Address on Trial Advocacy
By
Mr. Arjun Rego & Rego Advocates

Trial Advocacy is an exercise concerned with making law students more effective in trial procedures. Essentially, it is a simulation of the trial proceedings that would occur in an actual court case. Mr. Arjun Rego, an alumnus of University College London, and his colleague from Rego & Rego Advocates, introduced the students to this exercise.

Mr. Rego began the session with an overview of what trial advocacy is, and the various prestigious national and and international competitions that are conducted annually. He then delved into the different stages of the process. Typically, both sides begin with opening statements. The charges are then read out, following which the convict will enter into a non-guilty plea. The defense then has to prove the accused’s innocence, while the prosecution attempts to prove guilt. The examination in chief, and cross-examination of witnesses subsequently takes place. Finally, both sides conclude with closing statements.

Mr. Rego touched upon the hierarchy of courts, to help the students understand the many jurisdictions they might encounter during various events. He also explained the different types of offences that may be committed. Finally, he explained the eleven main documents that the students will come in contact with during the course of the trial. This list ranges from First Information Reports, to Mahazar / Panchnamas , postmortem reports, statements, confessions, and 313 statements, all the way to final judgments and sentencing.

At the end of a detailed explanation of each of the documents that are a part of trial advocacy, Mr. Rego spent a little time explaining the exercise of Client Counselling. Client counselling is another simulation wherein students are expected to advise people who seek any form of legal assistance. The student is looked upon to facilitate decision making in critical legal matters, and this is a skill which all lawyers must have. Mr. Rego and his team conducted a very interactive session and definitely made our students very eager to try their hand at both of these recreations. We plan to conduct our first trial advocacy event in one of the upcoming weeks, and hopefully prepare our students for external competitions.


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