Access to Justice for Victims of Domestic Violence in Russia
Our new training programme began in November 2018. A series of training events has been organised for young Russian lawyers, including workshops in St Petersburg run by Russian and UK experts, individual research projects and a study visit of the target group to the UK.
Members of Bar Associations from St Petersburg, the Leningrad Region and other towns in the Northwest of Russia, as well as lawyers working with local NGOs providing assistance to victims of domestic abuse, are invited to take part in the project activities.
As a result of this project, Russian lawyers will be able to defend the rights of victims of domestic abuse more efficiently and ensure that these persons get unhindered access to justice and a fair trial in accordance with the rule of law and international human rights standards.
Access to Justice for Victims of Domestic Abuse in Russia and Great Britain, 3-4 December 2018, St Petersburg
This first seminar took place in the premises of the Legal Training Centre in St Petersburg. Lawyers from St Petersburg, Kaliningrad, Pskov, Cherepovets, Moscow and Nizhny Novgorod gathered to share experiences with each other and British colleagues. The aim of the workshop was to provide an opportunity for the Russian participants to learn how domestic abuse cases are dealt with in criminal and civil proceedings in Russia and Britain; how to work with victims of domestic violence; and how international conventions can be applied to protect victims at the national level.
- Robert Brown, Criminal Litigator, Chair of CWI
- Marie Davtyan, Center for Protection of Domestic Abuse Victims
- Valentina Frolova, Makarov, Karacheva & Partners
- Judge Tan Ikram, Deputy Senior District Judge for England and Wales
- Robert Hush, Family Law Solicitor
Judge Tan Ikram and Robert Brown discussing with seminar particpants
Quotes from Seminar Participants
“Many clients come to me for advice on divorce issues or property division, and some women confess that their ex-husbands threatened or abused them during their marriage and even after the breakup. At the seminar, I understood exactly where I should refer them and what can be done to press charges against perpetrators.”
“On my way to the seminar on the first day, I was thinking, “What could someone who does not know our laws teach Russian lawyers?” It turned out, a lot. I think I can use a practical approach of British judges in my practice when I represent a victim’s interests.”
“ The most useful thing for my own practice is the knowledge of how to speak with a victim of domestic abuse; how to find out information that is significant for the case without hurting the victim or making her psychological damage even worse.”
“The British colleagues inspired me to be creative and to look for new ideas. They also inspired me to improve my English. I will start a language course next spring.”
“What struck me in the experience of the British experts was the degree of legal protection of domestic abuse victims and how the state cares for the victims.”
“We need to arrange additional training events to increase the involvement of lawyers, judges, prosecutors and investigators in the subject of domestic abuse prevention.”
“From communication with the participants, I got some practical information that will be useful in my work. I hope that this communication will not end.”
“I really liked how the event was organised (the venue, the equipment, coffee breaks and lunches) including the professional simultaneous translation and the communication skills of the experts. I also liked interactive group work with an opportunity to get feedback from the Russian and British experts.”
Work of Interpreters in Court and Police Stations – the experience of Russia and the UK, 17-18 January 2019, St Petersburg
The workshop gathered interpreters from a diverse range of languages: Russian, English, Italian, French, Spanish, Dutch, Tuvan, Estonian, Portuguese, Kirghiz, Uzbek, Kazakh, Hindi, Urdu, Ukrainian, Polish, Latvian, and Hungarian; as well as lawyers from Cherepovets, Nizhny Novgorod and Kaliningrad.
- Katrina Mayfield, member of the Association of Police and Court Interpreters, UK.
- Elena Cook, member of International Association of Conference Interpreters AIIC, lecturer at Manchester University, UK.
- Alexander Larin, Director of Alba Translations Bureau, Nizhniy Novgorod
- Oxana Yakimenko, Russian court and police interpreter since 1996, member of the Union of Translators of Russia, lecturer at St Petersburg State University, Higher School of Translation and Higher School of Economics, St Petersburg.
STUDY VISIT TO THE UK
- Visit to Parliament
- Observing hearings at the Westminster Magistrates Court
- Meeting with a specialist DA police officer and an outreach advocate working in collaboration in Surrey
- Observing trials at The Central Criminal Court
- Visit to Beck Fitzgerald family law firm
- Visit to The Law Society
- Observing trials at The Royal Courts of Justice
- Session on domestic abuse interventions at Kingston University
7 March 2019, St Petersburg
Two publications resulting from the project were presented at the final event:
- Recommendations for Russian lawyers on legal assistance to victims of domestic abuse; and
- the Russian version of the handbook “Interpreters and the Legal Process” by Joan Colin and Ruth Morris.
Members of the Russian delegation to the UK also shared their impressions of the recent study visit.