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July 09, 2007

Ukraine Office Uses Innovative Means to Teach Human Rights Law


On June 17, 2007, the ABA Rule of Law Initiative concluded its fourth  professional development training for lawyers from its partner advocacy organizations and legal clinics in Ukraine. Twenty-nine pro bono attorneys and clinicians attended the three-day training focused on Articles 5 and 6 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (ECHR).

The trainers included attorneys from prominent Russian and Ukrainian human rights organizations, including Anna Demeneva, a human rights expert from Sutyazhnik in the Russian Federation and Arkadiy Bushchenko, a human rights expert from Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group in Ukraine.  The trainers used innovative methodological approaches to teaching at the ECHR training. They assigned ‘homework’ to the participants prior to the event and engaged the participants using the Socratic method. The trainers did not lecture, relying instead on discussion and interaction to teach the material.

The attorneys and clinicians learned about the substantive and procedural guarantees of Articles 5 and 6 as developed by the European Court’s caselaw. Additionally, the ABA Ukraine staff guided the participants through the case law system, training them to brief cases and argue using the Issue, Rule, Analysis, and Conclusion (I-R-A-C) method.

The Rule of Law Initiative intends to utilize this methodology during future trainings in Ukraine, especially those specializing in ECHR.