The inauguration of the 3 rd Symbiosis International Criminal Trial Advocacy Competition, 2018 was held on 23 rd March, 2018 from 5:00 P.M. to 6:00 P.M. in the Moot Court Hall of Symbiosis Law School, Pune, constituent of Symbiosis International (Deemed University). The occasion was graced by Prof. (Dr.) S.C. Raina, Vice-Chancellor, Himachal Pradesh National Law University, Shimla, as the chief guest. The proceedings of the day began with the lighting of the traditional lamp by the dignitaries present on the dais.
The opening address was delivered by Dr. Shashikala Gurpur, Fulbright Scholar, Director, SLS, Pune, Dean, Faculty of Law, SIU. Dr. Gurpur at the outset lauded the initiative taken by keen and dedicated students of the college who sowed the seeds for the growth of SICTA, an international trial advocacy competition 3 years ago. She briefed the students about the contribution of 56 international collaborations in formulating the problem for the competition. She expressed her faith in competitions like SICTA which have the potential to transform learning experience for law students and also provide an opportunity to both national and international students to communicate with each other. Dr. Gurpur encouraged the participants to imbibe every bit of knowledge from the competition. She concluded by conveying her heartfelt welcome to all the participants and expressed her desire to build bonds that endure beyond the course of the competition.
Shreya Chaturvedi, Core Committee Member, Organizing Committee, SICTA 2018 introduced SICTA’s background, motives, and aims to the audience.
“I am pleased to say that what Symbiosis thinks today, the other law schools in India think tomorrow”, remarked Prof. (Dr.) S.C. Raina, Vice-Chancellor, Himachal Pradesh National Law University, Shimla. Dr. Raina emphasized the importance of communication skills to a criminal lawyer and motivated the law students in the audience to hone these skills in order to excel in the area of criminal law. He spoke highly about the strength of criminal law which touches upon the lives of all, but went on to suggest various reforms to the field of criminal law which is the subject of the competition. He informed the audience about the importance of being well versed with one’s national laws and also stressed the need for every nation to focus on both victims and criminals so as to ensure a balance in the system and justice at all costs. He spoke about the adversarial and inquisitorial forms of justice practiced by common and civil law countries, respectively. He enlightened the audience on how in an adversarial system, a court should be convinced beyond reasonable doubt, and that the personal convictions of judge should be moved to pronounce one guilty. However, in inquisitorial system, if the court deems a person to be guilty, he is given some form of punishment. Dr. Raina exhorted the students from countries practicing either forms of trial to embrace the differences and incorporate anything they find worthy. Dr. Raina, in the end, expressed his delight to be back at SLS, Pune.
The vote of thanks was delivered by Dr. Bindu Ronald, Deputy Director (Academics), SLS, Pune.