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Regular meeting with Rule- of- Law Grantees

News Date: 27.03.2012 | News author: USRF Moscow Office

On March 13, 2012 USRF held its regular meeting with grantees, this time devoted to the rule-of- law projects. The event was attended by heads of projects, NGO representatives, independent legal experts from various educational institutions as well as USRF experts and employees. 

A short account of USRF supported projects was given by the following persons:

  • · Elena Taborskaja, Head of projects and Children stock exchange of international educational centre "Naslednik " - The Open Internet Olympic Contest «Finances, Investments and Trading» as a Tool of Shaping Financial Literacy and Socio-economic Competency for Schoolchildren on Personal Finances Responsible Management
  • · Nadezhda Chechulina, Director of NGO partnership «Russian Lawmaking Society» - Enhancing the Mechanisms of the Civil Society Involvement in the Law-making Process
  • · Lilia Mirza, Chair of commission for social and innovative programs of Moscow regional branch of All-Russian public organization «Lawyers Association of Russia» - Development and Implementation of Standards for Providing Qualified Legal Assistance
  • · Alija Ermakova, Chief of department of intellectual property of innovative activity management for «Higher School of Economics » - Using IP-based Contracts for Creating Relationships and Opportunities for Universities
  • · Elena Abrosimova, Senior lecturer of legal department chair for commercial rights - the project of Students’ Law Clinics of Moscow State University

After the initial project descriptions,  three rule- of- law projects implemented by Russian universities were presented. .

 

The project «Creation of the School of Continuing Education for Young Lawyers with the Aim of Providing Legal Support to Business in the Republic of Bashkortostan» was presented by Azat Badranov.

Mr. Badranov spoke in detail about the need for practical training for young lawyers who often cannot adapt their knowledge of legal theory to the realities of modern economic practice.  Russian companies employing recent graduates are eager to give them opportunities for further professional growth. In 2011 more than thirty senior students participated in a three-week training course in the Young Lawyers School. Experienced lawyers and experts in corporate law were invited to participate in the project. Some organizations expressed an interest in providing further financial support for the project, and Bashkir State University plans to institute this course on a regular basis.

The participants showed great interest in Mr. Badranov’s presentation. While discussing the project they made several suggestions, in particular, they offered to invite university teachers and graduates to attend the School. Optimal course duration and possible internships for students studying at the young Lawyers School were also discussed.

Olga Baiborodina, Director of the Center for clinical legal education of Prince of Oldenburg St.-Petersburg institute presented their program of Professional Development for Lawyers  aimed at elaborating standards of lawyers’ professional competence and working out a curriculum on that basis. This project incorporates the  practical experience and know-how  of American and Russian lawyers. . The  curriculum developed for this project is being tested  in training sessions  in St.-Petersburg and will be further refined through programs  in universities, centers of advanced learning  for lawyers and in legal clinics.

 Mrs. Abrosimova showed interest in the project and suggested using the curriculum in the United centre for legal clinics development at Moscow State University. Lydia Voskobitova, an independent expert of Moscow State Legal Academy, remarked that similar work was launched about two and a half years ago by various rule- of- law experts who built a team of trainers for teaching senior law students and young lawyers. Unfortunately, the program did not receive wide recognition but its results and those experts who took active part in it could be useful now in the realization of the project.

Svetlana Zagainova,  an analyst of the centre for legal technologies and reconciliatory procedures of the Ural State Legal Academy, presented the project:  «Development and Testing Mediation Mechanisms in Civil Procedure». In the course of the project, technologies were developed for extrajudicial resolutions of disputes and these techniques were tested in legal practices. The centre is training mediators, studying working practices with application of the law on mediation (N 193-FZ "On alternative procedure of disputes settlement with participation of intermediary (mediating procedure)"), and carrying out trainings for judges offering in-depth  training in  mediation. Mediation training has had a positive impact on the work of courts - the number of cases which ended in a settlement agreement and a waiver of claims has increased. A significant result of the project was the decision of the Presidium of Sverdlovsk regional court to expand the legal experiment and involve Ekaterinburg district courts where mediation centers will open.

Mrs. Zagainova’s presentation prompted a lively discussion. For example, Aliya Yermakova from the Higher School of Economics inquired about future funding of this project. Mrs. Zagainova said that the Ural State Legal Academy was searching for sponsors which would allow for free mediation services for citizens in the near future. At the same time, the Ural State Legal Academy interviewed clients and potential clients of mediation centers to come up with affordable costs of mediation services. Mrs. Voskobitova asked a question on mediators’ qualification and the length of the course of studies. Mrs. Zagainova answered that mediation course included 140 hours of practical studies and trainings. . The Ural State Legal Academy program has been licensed by the Ministry of Justice and all center graduates receive certificates of advanced professional development. There were questions concerning state support for mediation centers. Mrs. Zagainova mentioned a mediation room at Sverdlovsk Regional Arbitration court where mediators work with clients on a fee basis. This represents a  first step in making  mediation services availanle on  a state level. The Ural State Legal Academy is also investigating the establishment of mediation centers with minimum staff at the courts of Sverdlovsk region which would be financed from court budgets.



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