Participation In Court Hearings

At the invitation of the defense team, the professionals of the Collegium participate in hearings in the European courts and courts of other law-governed states as experts in the law of post-Soviet countries (Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Ukraine and others).

A range of issues to be covered and questions the expert may be asked by the court are always specified with the client’s lawyer in advance.

Speeches by the experts of the Collegium are based on an in-depth knowledge of the current political, economic, legal situation of both (requesting and requested) countries, the peculiarities of their relationship, judicial practice and penitentiary system.

For example, experts need to give a legal opinion as to the prosecution of a particular social, religious or ethnic group. An expert judgment includes not only an analysis of procedural violations committed by law-enforcement authorities during the criminal prosecution but also an assessment of the principle of “public perception” (whether the representatives of the group being assessed have a set of common characteristics to distinguish them from the community as a whole and to consider them to be a specific social group) as well as an analysis of the precedents of prosecution on similar grounds that took place in the country and the world, reports of international organizations, data of local legal advocacy organizations.