2019-2020 Rule of Law Certificate Program Is Launched

A new team of 20 legal professionals participates in the second round of the Rule of Law Certificate Program which is administered by Yaroslav Mudryi National Law University and University of South Carolina (USA) with support from the USAID New Justice Program.

“The rule of law principle is enshrined in Ukraine’s Constitution. However, interpreting and properly applying the rule of law is not a simple process. That is why USAID supports this comprehensive and holistic certificate program that brings together a wide range of legal professionals to work through this process from their own perspectives,” pointed out USAID Deputy Mission Director Susan Kutor in her address to the trainees. “We believe that the skills you will acquire through this program will bring benefit to you and Ukraine throughout your careers, and we look forward to seeing your contributions to advancing the rule of law and justice sector reform going forward as well.”

The trainees – judges, prosecutors, attorneys, and other legal practitioners including those from the public administration sector and law school graduate students – were selected on a competitive basis from among more than 200 candidates. During the first week of training, teachers from the University of South Carolina and Yaroslav Mudryi National Law University will deliver the following modules of the Program: Modern Approaches to Rule of Law, Key Rule of Law Actors, Human Rights and Their Protections, and Rule of Law in Practice.

“With the preparatory state having been taken into account, we have been administering this project three years in a row. It is intended to create a standing forum where people could share opinions on rule of law and teach the things not all law schools and legal institutions understand and learn at the moment.  The Program trainees and tutors will communicate on par, and this makes the course practical,” emphasized Vice-Rector of the Yaroslav Mudryi National Law University Yurii Barabash.

Director of the University of South Carolina Rule of Law Collaborative Joel Samuels, in turn, stressed that each trainee and teacher should come up with a different – more complex understanding of how to address the rule of law problems and what they are.

Professor Serhiy Holovaty, Doctor of Law, Deputy Chief Judge of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine, delivered the first lecture titled ” The Rule of Law: Origins, Evolution, and Difficulties in Understanding”. He underscored that giving a formal definition of the rule of law is a difficult task; one should find it on his/her own.

“I wish you to successfully overcome all objective and subjective hindrances on a way to comprehension of what any legal professional must comprehend,” said Mr. Holovaty to the participants.

The second session of the Program to be held on November 18-22, 2019 will focus on the matters of the practical application of the rule of law in different areas of law, including work with model cases and analysis of the judgments of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in specific cases. After completing the two-week training, the participants will write their capstone projects.

“The capstone is an applied part of the certificate program and its most important milestone, which allows the participants to demonstrate their conceptual understanding of the rule of law and practically apply the acquired knowledge in addressing the issues, challenges or opportunities associated with the rule of law in Ukraine,” said the USAID New Justice Program Chief of Party David Vaughn.

Successful trainees will be awarded a joint certificate of the Ukrainian and the U.S universities in March 2020.

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