From January 20–23, the ABA Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI) held two trainings for a total of 30 Macedonian lawyers, law professors and law students on basic trial skills and interactive teaching techniques. Seventeen of them attended the legal writing training while the rest participated in a training of trainers. Held in Skopje, trainings were organized to help participants practice more effectively under the Criminal Procedure Code that went into effect in December 2013.
On the first day, a legal writing session presented the basic structure of a legal memorandum, while sessions in the afternoons of the first three days addressed effective teaching methodology. On the third day, participants wrote and submitted suppression of evidence memoranda, receiving feedback from professor Barbara Barron of Hofstra University. On the final day, activities included mock suppression hearings, during which trainees assumed the roles of defense lawyers and prosecutors.
Geared toward law professors, the training of trainers focused on teaching basic trial advocacy skills to help educators better prepare their students for the practice of law. To demonstrate acquired knowledge, each participating professor gave a brief practice lecture at the end of the training.
The training, which is part of ABA ROLI’s Balkans program, was well-received by participants and will be followed by similar trainings in the coming months. The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs supports the program. ABA ROLI will also work with three Macedonian universities to help their law schools incorporate trial skills courses into their curricula.
To learn more about our work in the Balkans, contact the ABA Rule of Law Initiative at [email protected].