TRIAL ADVOCACY TRAINING
LWOB has built capacity among magistrates, judges, prosecutors, public defenders and law enforcement officers through its signature trial advocacy training programs. LWOB’s Support Through Trial Advocacy Training (STTAT) model is a three to five-day training session that runs through every aspect of a trial. LWOB employs a “learning by doing” methodology that provides participants with an opportunity to practice the skills in breakout sessions and mock trial settings.
The themes of our training programs address a broad range of subject matter: Human Trafficking; Terrorism; Wildlife Crime; Gender-Based and Domestic Violence; Corruption; Family and Juvenile; Electoral Challenges/Electoral Violence; Conflict Mitigation; Mediation, Negotiation and Consensus Building; Rights of the Child (labor); Inheritance and Succession; Tax Compliance and Land Title; and basic criminal law.
Prior to initiating a new training program, we send small pre-arrival teams or individuals into the project country to meet with stakeholders to assess their needs, conduct court observations and plan logistics. The size of each training team we bring into a country varies according to the project and the number of trainees. Our larger training teams can include up to 15 to 30 lawyers, judges and support staff. This size ensures our ability to break into small sessions of 10-12 trainees as well as videotaping each trainee’s presentation, followed by one-on-one feed-back sessions with the trainee. Often, staff remains in-country after a training program to interview trainees for feedback to assess the impact of the training.
Depending upon the project LWOB has created a wide range of materials including: training and country manuals; illustrated civic education materials; educational activities and games; digitized educational visuals; self-contained or self-taught eLearning programs; awareness materials and public service campaigns; case digests and analysis; bench books; law enforcement toolkits; and trial observation reports.
Course and published materials are first created in English and subsequently translated into one or more local languages. In the past translations have included some of the following: Swahili, Amharic, Creole, Nepali, French, and Spanish.
TRAINING OF TRAINERS (TOT)
An important component of LWOB’s training programs is to assure that in-country attorneys and/or officers become future trainers of other justice sector stakeholders in their country. The Training of Trainers (TOT) training sessions conform to local practices and focuses on adult learning principles, effective communication skills, and various training techniques. To date, TOT trainings have been held in Kenya, Tanzania and Liberia.
ACCESS TO JUSTICE AND CAPACITY BUILDING INITIATIVES
LWOB’s involvement in Access to Justice and Capacity Building initiatives spans many areas and topics.
- In 2017, LWOB and its partners made a presentation at the sixty-first session of the Commission on the Status of Women at the United Nations headquarters. Lawyers spoke about how technology can be employed to financially empower women.
- LWOB with its partner INTEL is preparing a Pro Se manual for Kenyan women on family issues and inheritance challenges that will enable them to represent themselves in court.
- The ATLAS Project: Winrock International, in partnership with Lawyers Without Borders and Partners of the Americas, published a report in 2020 that reviewed and collated global evidence on effective programs, initiatives, efforts, and practices to better address child labor, forced labor, and human trafficking, with a focus on enforcement in labor and criminal systems. The report was written and produced by the United States Department of Labor-funded ATLAS program which is a global project designed to: (1) strengthen labor and/or criminal legal frameworks concerning child labor, forced labor, and/or human trafficking; (2) improve enforcement of the labor and/or criminal legal framework, specifically related to child labor, forced labor, and/or human trafficking; and (3) increase coordination among law enforcement and social protection entities to address child labor, forced labor, and/or human trafficking.
- The Liberia Legal Digest Project was launched in 2008 when one of our pro bono partners, Linklaters LLP, assumed the huge undertaking to summarize and index over 10,000 legal cases that spanned Liberia’s legal history. The creation of an index and digest of Liberia’s legal cases contributed to the rebuilding of Liberia’s judicial system after the country’s two civil wars left its legal system severely damaged. The project continues with the generous pro bono and in-kind support from Linklaters and Thomson Reuters.
Trial observation is a widely used form of human rights monitoring with the objectives of promoting State accountability and protection of human rights, especially the right to a fair trial. Trial observers must remain neutral throughout their observations and never react to perceived unfairness in the trial. Their role is to examine procedural fairness – not to determine who is telling the truth. The LWOB trial observers’ first-hand observations are subsequently published in an objective, independent and impartial report of the proceedings. For example, LWOB trial observers went to Namibia to observe a treason trial with 121 suspects who were accused of belonging to the Caprivi Liberation Army which launched a failed uprising in the Caprivi strip in 1999. LWOB has also conducted trial observations in Ethiopia and Sierra Leone.
LEGISLATIVE GAP ANALYSES & WORKSHOPS
LWOB often conducts a “gap analysis” of specific laws of a country, i.e. human trafficking, to determine if the laws are in compliance with international standards and best practices in combatting human trafficking, including the Palermo Protocol, model laws, and researched best practice. LWOB also conducts workshops that focus on legislative capacity building and the enforcement of national obligations under international covenants, conventions and agreements. Workshops have also reviewed and recommended standard operating procedures (SOPs) to design comprehensive legislation for human rights and child labor laws.
In almost every country LWOB travels to, we create complementary outreach materials for communities, school children as well as local NGO stakeholders to ensure an understanding of the basic issues at hand, such as human trafficking, wildlife crimes, and child labor.
Goal: How to advocate on your own. Provide mentorship etc.
Our Project Themes
All of our projects have specific themes that have included: Gender-based and domestic violence; Corruption; Human trafficking; Terrorism; Wildlife crime; Economic empowerment to drive access to justice and sustainable programming; Electoral violence; Civic and electoral rights; Conflict mitigation; Mediation, negotiation and consensus building; Rights of the child (labor); Succession and inheritance rights; Tax Compliance and Land title.