In 2009, Kyrgyzstan passed a law that provides for jury trials for certain criminal cases in the Bishkek and Osh districts beginning in 2015. In anticipation of the introduction of jury trials, the ABA Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI) and the Advocates Training Center (ATC) held a one-day training for legal professionals on teaching jury-trial skills. Prominent defense attorneys, lawyers and law professors attended the June training, which was held in Bishkek and offered participants hands-on jury trial experience and prepared them to lead interactive jury-trial skills trainings for their peers.
The training focused on preparing participants for the transition. Barbara J. Standal, ABA ROLI legal specialist, led participants as they took part in a mock trial to showcase the skills they acquired. While ABA ROLI and ATC staff served as a judge, a prosecutor, a defense attorney, a defendant and a plaintiff in a fictional case of domestic violence, some trainees were selected to serve as jurors. Training participants said that the practice-focused, interactive approach was a welcome experience.
Continuing the series of trainings, ABA ROLI and ATC hosted a similar three-day training for Bishkek-based defense attorneys in July. A Kazakhstani expert shared his country’s experience with jury trials since their introduction in 2007. Jury trial skills trainings will be given over the next two-and-a-half years, with participants of the June training of trainers helping lead some of them.
To learn more about our work in Kyrgyzstan, contact the ABA Rule of Law Initiative at firstname.lastname@example.org.