Support to the Kyrgyzstan's Legal Defense Community

Duration:
February 1, 2012 - January 30, 2015

Implementing Partner:  
American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI)

Key Partners:
Ministry of Justice, Advocates’ Training Center, law schools and legal clinics of Kyrgyz universities

Activity Location:
Nationwide

Activity Goal

Through Support to the Kyrgyzstani Legal Defense Community, ABA ROLI and USAID enhance the capacity, skills, and knowledge of prac-ticing attorneys and the next generation of lawyers in order to improve access to an impartial justice system, build public confidence in the legal system, and promote stability in the Kyrgyz Republic.

Activity Major Focus Areas

The Support to the Kyrgyzstani Legal Defense Community activity has two primary objectives:

1. To support the development and growth of a unified bar association and enhance the qualifications of attorneys to serve the needs of the public; and,
2. To equip future generations of lawyers with the advocacy skills and knowledge to provide quality legal representation to citizens in need in a fair and adversarial manner.

A well-trained, independent and self-regulating defense bar is a cru-cial element of an effective justice system. Improving the proficiency of the defense bar will help improve the public’s perception of the legal system as a viable means of recourse for grievances and a mechanism for fighting impunity. To this end, this activity promoted the passage of the Law on Advocatura (enforced in July 2014) and will continue to support the establishment of the national bar in the coming months. This will include assisting in drafting founding documents, supporting the first Congress of defense attorneys and establishment of the bar, facilitating a strategic planning process, providing training on management, administration, and enforcement of the ethics code and other statutory documents.

As advocate and notary licensing is currently regulated by the gov-ernment, ABA ROLI and USAID have partnered with the Ministry of Justice to create a new computerized qualification examination sys-tem that will help ensure a fair testing process to identify qualified individuals.

In the absence of a unified bar, this activity has supported the Advo-cates Training Center (ATC), a leading provider of professional train-ing and development for the defense community.

This activity has positively influenced legal education in the Kyrgyz Republic by equipping the next generation of lawyers with advocacy skills and knowledge to provide quality legal representation to citizens in need. ABA ROLI supports practical skill development by funding six legal clinics at law schools and organizing National Client Counseling competitions. ABA ROLI worked with leading professors and academics to develop three practical-skills based courses for law students with an emphasis on practical, real-world skills and successfully ensured the inclusion of these courses into the curricula of six universities.

Activity Expected Impact and Achievements

Establishment of a unified national bar will safeguard citizens’ rights and ensure access to qualified legal representation, increase access to information and technical support for defense advocates, build public confidence in legal system and promote stability in Kyrgyzstan and independent and transparent system of justice.

Further, the training made available through the ATC, clinics, and uni-versities will enhance the skills and reputation of the defense commu-nity, and contribute to a fair application of justice as advocates can effectively protect their client’s rights. The sustainability of this training ensures these effects will be magnified for years to come.

Activity Accomplishments include:

• providing a legal basis for creation of an independent, self-regulating defense bar;
• ensuring consistent and quality continuing legal education for practicing attorneys;
• providing fair, transparent and relevant qualification exam for advocates and notaries;
• equipping the next generation of lawyers with practical skills; and
• providing quality legal representation to citizens in need.

 

Last updated: August 21, 2014

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