In early September, the ABA Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI) trained 14 Moldovan criminal defense attorneys in trial advocacy skills. The three-day training, which focused on effective opening and closing statements and direct and cross-examination, included mini-lectures, demonstrations and a mock trial exercise facilitated by local and international legal professionals. By providing practical examples, Moldovan legal experts explored effective trial advocacy practices under local criminal procedure laws.
Later in the month, six of the defense attorneys participated in a mock trial competition organized by the U.S. Embassy’s Resident Legal Advisor (RLA) Office, along with four judicial and prosecutorial candidates from the National Institute of Justice who had received separate training from the RLA Office. The mock trial, which was conducted in English, involved a currency counterfeiting, corruption and money laundering case that the RLA Office developed. The Honorable Justo Arenas, chief magistrate judge of the U.S. District Court for the District of Puerto Rico, presided over the trial competition. The U.S. Embassy videotaped the proceedings for training purposes.
Funded by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, ABA ROLI’s criminal law reform program in Moldova trains criminal defense attorneys in practical legal skills and human rights, strives to strengthen the Moldovan Bar Association and supports efforts to bring Moldovan criminal law legislation up to international standards.
To learn more about our work in Moldova, contact the ABA Rule of Law Initiative at <[email protected]>.