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  • Writer's picturePeter K F Cheung SBS

Trial & Error

  1. FADE IN.

  2. Act 1


  4. PETER takes out colourful sheets of paper from a printer.

  5. PETER (V.O.): I've made reasonable preparation and should sleep well.

  6. Pausing.

  7. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): When I was asked by a Quoran how many books had I finished reading recently, I explained to her that I only read law books on and off and professional learning was never finished.

  8. Pausing.

  9. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): As a senior citizen, do I still have to put myself on trial?

  10. Reading.

  11. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Tomorrow, I've to prosecute on fiat. See if I can eliminate my errors in the trial.

  12. Pausing.

  13. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Well, this is only possible if the Accused maintains his not-guilty plea. I prepare every case, but many accused plea guilty just before the trial.

  14. Pausing.

  15. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): A trial is meant to do justice. I'm just playing my due professional role.

  16. Act 2

  17. INT. COURT - DAY

  18. Peter is at the bar. A JUDGE is talking to the ACCUSED.

  19. PETER (V.O.): Not sure if the Accused understands the difference between defence and mitigation.

  20. The court is adjourned.

  21. A beat.

  22. The court is in session again. The Accused talks to the Judge.

  23. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Ah, the Accused is adamant. There'll be a trial.

  24. Peter checks the many papers before him.

  25. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): I'm ready for it.

  26. Standing, Peter poses questions to a WITNESS in the witness box.

  27. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): I'll ask the witness' previous record at the end of my examination-in-chief.

  28. After posing his last question, Peter sits down.

  29. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Yes, the first time that I've done that. I knew the good practice but didn't have the opportunity to practise it myself.

  30. The Judge talks to Peter.

  31. PETER: No.

  32. PETER (V.O.) : The Accused has, rather than hasn't, previous records. Thus, I have nothing to say at this juncture.

  33. Having heard the Accused, the Judge makes a ruling.

  34. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Good, there's a prima facie case for the Accused to answer. I consider my main job is largely done, as I'm prosecuting, not persecuting.

  35. Pausing.

  36. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Of course, I'll continue to assist the court.

  37. A colourful paper in hand, Peter is putting questions to the Accused in the witness box.

  38. PETER (V.O.): I believe my questions put with supporting authority should persuade the judge that there isn't any reasonable doubt that Accused hasn't committed the offence as charged.

  39. The court is adjourned.



  42. Peter is enjoying the jacuzzi near the pool wall.

  43. PETER (V.O.): For the trial tomorrow, the circumstances are such that the Judge might have a reasonable doubt in applying the law to the facts.

  44. Pausing.

  45. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): I must do more legal research.


  47. Peter surfs the web.

  48. PETER (V.O.): I've found it. With the supporting authority, I believe I can assist the court better.


  50. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): The Accused should now have realized that he has made a mistake of judgment to insist to have a trial.

  51. Peter takes a look of the Accused before leaving.

  52. Act 3

  53. INT. COURT - DAY

  54. The Judge delivers his judgment as the Accused stands. Peter is jotting notes.

  55. PETER (V.O.) : The Accused is convicted after trial. He should foresee that when I showed him and the Judge the authority in my coloured paper.

  56. Pausing.

  57. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): It's a fair trial both in substance and procedure.

  58. Everyone bows before the Judge leaves the court room.


  60. Peter works before his computer, watching TV news at times.

  61. PETER (V.O.): Fundamentals of institutions might not be operating as smooth as they should.

  62. Pausing.

  63. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): When they happen, stakeholders have to try and repeat the processes again so that they can do better.

  64. Pausing.

  65. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): As for me, through trial and error, I've become more experienced and more confident in court trials.

  66. Pondering.

  67. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): More importantly, I feel the rhythm of learning, working and living.

  68. Reflecting.

  69. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): My preparation does count.

  70. FADE OUT.

  71. THE END

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