Nearly thirty defense attorneys from all regions of Ukraine participated in the three-day training known as the School of Professional Skills Development, held on August 10 through 12, 2007. This is the fifth year that ABA ROLI’s Defense Advocacy Program conducted the school, which primarily focused on pre-trial stage of criminal procedure. Among the topics covered were ethics and the professional responsibility of defense attorneys, protection of fundamental human rights and freedoms at the pre-trial investigation stage, and the role of defense attorneys at the stage of selection of preventive measures alternative to incarceration.
The school was opened by Serhiy Saful’ko, Acting Head of the High Qualification Commission of Advocates of Ukraine, who also spoke on bar development in Ukraine and the vital role of advocates in its further formation. Nataliya Akhtyrs’ka, Head of the Department of Legal Procedure of the Academy of Judges of Ukraine, provided a full overview of the victims’ status and safeguards for their rights protection at the pre-trial investigation stage, as well as a general analysis of judicial practice concerning human rights protection at pre-trial and trial stages. It was the first time that a representative of the Academy of Judges of Ukraine accepted an invitation to teach at the school. As it has already become a tradition, Arkadiy Bushchenko of the Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group provided input into the school’s work as he dwelled on the role and tactics of defense attorneys in selection of preventive measures alternative to incarceration, focusing on European Court of Human Rights practice.