I am the lawyer: the study, which lasts the whole life
“When I submitted an application for participation in the training I never expected to get such wide range of knowledge. Moreover, all information turn out to be useful my work”- Stalbek Kupeshov, defense lawyer from the Jeti -Oguz District, Issyk – Kul Oblast.
In early autumn last year I learned there was an opportunity to apply for a training program for young defense lawyers. I realized the necessity of training and also wanted to refresh my knowledge. The opportunity to exchange experience with other colleagues attracted me and without hesitation I sent my CV through email. I was lucky to receive a positive reply and soon was invited to the first training session.
Within several months with certain breaks we have passed four stages of the training program.
During the first stage I received absolutely new knowledge in the international law. Previously, when working with legal acts, I never paid attention to articles which contained references to the international treaties the Kyrgyz Republic took part in. During the training we had more detailed study of human rights standards. It was quite important for me to become acquainted with the human rights protection instruments existing at the international level. It turned out these instruments are practically accessible to everyone; a person should be aware of them and know how to use them. We had an opportunity to read and study the real petitions to human rights organizations. Some international treaties resulted in the introduction of very important changes in the constitutional provisions; among these results is the establishment of the National Center on Prevention of Torture. Actually, this topic of the training was very important as it influenced the daily life of people and some persons could receive real and high quality assistance.
I have very good memories of trainers in mediation. To be honest, before I did not pay attention to the underlying causes of a conflict. During the workshop the trainers helped us in “disassembling” the conflict and explained what was happening at every stage of the conflict. We were also told at what moment the parties to the conflict can be influenced, as well as situations when interventions can only deteriorate the situation. We are thankful to the trainers, as they helped us to overcome “stereotyped” thinking and gave us an opportunity to reflect on important issues such as whether all media can be trusted, how one should analyze the information and how life experience can be used in our work.
Another very useful aspect was the involvement of various specialists: practicing lawyers, specialists in strategic litigation, legal scholars with important achievements in science, specialists participating in the law making activity as well as former and acting judges.
Many trainers during their presentations described how they had been fighting against the system and how they managed to overcome resistance. They showed that positive results could be achieved as a result of this struggle. These results of lawyer’s efforts can include changes in the legislation as well as introduction of new regulatory tools. We were provided with information on both successfully completed projects as well as newly created ones. It seems to me that the task of the trainer was to implant the idea of creation. Now I feel that I am able to be really of use for my future clients.
Training in land legislation turned to be very useful. I received a lot of practical skills and now have good knowledge of legal acts governing this area of law. Currently, I am handling several cases related to land disputes and I managed to draft a lawsuit which should be helpful to my client.
The training was even more useful as it had many practical components. The knowledge which we receive in Universities is quite often not helpful in our daily work. During the last 15 years I never received any trainings and my qualification has not improved. Therefore I am thankful to the organizers for this effective training program offered to me.
The defense lawyers, while protecting the interests of citizens, very often are all alone confronted by the state machinery. Prosecutors, judges and investigating officers as well as civil servants are part of the system therefore they enjoy more corporate assistance and are entitled to material opportunities. The state provides them with premises, transport as well as training programs. During the last 25 years the defense lawyers have worked in isolation and as much as possible they could manage something.
In addition to knowledge and handouts, the defense lawyers and legal specialists created a community allowing active contacts between the members, as well as sharing problems and achievements. Active exchange of experience is on-going. As we were all from various regions and rarely have business contacts, such exchange of experience is more active and is not accompanied by fear of having strong opponents. The trainers provided us with their contact details and are still ready to answer questions and give advice. After each stage of the training I was leaving home with confidence in my capacity, a certain enthusiasm and the desire to implement received knowledge in practice.
This training was organized by the Training center for the defense lawyers within the UNDP Project “Improvement of the rule of law and access to justice for sustainable peace”, financed by the UN Peace Building Fund.
The training also was co-organized by OHCHR and GIZ Program.
Feedback from Mr. Stalbek Kupeshov, defense lawyer of Jeti-Oguz rayon, Issyk- Kul oblast.
Editor: Altynai Akmatova, Communication specialist