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July 01, 2014

Online Continuing Legal Education Platform Launched in Georgia

July 2014

On June 9, the ABA Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI) launched an online learning platform for lawyers, which was created in coordination with the Georgian Bar Association (GBA) and the Georgian Technical University. A May 30 event introduced the new platform to local and international stakeholders. About 80 people, including high-ranking Georgian officials and representatives from the Supreme Court, Tbilisi court, the GBA, the legal aid center, the U.S. Embassy and other local and international organizations, attended the event. The platform, which serves as a sustainable, web-based continuing legal education (CLE) system for defense attorneys throughout the country, extends professional-development opportunities to those remotely located lawyers who were often unable to take part in the in-person CLE trainings ABA ROLI has been offering for 10 years. The platform is a culmination of ABA ROLI’s efforts to make its CLE accessible nationwide.

Appearing on a local TV show as part of the promotions, Zaza Khatiashvili, chairman of the GBA, described the platform as ABA ROLI’s “great gift to the GBA … and to Georgian attorneys.” Khatiashvili added that the platform would revolutionize legal education in the country by allowing attorneys to take CLE courses at their own pace and when it is most convenient for them.

The platform currently hosts interactive video trainings, along with supplementary materials, for 17 courses, including on case analysis, forensic psychiatry, jury selection, legal writing, direct- and cross-examinations, European Court of Human Rights’ procedures, crime-scene investigation, adversarial proceedings and evidence in criminal procedure law. Each course begins with a pre-test, includes practice questions throughout and culminates with a post-test to measure trainees’ progress. The system keeps track of CLE credits, which are reported to the GBA. So far, 32 lawyers have enrolled in the online trainings.

ABA ROLI will add new courses to the CLE platform to provide Georgian attorneys more opportunities to develop professionally and to meet annual CLE requirements. Eventually, ABA ROLI will transfer ownership and maintenance of the platform to the GBA to ensure sustainability. ABA ROLI’s criminal law reform program in Georgia is supported by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs.

To learn more about our work in Georgia, contact the ABA Rule of Law Initiative at [email protected].