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A pro se (or do‑it‑yourself) court allows participants to role play a case with a small number of participants and simple rules of evidence. The court is a triad, consisting of: a judge, who will hear the two sides and make the final decision; a plaintiff, who is the person bringing the action before the judge; and the defendant, who is accused of wrong‑doing.
The pro se court method provides participants with a simplified look at judicial decision-making. Pro se courts provide an opportunity for all participants in a class to be involved in the activity by role-playing parties or judges.
Many teachers use the pro se court strategy to introduce participants to the adversary system. For most classes, it is helpful to have this experience before doing a mock trial.
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