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THE COLLEGE of Law and Queen Mary and Westfield College have announced a scheme to re-build the foundations for legal education in the Ukraine.
The two colleges have won a competitive tender for a three-year project, to be funded by the UK Government's Department for International Development.
The support will boost the law faculty of Kiev-Mohyla Academy. The UK colleges will not only provide technical assistance, they will also assist the set-up of a legal advice clinic at the academy, following the College of Law's own recently established pro bono legal advice clinic.
Ukrainian lawyer Dmitri Grischenko says: "Improving technical education is a positive thing. But we have so many legal academic institutes. Between five and 10 in the Ukraine and two in Kiev alone. Every university has a law faculty. They have good scholars, but lack equipment.
"I have mixed feelings about free legal advice. On one hand a number of law firms already have a resource for younger assistants to do pro bono work. I have doubts about the quality sometimes. The consumer has to get a very good service. If it is a complex matter you need good, experienced advisers."
The College of Law's chief executive Nigel Savage says: "The challenge involved in the Ukraine creating a new legal system out of the communist pattern is immense. Legislative change and institutional reform is one thing, but it must be supported by an innovative and modern legal education system."
A College of Law team will make its first visit to the academy in Kiev later this month.