This past weekend, approximately 55 defense attorneys from Changsha, Hunan Province gathered on the premises of Hunan University’s School of Law to participate in an interactive training with both Chinese experts and IBJ foreign legal professionals. Located just steps away from one of China’s four ancient institutes, the Yuelu Academy, the location provided the perfect setting for both an academic analysis of China’s new Criminal Procedure Law and a skills training on using expert witnesses.
Our co-host, Professor Qiu Xinglong is considered a hero among many defense attorneys for his writings on death penalty abolition and his many case success stories, helping facilitate lively discussions among the attorneys on the first day. On the second day, participants listened to a presentation on expert witnesses by IBJ training consultant Kendall Goh, an experienced death penalty defense attorney with over 20 years experience. She shared stories from her practice, described forensic analysis tools, and spoke with participants about using experts within an environment of scarce resources. Following the presentation, the attorneys were divided into four groups to analyze a hypothetical case and role play their arguments on the necessity of using an expert witness in the case under the new Criminal Procedure Law. At the end of the group sessions, the teams modeled their mock hearing for one another.
The training concluded with a certificate ceremony. Professor Qiu, long-term IBJ partner Professor Wang Xiumei of Beijing Normal University’s College for Criminal Law Science, Attorney Kendall Goh, and IBJ’s China Program Director Aurora Bewicke presented each lawyers with a continuing legal education certificate, commemorating the event.