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Second edition of the EULEX Mock Trial, concludes with an exculpatory sentence

For the second time the EU Rule of Law mission - Kosovo has placed its efforts on supporting the future generations of justice professionals, namely a group of distinguished law students through organizing a mock trial.

Initially destined as an informative outreach initiative from the Press and Public Information Office, it has structurally developed into a complex project focused on the court proceeding experience.

An organized team of EULEX professionals consisting of prosecutors, judges and legal officers implemented a mock trial that helped law students to strengthen their understanding of the proceedings involved in a fair trial according to the EU best practices. The event was closely supported by the Law Faculty of "Hasan Prishtina" University.

"Judging from previous experience, we have already established the proven efficiency of such activity towards the enrichment of law student's court experience" said Eldita Tarani from Press Office, the coordinator of the project. It was almost imperative that we had to repeat the experience, which yielded high interest by the law students thought Kosovo" Eldita asserted.

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The trial commenced after a series of inspiring speeches where the Deputy Head of Mission, Joëlle Vachter moved the students through a motivating address: "You are the potential future of the rule of law in Kosovo and as such you may end up stepping in to replace those who are stepping down. You may one day become the judges and prosecutors protecting the rights of the citizens of Kosovo and ensuring that a functioning democracy can prevail in Kosovo, in line with European standards and best practices, while remembering that EULEX will not be here forever".

Whether playing the role of a judge, a prosecutor or a defense counsel, law students in Pristina yesterday appreciated the professional feedback as given to them during each step of the trial implementation by the EULEX experts.

"It is one of the rare occasions where we can actually practice the theory that we learn here at the University" expresses Marigona Shala, a third year law student acting the role of the injured party. "The kind of feedback that we got here today enables me to feel even more confident about the idea of exercising the profession of a lawyer in the future." adds Shala.

Based upon the success of the two previous editions, the organizers of this event are looking forward to organize the next one very soon.

For this edition, the team consisted of:

Malcolm Simmons, Marie Tuma – EULEX judges
Kreshnik Radoniqi – Local Judge at the Peja/Peč Basic Court
Diana Wilson, EULEX prosecutor
Dastid Pallaska – LLM and teacher at the Law Faculty, University of Prishtina
David Hegarty, Anna Smith – EULEX legal Officers