June 01, 2015

Trainings Prepare Defense Attorneys to Train their Colleagues

June 2015

From May 16–18, the ABA Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI), in partnership with the Ukrainian Legal Aid Coordinating Center (LACC) and the Ukrainian Legal Aid Foundation (ULAF), held a training of trainers for 60 defense attorneys and technical experts from across Ukraine. Held in Kiev, the training focused on the role of defense attorneys in criminal proceedings.


In addition to addressing specific criminal law subjects, the training also included sessions meant to prepare participants to train their colleagues. 


In addition to addressing specific criminal law subjects, the training also included sessions meant to prepare participants to train their colleagues. Stephen Mason, an expert from the United Kingdom, led a plenary session on electronic evidence, presenting examples of cases in which digital evidence played crucial role in determining outcome. Maxim Litvinov, deputy head of the Department of Cyber Security within Ukraine’s Special Security Service, discussed various communication technologies, features of cyberspace and how digital evidence can be used in criminal proceedings. Participants later formed smaller groups for breakout sessions led by two professors from Ukraine’s National Academy of Prosecutors. Facilitated by Mykola Armanov, the first breakout session focused on the classification of criminal offenses against personal freedoms, including sexual freedom. The other session was facilitated by Andriy Orlean, who addressed criminal offenses against the life and health of a person.

On the second day, Oleksandra Yanovska, professor at Kyiv National Taras Shevchenko University, discussed what a defense advocate can do when an alleged criminal offence is incorrectly classified. Mykola Tagaiev, professor of criminology, forensic medicine and psychiatry at Kharkiv National University of Internal Affairs, along with Roman Martynovsky, an advocate from the Regional Center for Human Rights, covered a range of issues related to medical forensics, including how causes and times of injuries and death are determined, how expert findings are evaluated and how to examine expert witnesses at trial. Tagaiev also shared copies of a forensics guide he authored with trainees.

Designed to improve participants’ ability to train other attorneys, small group discussions during the third day of training focused on teaching methodology. Dmytro Simansky presented on how to engage an audience, while Volodymyr Zhernovy, a psychologist and professional coach, helped participants identify effective verbal communication styles. Additionally, Tetiana Goch introduced trainees to software they can utilize in teaching. The workshop also included mock exercises, allowing trainees to practice their teaching skills.

Training materials, including video, handouts and presentations, are being integrated into an online course. A follow-on training that focused on curriculum development was held from May 30–31. The trainings were supported by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs. This month, graduates of the May trainings are holding regional trainings to teach their colleagues across the regions of Ukraine.

To learn more about our work in Ukraine, contact the ABA Rule of Law Initiative at rol@americanbar.org.