The American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI) and Partners for Democratic Change Serbia (Partners Serbia) launched the Criminal Defense Capacity Program (CDCP) with support from the U.S. Department of State Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement (INL) in May 2012. Currently in its fourth year, the program increases Serbian citizens’ access to justice by improving the capacity of the defense bar to provide competent legal representation to clients under the newly revised Criminal Procedure Code (CPC). Thus far, ABA ROLI, together with Partners Serbia, and in cooperation with the Bar Association of Serbia (BAS), has trained nearly 2,000 Serbian attorneys, and has held 16 Basic CPC Workshops, two Training of Trainer events, 18 Trial Advocacy Skills trainings, seven Mock Trials and three Plea Bargaining Negotiation Skills Seminars. In addition to these live trainings, the program allows Serbian attorneys and law trainees the opportunity to improve their knowledge of criminal legislation by offering free online training modules via its CDCP program, or E-learning platform.
The E-learning platform provides Serbian attorneys and law trainees the opportunity to improve their knowledge of criminal legislation by offering free online training modules.
As one of the hallmarks of this program, the E-learning platform currently offers more than 25 training modules and materials on a variety of topics, including lectures on the new CPC, the role of defense attorneys under the new CPC in-trial and investigation processes, understanding plea agreements and enhancing plea bargaining negotiating skills, trial witness preparation, and more.
More than 1,150 Serbian attorneys and law trainees have found the platform extremely useful, viewing the modules and materials more than 41,500 times. One participant reported the following:
“I prefer this kind of training because of the practical learning [aspect]. I am sure that knowledge gained from this training will be very useful for me working as [a] lawyers’ trainee, but it will be also beneficial for [the] bar exam. “
According to the results of one E-trained lawyers’ survey, 98% of participants think that the training content is relevant for their scope of work and more than 77% had an opportunity to implement newly gained knowledge.
From January – March, 2016 ABA ROLI and Partners Serbia added two new lectures to the platform, including Petar Ucajev’s training on Domestic Violence- Criminal and Civil Aspects and Novak Lukic’s training on The Importance of the Code of Professional Ethics in Criminal Proceedings. With more than 1,000 views, Judge Miodrag Majic’s training on The Position of the Defense in the new CPC, Basic Provisions and Principles is the most viewed training on the platform. For the full lecture list, please visit the CDCPE-learning platform hosted on the Partners Serbia website http://www.partners-serbia.org/elearning.
To learn more about our work in Serbia, contact the ABA Rule of Law Initiative at email@example.com.