Wednesday, May 26, 2010

JALSOA High School Mock Trial 2010

JALSOA actually stands for Judicial and Legal Service Officer’s Association. It’s just a social group created for the officers in The Service to have activities and some fun time amidst all the work that has been bestowed upon us.
So far, I have managed to keep a low profile within JALSOA. My name was never mentioned in the AGM. However, last year, my senior, who was appointed in the previous AGM decided to resign from her post citing too much work as her reason. The meeting then decided to appoint me as her successor.
After seeking approval from my Big Boss, I ultimately accepted the offer. Thus I was an Executive Member for JALSOA 2009/2010.
Among the things that I managed to do for JALSOA was to draft a mocktrial script for our High School Mock Trial program. It is sort of a corporate responsibility program. This idea was actually inspired from the Chief Justice of Guam. He said that in Guam, they had mocktrials using fairytales as the basis of the case. For example, they had one civil mocktrial where Humpty Dumpty sued the King for negligence in building the wall too high. How cool can that be right?
The Chief Justice told the Chief Registrar, who was also the previous President of JALSOA, and when she brought it up in the meeting, I agreed to draft the script.
Well, in order to localize the flavor, it was agreed that JALSOA’s mocktrial would be something more relevant. So I drafted a theft case where a canteen boy stole a high school girl’s handphone that was left in her bag beside the field during her P.E. class.
The idea of the mock trial was to expose the students to criminal procedures and how crime does not pay.
After selecting a very committed school, (SMK Putrajaya Presint 8(1)), all we did was to email the script to the school. It was the teachers who guided them on the acting and other stuff.
*The awesomely cool kids with JALSOA 2009/2010 Executive Members*
It was done on a Saturday and even the Chief Justice drop by to say a few words to the kids.
As the kids started their mocktrial, you could see that they had given a lot of effort and were really into the character! It was awesome! The way the defence lawyer and the Deputy Public Prosecutor maintained their composure and elegance, how the witnesses were giving testimonies (complete with slang, jokes and style), the accused who actually cried when giving his testimony in the dock and the Magistrate (who actually wore a robe for style, hehe) with the cool and don’t play play face.
*The Magistrate*
*Key Witness giving testimony and watched by The CJ President and Deputy President of JALSOA*
As I was discussing with another officer, we thought that the accused’s testimony was more convincing than a real accused!
*The Crying Accused*
 We also thought that if we these students could have been even more creative if they were just provided with a general story and not a complete script.
We briefed the students before, during and after the mocktrial.
Much to our amazement, they actually asked a lot of technical questions! They even asked the Chief Justice questions!!! This proves that they were really interested in this program. Also it was because they didn’t know who or what is the rank of the Chief Justice so to them, even though the Chief Justice was present, it did not make them shy to ask questions.
*The Chief Justice discussing with the students with the teachers being in the accused person's dock!*
That was also an open day for them to snap pictures of themselves in open court. Everywhere you turn you can see students posing for a shot. Funny bunch of kids I tell you.
It was certainly a successful program. I hope this program would continue in the coming years. It would be really cool if JALSOA could create a mocktrial competition for these kids.
As how our Deputy President concluded:
Do not underestimate these kids. Given the right guidance they can perform even better than the real life cases!
I could not agree more…
*The youngest member of the public was more interested with her mommy's handbag than the acting*
Blog adjourned.

0 obiter dictum: