METHOD 19: Mock Trials

A familiar method of law-related education, the mock trial combines role play, simulation, and debate, permitting participants to hear many sides of an issue and recognize the multiple roles and impacts of a human rights situation. They also build familiarity with court procedures and human rights law, as well as the intersection and potential conflicts of international, regional, national, and customary law.

Assign roles (e.g., one group represents the prosecution and another the defense) and explain their tasks (e.g., how to make an opening statement, lead evidence, cross-examine, make a closing statement). Allow time to prepare carefully. Verdicts might be decided upon by a panel of real or role-playing "judges" or by vote of all participants. Cases might be based on historical or current human rights issues.

Examples of Method:

ABC: "Sorts of Courts."[www.unhchr.ch/html/menu6/2/abc.htm]

Bells of Freedom: "The Police in Democracy."[erc.hrea.org/Library/Bells_of_Freedom/index.html]