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February 01, 2009

Ukrainian Roundtable Addresses Legal Education Reform

February 2009

Mykola Siryy, senior researcher at the Korets’ky Institute of State and Law, believes that the whole legal system of a country is in danger if legal education, legal practice or legal thought does not function properly. During a recent roundtable, many experts stated that the legal education system in Ukraine does not adequately prepare students for the challenges and demands of a modern and competitive society governed by the rule of law.

On February 17, an expert roundtable held in Kyiv discussed the legal education reform in Ukraine. The ABA Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI) partnered with the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Justice and the Institute of Legislation of the Supreme Council of Ukraine to organize the event. Approximately 30 experts from relevant ministries, educational and scientific institutions, legal businesses and the legal community participated in the discussions.

The roundtable was the third in a series aimed at supporting the Ministry of Education’s efforts to adopt a concept for improving legal education in Ukraine. A working group convened and supported by ABA ROLI recently submitted a draft document to the ministry. The ministry sent the document to all Ukrainian law schools for commentary. About forty comments have already been received, raising various issues for further discussion, including educational standards, post-graduate requirements and distance learning. ABA ROLI will consolidate all responses and present them for further consideration.

During the roundtable, many crucial reform issues were discussed, including demilitarization of law schools operating under the Ministry of Internal Affairs. A separate roundtable will discuss this issue in April. The Ministry of Education will appoint its own working group to review and revise the concept in preparation for a national conference in June. ABA ROLI, in partnership with the Ministry of Education, will continue to update the state standards for legal education.

To learn more about our work in Ukraine, contact the ABA Rule of Law Initiative at <[email protected]>.