By improving trial advocacy skills with a focus on jury trials, the U.S. Embassy and the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement (INL) continue to support the capacity development of Georgian criminal defense attorneys. In accordance with a cooperative agreement between INL and the Miami-Dade Public Defenders’ Office (MDPDO), this is the first in-person training following the pandemic provided to assist the lawyers of the Georgian Bar Association (GBA) and Legal Aid Service (LAS). The course began last week on November 8 in Tbilisi and will end on November 17 in Batumi.
50 Georgian criminal defense attorneys will receive training from MDPDO over the course of these two weeks in effective opening and closing arguments, appropriate courtroom conduct, cross-examination strategies, including how to successfully impeach witnesses, and jury selection. The training’s official start on November 8 in Tbilisi was presided over by INL Director Sarah Rupert, Georgia Bar Association Chair David Asatiani, and the Director of Legal Aid Service Razhden Kuprashvili. INL is eager to work with MDPDO again the next year to provide Georgian criminal defense attorneys with additional opportunity to develop their skills so they can better represent defendants, enhancing Georgians’ access to justice and preserving the rule of law.