IBA and Ukrainian National Bar Association partner to deliver a series of training seminars for lawyers

Thursday 21 July 2022

Amid the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict, the International Bar Association (IBA) and the Ukrainian National Bar Association (UNBA) have partnered to host a series of online seminars. The first two will focus on defence (21 July) and international criminal law (28 July).

The first seminar will be held online and is aimed at providing defence lawyers with the essential knowledge and exposure to international law related to alleged atrocity crimes. Supported by the UNBA’s Higher School of Advocacy, the training will underscore the importance of providing equality of arms for parties, in line with the rule of law. It will take place on Thursday 21 July 2022 at 16:00 Kyiv | 14:00 London | 09:00 New York and will be conducted in English with simultaneous Ukrainian translation.

Watch the seminar on YouTube: https://youtu.be/nKNNPYpyBPQ

​​​​​​​Watch the seminar on Facebook: www.facebook.com/hsa.org.ua 

IBA President, Sternford Moyo, commented: ‘The IBA is proud to partner with the UNBA to deliver this training seminar to equip defence lawyers with the knowledge and tools they need to fulfil their role. They have a hugely important part to play in ensuring the administration of justice in criminal trials. International cases by their nature are never simple, and as such it is vital that lawyers conducting such work have a strong understanding of the complexities involved.’

UNBA Vice President Valentyn Gvozdiy said: ‘We recognise that the IBA has significant expertise and unique insight into what is required in trials to defend persons accused of national war crimes, and we are delighted that the IBA will provide training for Ukrainian defence lawyers in this respect. Furthermore, the additional IBA support relating to the important issue raised by the IBA of ensuring that the public understands the vital role the legal profession plays in ensuring that anyone accused of an atrocity crime is provided representation is also welcome. We look forward to materialising further IBA-UNBA collaborations being discussed.’

The IBA-UNBA seminar will provide an overview of the basic tenets of international criminal defence work in Ukrainian courts, notably relating to the representation of individuals accused of war crimes and other international criminal law violations. The seminar will further cover: the key differences between the prosecution of domestic and international crimes; the role of the defence lawyer; advocating for a client’s innocence in the face of national opposition; ensuring a fair trial; and grounds for excluding criminal responsibility. The session will conclude with a questions and answers session with a Ukrainian lawyer.

IBA Executive Director Dr Mark Ellis commented: ‘Ensuring fair trials for all is central to the reason for creating this training seminar with the UNBA. As the war in Ukraine continues, undoubtedly there will be more trials. It is essential that lawyers are fully equipped with the necessary knowledge to conduct defences regarding alleged atrocity crimes. It is our objective for legal professionals in Ukraine working on these complex trials to gain an understanding of the interlinking issues and the differences between domestic and international law in respect of these less familiar crimes so that they build successful cases to ensure fair trial outcomes. This is essential to the credibility of Ukraine’s efforts to ensure justice for individuals accused of egregious criminal acts.’


  • Dr Mark Ellis, Executive Director, International Bar Association, London
  • Savva Kuzmenko, Director, High School of the Ukrainian National Bar Association, Kyiv

Speakers (in alphabetical order)

  • Dr Caroline Buisman, Senior Legal Officer, United Nations, The Hague
  • David Hooper QC, Barrister, 25 Bedford Row, London
  • Peter Robinson, Criminal Defence Lawyer, International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals, The Hague
  • Kirsty Sutherland, Barrister, 9 Bedford Row, London; Visiting Fellow of Practice, Oxford Institute for Ethics, Law and Armed Conflict
  • David Tolbert, Registrar, Special Tribunal for Lebanon, The Hague; former President of the International Center for Transitional Justice
  • Natalie von Wistinghausen, Criminal Defence Counsel, International Criminal Court and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, Berlin

The second seminar to be hosted jointly by the IBA and UNBA will cover international criminal law and will be held on Thursday 28 July 2022 at 15:00 BST. It will cover issues including: the history of international criminal law from Nuremberg to the International Criminal Court (ICC); the concept of individual responsibility; the key role of the ICC; jurisdictional issues; the Principles of Complementarity and Universal Jurisdiction; responsibility doctrines and joint-enterprise / command responsibility; and the core crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and the crime of aggression.


Notes to the Editor​​​​​​​

  1. The International Bar Association (IBA), the global voice of the legal profession, is the foremost organisation for international legal practitioners, bar associations and law societies. Established in 1947, shortly after the creation of the United Nations, it was born out of the conviction that an organisation made up of the world's bar associations could contribute to global stability and peace through the administration of justice.

    The IBA acts as a connector, enabler, and influencer, for the administration of justice, fair practice, and accountability worldwide. The IBA has collaborated on a broad range of ground-breaking, international projects with the United Nations, the European Parliament, the Council of Europe, The Commonwealth, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the World Trade Organization, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, among others.

  2. The Ukrainian National Bar Association (UNBA) is a non-governmental and self-governed professional organisation comprising of all Ukrainian attorneys. Established in 2012, the organisation was formed to promote the development and strengthening of the legal profession in Ukraine, with the goal of ensuring the proper practice of law.
  3. Find the IBA (@IBAnews) on social media here:

Please direct enquiries to:

Savva Kuzmenko
Higher School of Advocacy, Ukrainian National Bar Association

Email: s.kuzmenko@unba.org.ua

Romana St. Matthew-Daniel
Press Office
International Bar Association

5 Chancery Lane
London WC2A 1LG
United Kingdom

Mobile: +44 (0)7940 731 915
Direct Line: +44 (0)20 7842 0094
Main Office: +44 (0)20 7842 0090
Fax: +44 (0)20 7842 0091

Email: romana.daniel@int-bar.org
Email: IBApressoffice@int-bar.org
Website: www.ibanet.org


Website page link for this news release:
Short link: tinyurl.com/2p8p49b6
Full link: www.ibanet.org/IBA-and-Ukrainian-National-Bar-Association-partner-to-deliver-a-series-of-training-seminars-for-lawyers