Legal Education Reform in Ukraine: Results of the Hearing in the Verkhovna Rada Committee

2020-11-18

KYIV - November 18, 2020. On November 11, the Committee of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine on Education, Science and Innovation held an online hearing on “Reforming Higher Legal Education in Ukraine: Problems and Prospects”.

The purpose of the hearings was to discuss the draft Concept for the development of legal education. More than 130 representatives of all legal education stakeholders took part in the discussion. Among them - a member of the Board of the Ukrainian Bar Association, coordinator of the UBA Commission for Improving Legal Education, partner of LCF Law Group Maksym Sheverdin, who told us about the event.

Back in March this year, the UBA supported the draft Concept and called for its speedy approval for further reform of legal education in Ukraine and improving its quality.

- During the two-hour discussion, the key ideas of the draft Concept, the main stages of its implementation and indicators of achievement were analyzed. The participants of the hearings determined that the main problem of legal education at the moment is the inconsistency of the content and quality of training in law schools with the modern requirements of employers and society.

The most actively discussed issues were the possibility of introducing a thorough master's degree, the Unified State Qualification Exam, the ratio of specialties 293 “International Law” and 081 “Law”, the prospects of abolishing distance learning and the feasibility of training lawyers in higher education institutions with specific training conditions (departmental universities, SFS, etc.) .

The Commission of the Ukrainian Bar Association on Improving Legal Education has prepared comments with suggestions and comments on the draft Concept. In addition, the Commission proposed to add the following provisions to the draft:

-          ensuring the independence of student government in law schools;

-          preventing the influence of the law school administration on elections to student self-government bodies;

-          providing guarantees of freedom of activity of student self-government;

-          training in modern technologies required in the practice of law.

In general, the Ukrainian Bar Association supports the draft Concept and recognizes the need to reform legal education. We hope that the Concept will be approved and the members of the Association are ready to join its implementation.

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