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Best Best & Krieger LLP Municipal Law partners Scott Smith and Elizabeth Hull shared their recent experiences teaching law students in Ukraine with San Diego Lawyer magazine. The two-week courses focused on judicial systems and the rule of law.
Concepts of western law, including a judicial system designed to protect the rights of the accused and an impartial judiciary, are new to the Ukraine since it was freed from Soviet rule.

Scott, who serves as city attorney to the cities of San Clemente and Aliso Viejo, taught students the principles of testimonial evidence during his time there, which began Feb. 21. “They care so much about law and justice,” Scott told the magazine. “As the first generation, they relish what we just take for granted.”

Elizabeth, who serves the City of Santee and Helix Water District, only spent one week with the students instead of two because of the then-emerging COVID-19 pandemic. She told the magazine she found the students really interested in learning how our judicial system works.

The opportunity came through The Leavitt Institute for International Development, a nonprofit organization dedicated to spreading democracy, ethics and how developing nations are, or should, be applying laws equally to everyone. TLI operates under the premise that seasoned legal professionals can share their experience and knowledge to further democratic reforms in former East bloc nations. TLI teachers are judges, prosecutors, criminal defense attorneys and legal counselors from the United States and Canada.

Read the entire article in the July-August 2020 edition of San Diego Lawyer, the magazine of the San Diego County Bar Association.

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