St Petersburg training



Collaboration with

Citizens Watch St Petersburg

Following a meeting at the Law Society in November 2015 SIHRG offered support to St Petersburg based human rights NGO “Citizens Watch”.

In January 2016 SIHRG assisted in the hosting of a delegation of St Petersburg lawyers on a study visit to London. We arranged the highlight to their tour - namely a visit to the Old Bailey where they were received by the Common Sergeant. Alastair Logan OBE, Ruby Sandhu and Lionel Blackman staged a series of short lectures on the use of visuals in criminal trials, miscarriages of justice and legal ethics. We also arranged the venue for their launch event in London that featured guest speaker Louis Blom-Cooper QC among others.

In October two SIHRG trainers were invited to deliver a two day training programme for defence lawyers on the role of the defence lawyer at the police station. Lionel Blackman was joined by SIHRG member David Osborne. We also visited Tver and delivered a similar one day programme there.

In January 2017 Lionel Blackman was asked to return to St Petersburg to deliver his lecture on the use of visuals in criminal trials and joined Tom Price QC who led seminars on advocacy there and also in Kaliningard.

David Osborne returned to St. Petersburg in February 2017 for the final of the series of training events in St. Petersburg. The final course covered new ground. We explained our split profession and how legal firms and chambers are structured. We talked of career progression, management functions and ownership of practices. The course also covered ongoing training and professional development, marketing, the use of social media and ethics.

These topics provided discussion about the contrast between the two jurisdictions. Some Russian lawyers work in what we would recognise as law firms whilst many work alone and share communal work spaces to reduce overhead costs. Inevitably our split profession was of interest to them and they were keen to see how we divided our work and fees.

After the successful completion of the above training the project was extended and consequently Lionel Blackman delivered lectures to Bar Associations and Universities in the Siberian cities of Tomsk, Krasnoyarsk and Irkutsk in March 2017.  See HERE for more details.

This has been a wonderful opportunity to share ideas and encourage our fellow lawyers in Russia.