Law students to show their skills in ‘court’

Annette Willemse -- Tue, 07/07/2015 - 11:40

Law students to show their skills in ‘court’

It’s time again for the annual NWU mock trials with the support of Juta. This year’s Juta Mock Trail Competition will kick off on 20 July and culminate in the finals on 21 August.


Various teams of four students each will take each other on in a ‘criminal case’, pleading for the defence and State respectively. “It is the only competition of its kind in the country where second and third year law students compete against each other”, says Adv René Koraan, lecturer at the Faculty of Law on the Potchefstroom Campus. Thus far, 230 law students from Potchefstroom and about 60 on both the Mafikeng and Vaal Triangle campuses will participate in this year’s prestigious event.

The Juta Mock Trial Competition is the brainchild of René, who saw it as an opportunity for second and third-year students to gain much-needed experience: “The mock trials have a positive effect on students. It helps prepare them for their careers and informs them how the system works”.

René submits that “Every student should grab the opportunity to participate in the Juta Mock Trials. It will give them an idea of what is waiting in the professional world. There is an old saying that one misses 100% of the chances you don’t take; this is a big opportunity for students”.

All campuses compete enthusiastically

This is the second year that all campuses will participate in the hugely popular competition that has a rich, four-year history. Last year’s winners were a second-year team from the Mafikeng Campus who triumphed over a team from the Vaal Triangle in the final event.

Acting judge, Adv Matthew Klein, who has appeared in virtually all legal fora in South Africa, including the Constitutional Court, Supreme Court of Appeal, High Court, commissions of inquiry as well as in the parliament, will preside over the semi-finals.

Judge Frits van Oosten of the Gauteng High Court will preside over the final event. He is an alumnus of the Potchefstroom Campus, has worked as a prosecutor and has trained magistrates and advocates. 

For more information, contact Mr Simon Rasikhalela (Mafikeng Campus) at 018 389 2030, Adv René Koraan (Potchefstroom Campus) at 018 299 4287 or Dr Jacques Matthee (Vaal Triangle Campus) at 016 910 3438.