NETPRALAT’s Training objective

The objective of the Project’s training is to improve the theoretical knowledge and practical skills of criminal defence lawyers, which are necessary for the effective exercise of their professional role during pre-trial procedural stages, more specifically in advising clients and the protection of clients’ rights during the phase of detention and interrogation. In particular, the training program focuses on the development of legal and communication skills in the context of lawyer-client consultations at the pre-trial stages and in the context of pre-trial interrogations. It also addresses the psycho-social needs of detained clients and the cooperation with interpreters (in case of foreign clients) in separate modules.

The program aims to foster the development of active, reflective and client-centred practice of criminal defence.

Project’s TRAINING:

Phase 1: The train the trainer program:

The training is first delivered in the cross-border train-the-trainer format. The ‘train the trainer’ program consists of an e-learning phase of two weeks followed by the face-to-face sessions of three days.

The ‘train-the-trainer’ program will be delivered three times in three different locations:

  • Maastricht, Netherlands: 8-10 May 2019
  • Vilnius, Lithuania: 10-12 June 2019
  • Barcelona, Spain: 9-11 July 2019

Phase 2: National training program:

Lawyers trained in this phase 1 will, in turn, train national lawyers in their country of origine.

2 national trainings will be delivered  in March-May 2020.

  • 2 national trainings held in Poland
  • 2 national training held in Lithuania
  • 2 national trainings held in Spain

Content of the trainings:

All the trainings will consist of a theoretical part and a practical part:

The theoretical part of the training (delivered mostly via e-learning) will cover the following topics: 

  • The role of the lawyer during the pre-trial (investigative) stage of the criminal proceedings, especially with regard to (police and pre-trial) detention and interrogation of the suspect, including the implications of the recent European legislation on the role of the lawyer; 
  • The importance and meaning of active, reflective and client-centred professional practice of criminal defence; 
  • The relationship between lawyers and investigative authorities: the importance of effective communication to achieve the lawyers’ professional objectives;    
  • (Recognition of) the psycho-social needs of (detained) clients and various vulnerabilities linked to the participation in the criminal proceedings, and particularly detention and interrogation; 
  • (Recognition of) the various interrogation techniques and tactics used during suspect interrogations, and effective intervention of a lawyer during interrogation (to counter excessive pressure or improper questioning techniques and protect suspect’s rights);
  • (Definition of) basic communication skills that lawyers need to effectively fulfull  their professional role during detention and interrogation of  suspect (e.g. to with the client’s trust, effectively inform about rights and procedural options, obtain relevant information from the suspect and law enforcement authorities, effectively negotiate the desired procedural outcomes for clients…);
  • (In respect of foreign clients) Interpretation during the investigative stages of the proceedings: quality requirements, cooperation lawyer-interpreter, etc.

In the practical part of the training the participants will train the following skills:

  • Engaging into ‘reflective practice’ with respect to their professional role during the pre-trial (investigative) stage of the proceedings;   
  • Identifying and addressing/acting upon the psycho-social needs and the potential vulnerabilities of their clients;
  • Recognising various interrogation strategies and tactics, including improper questioning, and reacting to these strategies and tactics (in the interest of the defence); 
  • Identifiyng the need for interpretation at the pre-trial procedural stages, working with the interpreter and judging the quality of interpretation;
  • Communication skills and techniques, which were addressed in the theorerical part, including those aiming at the development of effective working relationship with the police and client;     
  • Communication techniques for effective intervention during interrogation of the suspect. 

The practical part consists of interactive exercises including roleplays simulating actual lawyer-client consultations and suspect interrogations.


The program is designed by a multi-disciplinary team, which consisted of criminal defence lawyers, academics, psychologists and experts in adult professional education and learing.

The training is based on the following didactic principles:

  • Blended learning
  • Collaborative and peer-to-peer learning
  • Active, constructive and interactive learning
  • Authentic learning.

In the face-to-face sessions, participants will take part in roleplays simulating the real situations that lawyers encounter at police stations, such as lawyer-client consultation or suspect interrogation. Professional actors and police officers will act as other participants.

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