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Building Defense Bar Capacity to Ensure Equality of Arms (Program)

Olga Churakova, Director, Advocates’ Training Center (The Kyrgyz Republic); Elizabeth Givens, Program Director, ABA ROLI Balkans Regional Rule of Law Network (Macedonia); Jennifer Smith, Executive Director, International Legal Foundation (US); and Fabio De Sa E Silva, Institute for Applied Economic Research (Brazil)

Moderator: Susan Carle, American University Washington College of Law (US)

Building Defense Bar Capacity to Ensure Equality of Arms

Equality of arms is a fundamental principle of modern criminal justice systems, and is essential to protect the human right to due process and a fair trial. However, very often donor and governmental resources are dedicated to the training of judges and prosecutors, while defense lawyers are left behind, unfamiliar with legal reforms and lacking the skills needed to effectively represent their clients. Bar associations, NGOs, and law firms have increasingly taken on responsibility for the professional development of defense lawyers. This panel will discuss the need for building defense bar capacity in order to protect defendants’ rights and highlight several successful models for the professional development of defense lawyers in various parts of the world.

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