Cambodia's third annual mock trail kicked off Wednesday with eight teams competing from seven of Cambodia's law schools.
Pannasastra University of Cambodia and The Royal University of Law and Economics are co-hosting the USAID-sponsored event.
The eight teams were set to debate the fictional contract of a property sale in Siem Reap.
Peng Sokunthea, an event organiser from the East-West Management Institute, said the trial was designed to help improve the quality of lawyers in Cambodia.
"Generally we hope to help improve education, and this is a new and exciting way to learn and practise the law," she said.
"The students participating are polishing skills that will help make them good lawyers and perform their jobs well in the future."
During the competition, student teams play the roles of prosecutors, defence attorneys and witnesses as they enact the criminal cases set by the judges.
The event was scheduled to run for three days, concluding Friday with an award ceremony to crown the National Champion.
The ceremony will be attended by US deputy chief of mission to Cambodia, Theodore Allegra.
Peng Sokunthea hoped in the future the national champions will be able to compete in debating events throughout the Southeast Asian region.
The debates are open to the general public.
The final trial is set for Friday, starting at one o'clock at the Royal University of Law and Economics.