A SERIES of guest lectures organised by a law lecturer saw aspiring lawyers at the University of Papua New Guinea (UPNG) turned up in numbers to listen to experienced practitioners in the criminal justice system.
School of law lecturer Michael Wagambie told The National that the standard produced by recent law graduates and practitioners had dropped.
He said he saw the need to associate practical aspects of the students’ learning in school with theory to enhance their understanding on subjects taught.
“From a practical point of view, I have heard and seen that the standard of lawyering by young lawyers has dropped, giving rise to the need to engage students at the school of law with stakeholders to be able to direct them to practice out in the field,” Wagambie said.
“To implement that strategy, I saw the need to bring in the people who work in the criminal justice system – village court magistrates, district court magistrates, National and Supreme Court judges and the commissioner of Correctional Services – to interact with the students to impart knowledge and advice on the practical aspect of law.”
Village court magistrate Linda Tule gave a talk on the village court practice and procedure in July; National and Supreme Court Judge Justice Panuel Mogish spoke on Aug 23 about the practical aspects of the criminal practice and procedures at the National and Supreme Court; and, senior magistrate Cosmas Bidar spoke about the committal and district courts on Aug 30.
Wagambie, who is the principal of MS Wagambie Lawyers, said from an employer’s point of view, he wanted to recruit young lawyers who were grounded in basic information about the practice so they would not need to be retrained after recruitment.
Wagambie, with 19 years of practice, as a part time lecturer teaches trail practice and criminal procedure, a course taken by second year students and diploma in prosecution students.
He said the purpose of the guest lectures was to:
- Ensure students grasp the practical aspect of the practice by experience shared by real practitioners;
- facilitate students getting to meet and know real people in the legal practice;
- prepare students through practical information for training at the Legal Training Institute; and,
- Give the right tools to students to prepare them to face the real world.