Support to the Kyrgyzstan's Legal Defense Community

Speeches Shim

Duration: February 1, 2012 - January 30, 2017

Implementing Partner: American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI)

Budget: $2,799,100

Key Partners: Ministry of Justice, Advocates’ Training Center, law schools and legal clinics of Kyrgyz universities

Activity Location: Nationwide

The program is designed to enhance the capacity, skills, and knowledge of practicing attorneys and the next generation of lawyers in order to improve access to an impartial justice system, build public confidence in the legal system, and promote stability in the Kyrgyz Republic.


A well-trained, independent and self-regulating defense bar is crucial for an effective justice system. Improving proficiency of the defense bar will help enhance the public perception of the legal system as a viable means of recourse for grievances and a mechanism for fighting impunity. To attain these goals, the project focuses on:

  • Development and growth of the national and regional advocaturas (defense bar), and its defense advocate members to better serve the needs of the public;
  • Equipping the next generation of defense attorneys with the practical skills and knowledge to provide quality legal representation.


  • Providing a legal basis for the creation of an independent, self-regulating defense bar. The project played a crucial role in adoption of the Law on Advocatura (enforced in July 2014) and establishment of the unified national and regional defense bars.
  • Providing technical assistance. The program assists with strengthening the capacity of the advocaturas by drafting internal regulations, facilitating strategic planning sessions, training on bar management and administration, enforcing an ethics code and other statutory documents.
  • Developing fair, transparent, and relevant qualification exams for defense attorneys. ABA ROLI and USAID partnered with the Ministry of Justice to create computer-based testing for licensing that helps to ensure a fair testing process (the first examination was successfully piloted in October 2014).
  • Ensuring consistent quality of continuing legal education for practicing attorneys. The program also provides continuing legal education to attorneys by partnering with a leading professional training institution for lawyers, the Advocates Training Center.
  • Equipping the next generation of lawyers with practical skills. The program strengthens and expands legal clinics at law schools to improve legal education. ABA ROLI helped establish Legal Clinics Association in April 2015 to coordinate legal clinic activities. Since February 2017 ABA ROLI has established a working group to develop a regulation on clinical legal education, which stipulates unifying clinical legal education standards.