Palestinian and American Mock Trials at Hebron University

The College of Law of Hebron University, through its legal clinics, in partnership with the Law School of Washington and Lee University, USA, organized two mock trial demonstrations relating to cases of children in conflict with the law. The first case involved a theft crime committed by a 15-year old boy, and the second encompassed the murder committed by a child against another child. In these two demonstrations, students played the roles of judges, prosecutors, lawyers, police, probation officers from the ministry of social affairs and court staff, witnesses and the jury. Students cited a range of legislation applicable in Palestine and in the United States as well as international standards, including juvenile rehabilitation laws, the penal codes, codes of criminal procedure, Palestinian Child Law, International Convention on the Rights of the Child, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the United Nations standards on children in conflict with the law (Beijing, Riyadh, Tokyo standards).
The trials were supervised by both Dr. Mutaz Qafisheh, Dean of Hebron University Law School Law, and Professor Speedy Rice, Professor of Practice at Washington and Lee Law School. These trials were part of a joint course on children’s access to justice, which being taught by both legal clinics in the aforesaid Palestinian and American universities via videoconference, and in collaboration with the International Legal Foundation (ILF), a New York-based non-governmental organization and has three branches in Palestine. The trials were assisted by Adv. Ghazi Drabi and Adv. Samer Najmidin, lecturers at Hebron University, and Adv. Yaser Qasrawi and Adv. Imad Salaymeh, ILF’s lawyers.
These trials are part of a US student delegation’s visit to Hebron University, which lasts for a week in March 2015. The visit comprised a series of events, including lectures, mock trials, awareness campaigns on the rights of children in conflict with the law upon arrest, and during investigation, trial and detention.