Prof. Barbara Barron Creates, Directs Balkans Regional Rule of Law Network Capstone Course

Barbara S. Barron, Professor of Skills, Director of the Trial Techniques Program, Director of Student Advocacy Programs and Faculty Advisor to Moot Court Board

From June 23-27, Professor Barbara Barron was the course director and lead teacher for an innovative training course that she had created for the Balkans Regional Rule of Law Network (BRRLN), a regional program implemented by the American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative, with the support of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

The BRRLN is a consortium of five countries — Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia and Serbia — that provides educational and other resources for lawyers. Each country’s national bar association chose one or two members to represent the country at the course, which was conducted in Skopje, Macedonia. In all, 45 criminal defense and human rights lawyers participated.

The course was a capstone event for the BRRLN’s project to introduce and implement effective interactive teaching techniques in order to train both new and established lawyers to best represent their clients in the region’s mixed inquisitorial-adversarial criminal justice system.

Professor Barron designed the course — curriculum, written materials, exercises and assignments — to teach the participants how to create, teach and develop written materials for interactive training courses on crucial areas of each participating country’s criminal procedure code. They were separated into five working groups to facilitate development of specific interactive trainings on substantive legal issues and skills applications.

The course was divided into three parts:

• instruction on how to create interactive courses on one aspect of the criminal procedure code, in which each working group developed course curricula, lectures, demonstrations and interactive testing components.

• a beta test of the course, in which each working group taught a portion of the course they had created to the entire group.

• a writing component, in which the lawyers developed a handbook that would contain summaries, explications and applications of the pertinent code provisions.

“The course’s goal was achieved, which was to have a panoply of complete interactive training courses for the crucial aspects of each country’s criminal procedure code, ranging from pretrial investigation to postconviction relief,” said Professor Barron.

The participating lawyers plan to implement those training courses in their countries with the support of the national bar associations.