary is an important step in generating a rule of law culture in Kyrgyzstan. To encourage this, the USAID-IDLO Kyrgyzstan Judicial Strengthening Program (JSP) held a Moot Trial on April 28, as part of its Mock Court Course at the National Legal Academy in Bishkek. The course allows students to put their theoretical knowledge into practice, in different legal professional roles.
Throughout the course, students take turns in the roles of prosecutors, witnesses, investigators, and judges, handling cases designed specifically for the course, and displaying their knowledge at a final Mock Trial, where they are assessed on their skills.
At the end of each session, participants have a chance to discuss their role and determine what worked, and what they could do differently next time. This is the first time such a course has been held in Bishkek.
“There are parallels to an internship, and this course will help me to prepare for my exams and will be useful in my future work” said participant Maksat Baktygulov.
“It is a great opportunity to put what we have learnt into practice and to gain new skills,” added Aizada Baisyldaeva, a fourth year student.
Gulnara Sultanbekova, a former judge and professor on the course, said the students were very active, and “you can see their passion for learning.”
The JSP plans to expand the Mock Court Course to universities throughout Kyrgyzstan this fall, with hopes of turning it into a mock trial competition, where students compete on a national and international level.