Support to the Kyrgyzstan's Legal Defense Community

February 1, 2012 - January 30, 2017

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

Budget: $2,799,100

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

Activity Location:

Project Goal

Enhance the capacity, skills, and knowledge of practicing 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.


Major Focus Areas

A well-trained, independent and self-regulating defense bar is crucial for an effective justice system. Improving proficiency of the defense bar will help improve the public perception of the legal system as a viable means of recourse for grievances and a mechanism for fighting impunity. Thus the project focuses on:

  • Development and growth of the national and regional advocaturas (defense bar), as well as qualified attorneys able to serve the needs of the public
  • Equipping the next generation of defense attorneys with the practical skills and knowledge to provide quality legal representation

Accomplishments to Date

Providing a legal basis for the creation of an independent, self-regulating defense bar. The project played a crucial role in adoption of the Law on Advocatura (enforced in July 2014) and establishment of the unified national and regional defense bars (advocatura). It also assisted in strengthening the capacity of advocaturas via drafting internal regulations, facilitating a strategic planning, providing training on management, administration and enforcing ethics code and other statutory documents. The newly established independent and self-regulated 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 the legal system and promote stability in Kyrgyzstan by an independent and transparent system of justice.

Providing for a fair, transparent, and relevant qualification exams for advocates.  ABA ROLI and USAID partnered with the Ministry of Justice to create computer-based testing for licensing that will help ensure a fair testing process (the first examination was successfully piloted in October 2014). The project will work on further development of the tests.

Ensuring consistent quality continuing legal education for practicing attorneys. The project also focuses on training and providing continuous legal education to attorneys in with the Attorneys Training Center (ATC) as a leading provider of professional training for lawyers.

Equipping the next generation of lawyers with practical skills. Improving legal education in the Kyrgyz Republic is a priority addressed through funding a number of legal clinics at law schools and organizing National Client Counseling competitions. ABA ROLI helped establish a Legal Clinics Association in April 2015 and provides ongoing support to strengthen its capacity. Over the next two years, ABA ROLI will expand this work by establishing legal clinics in other law schools and institutionalizing and unifying clinical education standards.

Additionally, the trainings by the ATC, clinics, and universities will enhance the skills and reputation of the defense community, and contribute to a fair application of justice as advocates can effectively protect their client’s rights. The sustainability of this training ensures that these effects will be magnified for years to come. 

Last updated: February 16, 2016

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