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89 law students receive criminal and civil advocacy training

Almost ninety Papua New Guinean law students spent last week with some of Australia’s top legal experts as they refine their court room skills in criminal and civil advocacy.
The training is part of a partnership between the Papua New Guinea Legal Training Institute, the Victorian Bar and the Australian Government.
The 89 students worked with 12 Australian lawyers and barristers who have put the group through intensive training on enhanced criminal litigation, advocacy skills and mock court sessions to practise making submissions on behalf of their clients, leading evidence and cross-examining witnesses.
Trainee, Moana Nahuet said learning from some of Australia’s top women barristers alongside the nearly all women LTI team has been very encouraging.

“After this workshop I feel more confident now, and feel I could be the best in this profession, and I am very grateful for this opportunity. It has greatly empowered and inspired me.”
Fellow student Nathan Hukula said, “These are very valuable skills, that we take with us to benefit the legal system in our country. As an individual, I gained a lot of handy tips on how to be an effective advocate when I get out there to practise law.”

For more than 15 years, members of the Victorian Bar have volunteered their time and expertise to train Papua New Guinea’s up and coming lawyers. This year, the group was led by Justice Christopher O’Neil, on behalf of the Pacific Rim Committee, of the Victorian Bar.
Judge O’Neil described the students’ “remarkable job” over the five-day course: “From that time through to the present we have seen people who have been uncertain and shy, tentative about their examination and cross-examination and submissions, into people who have become strong advocates, confident in the way they handle themselves in court, and far more positive about themselves and their role in the great legal profession.”

Deputy Chief Justice Sir Gibbs Salika spoke about the importance of self-discipline, and advised students to be strong team players by playing by the rules.
“You’ve done well to come this far, you’ve done very well and you’re just about to be admitted to come to the bar table. I wish you all well in your careers
and I’ll be waiting for you up there,” Deputy Chief Justice Salika said, referring to his position on the bench.
Australian High Commission representative, Mr Peter Fennell, said students with strong criminal justice skills would help to support better and fairer justice outcomes for Papua New Guineans.
The workshop was funded by the Australian Government as part of its partnership with Papua New Guinea supporting the goal of a just, safe and secure society for all.
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