EUAM delivers advanced course in Advocacy to the National Prosecution Academy of Ukraine

April 12, 2019

The EU Advisory Mission Ukraine (EUAM) yesterday delivered an advanced course in trial advocacy to the National Prosecution Academy of Ukraine (NPAU) and General Prosecutor’s Office (GPO), together with the Inns of Court College of Advocacy (ICCA), based in London, and senior legal experts from the United Kingdom.

The term “advocacy” is used in this sense to describe the skills needed by prosecutors to present evidence and cross examine witnesses taking the stand during courtroom trials.

This advanced course in trial advocacy is building upon the pilot project implemented by EUAM Regional Presence in Odesa last autumn. Jonathan Ratel, Senior Advisor on Prosecution, remarked: “The aim of this advocacy course is to provide solid foundation for novel approaches to the conduct of prosecutions in Ukraine, including a renewed focus on the vital importance of witnesses and viva voce evidence throughout the criminal trial process. The advocacy course provides prosecutors in Ukraine with a grounding in modern concepts of fair trial process, transparency and equality of arms in criminal procedure”.

The advocacy training provided by EUAM and ICCA focuses on the use of case analysis and emphasises advocacy skills through intensive participation by prosecutors in a mock trial process. These advocacy skills are recognized as essential requirements for advancing international standards for the conduct of fair trials and due process, with particular focus on EU best practices in the conduct of prosecutions. Other skills include the use of direct examination (examination-in-chief), cross-examination and submissions by legal counsel to the court with a focus on witness evidence. These advocacy skills are designed to focus prosecutors on core skills regarding witnesses and key evidence, thereby reducing the over-reliance on confessions by accused persons.

The graduates of the course will conduct further trainings for students of the Academy and practicing prosecutors, thus ensuring the sustainability and national ownership of EUAM and ICCA efforts.