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Mock trial highlights court process
By Sun Shangwu and Liu Li (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-09-07 05:37

High-ranking judges from seven countries held a demonstration trial yesterday in Beijing, urging a simulated developed country to give technological help to a developing nation to reduce pollution.

The trial, also joined by attorneys from the United States and China, provided people with an opportunity to learn how the International Court of Justice (ICJ) works.

The mock developing country Alpha uses pulverized coal power plants to produce electricity, which is provided to its tiny neighbour Beta at a reduced cost because of bilateral agreements.

Delta, a highly developed country located thousands of kilometres from Alpha, accused that emissions from Alpha's plants is contaminating its air, lakes and streams.

Counsels for the plaintiff, one from the United States and one from China, asked ICJ to order Alpha to close its power plants.

Two counsels for the defendant, one from the Chinese mainland and one from Hong Kong, joined the court debate.

The trial lasted for three hours and was described by organizers of the 22nd Congress on the Law of the World as "beneficial to people" in terms of understanding the justice process.

"It shows the principles of how courts work. The rule of law only has a meaning to the public at large if they can see how the law works," said Lord Woolf, chief justice of England and Wales.

Ved Nanda, Honorary President of the World Jurist Association, who acted as lawyer of the plaintiff, said environmental problems between developing and developed countries is a major issue in the world.

"That is why we chose this topic for the trial today," he said.

He believed that developed and industrialized countries should provide free technology to developing countries in this situation.

According to Nanda, this sort of simulation trial has been held during every such congress.

(China Daily 09/07/2005 page2)

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