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 advocatessince July 2008 through funding and material support from the ABA Rule of LawInitiative (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 Kyrgyzlegislation to introduce jury trials. Since the ATC began its activities, atotal of seven continuing legal education trainings have been conducted, with190 advocates participating.

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

The ATC was established in response to a problem identified by ABA ROLI’s2004 Legal Profession Reform Index, which showed that while trainingcenters had been established for judges and prosecutors, “no effectivemechanism presently exists for providing continuing legal education toadvocates throughout Kyrgyzstan on a consistent basis.”

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

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

To learn more about our work in Kyrgyzstan, contact the ABA Rule of Law Initiative at <rol@staff.abanet.org>.