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January 02, 2009

ABA ROLI-Sponsored Advocate Training Center Officially Registered in Kyrgyzstan

 January 2009

On December 25, 2008, an ABA ROLI-sponsored Advocates Training Center (ATC) was officially registered as a public foundation in the Ministry of Justice of the Kyrgyz Republic. The ATC has been providing training to licensed advocates since July 2008 through funding and material support from the ABA Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI), in partnership with the Public Foundation Centre, Prava. 

In January 2009, the ATC conducted its first jury trial training. The daylong training was conducted in anticipation of the passage of Kyrgyz legislation to introduce jury trials. Since the ATC began its activities, a total of seven continuing legal education trainings have been conducted, with 190 advocates participating.

“The official registration of the Advocates Training Center is an important development that will contribute to rule of law promotion in Kyrgyzstan,” said Azamat Kerimbaev, ABA ROLI’s country director in Kyrgyzstan. “It begins the process of placing our nation’s advocates on par with the prosecutors and the courts in resources and training.”

The ATC was established in response to a problem identified by ABA ROLI’s 2004 Legal Profession Reform Index, which showed that while training centers had been established for judges and prosecutors, “no effective mechanism presently exists for providing continuing legal education to advocates throughout Kyrgyzstan on a consistent basis.”

Prior to the breakup of the Soviet Union, there were mandatory courses aimed at raising the professional skills of advocates after they had been admitted to the profession, but the Kyrgyz Ministry of Justice offered these courses just two times a year until 1987. After the economic assistance from Moscow ended in 1991, the significant economic dislocation affected the legal profession.  Lack of adequate material resources and funds soon led to the cancellation of the continuing legal education trainings.

ABA ROLI is currently working on a strategic plan for the long term organizational development and self-sustainability of the ATC. The ATC is currently the only entity offering regular continuing legal education programs to lawyers in the Kyrgyz Republic.

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