Central Asian Lawyers Take Part in Trial Advocacy Training

January 2011

From December 10–12, 2010, the ABA Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI) brought together 23 lawyers from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan for a trial advocacy skills training in Almaty, Kazakhstan. The interactive training, which was conducted based on the training guidelines of the U.S.-based National Institute for Trial Advocacy, builds upon ABA ROLI’s previous efforts to enhance the capacity of Central Asian lawyers through regional conferences.

The training was meant to boost the lawyers’ ability to practice under an adversarial legal system—a fairly new and evolving system in the region. The training focused on public speaking, evidence, and opening and closing arguments. The trainees alternately engaged in a series of exercises surrounding a criminal case and offered feedback to their colleagues. Barbara S. Barron, a continuing legal education and trial advocacy expert from Hofstra University Law School, led the training. ABA ROLI staff worked with Barron to assist participants in giving and receiving feedback and to encourage enthusiastic participation by all trainees. The training culminated in a trial simulation, with trainees playing the roles of defense attorney, prosecutor, defendant and witnesses.

Participants said the interactive and performance-based nature of the training made it more interesting and helpful. Trainees from four of the five participating nations will conduct similar trainings for their fellow lawyers at law firms and legal clinics in their respective countries. The training was supported by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs.

To learn more about our work in Central Asia, contact the ABA Rule of Law Initiative at <rol@americanbar.org>.

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