Legal Skills in a Time of War

Legal Skills in a Time of War


10 – 21 July 2023, Villa Grebovka, Prague

2-week in-person course


The CEELI Institute, a non-profit organization based in Prague that provides training and education for legal professionals, is offering a two-week summer school for Ukrainian law students and junior lawyers, whether they have left Ukraine for other parts of Europe or are still in the country.

The summer school’s aim is twofold. First, it is designed to introduce the participants to basic legal interviewing and advocacy skills not learned in doctrinal classes, as well as to skills needed for working with traumatized clients and witnesses. Second, it seeks to provide participants with a better understanding of the main conceptual underpinnings of international criminal law and its place in the fragmented field of international law and justice.



To apply, please complete this digital application form by 9:00 pm CEST on 7 May 2023. Enrollment is limited to 32 participants. All applications will be reviewed and participants will be selected based on their answers to the application form.



  • Develop necessary skills to effectively interview clients and witnesses, including victims of trauma;
  • Learn client-centered counseling, including understanding of cultural considerations;
  • Develop presentation skills that enable the lawyer to tell the client’s story and to obtain a successful outcome, with a focus on witness examination techniques and persuasive -communication;
  • Understand general principles of international law, international human rights law, and international humanitarian law;
  • Understand general principles of international criminal law, including distinguishing among genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes, as well as appreciating differences between domestic and international tribunals;
  • Understand tensions between peace and justice for international crimes;
  • Assess and analyze ongoing cases in Ukraine.



Special guest

Dr. Mykola Gnatovskyy, Judge, European Court of Human Rights.

Faculty list

  • Sidney Brooks, Judge (1988–2016), United States Bankruptcy Court.
  • Ivana Hrdličková, President, Special Tribunal for Lebanon.
  • Dmytro Koval, Associate Professor, National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy; Legal Director, Truth Hounds.
  • Marcia LevyVisiting Professor and Director of Field Placements & Pro Bono, University of Maine School of Law.
  • Iryna Marchuk, Associate Professor, Copenhagen University Faculty of Law.
  • Keith Raynor, Crown Court Judge (UK); Kosovo Specialist Chambers (2017–2020); Prosecutor, Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (2012-2014).
  • Judith Ritter, Distinguished Professor of Law and Director of the Criminal Defense Clinic, Widener University Delaware Law School.
  • Mariia Tsypiashchuk, Lecturer in Law and Head of the Legal Clinic, National University of Ostroh Academy.
  • Miša Zgonec-Rožej, Senior Legal Officer, Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.
  • Olivia Wilson-Bushell, Senior Pro Bono Coordinator and Lawyer, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP and Affiliates.



Module 1: Legal Skills

  1. Interviewing and client-centered counseling.
  2. Case analysis.
  3. Witness examination techniques.
  4. Persuasive speaking in court.
  5. Trauma-informed lawyering.

Module 2: International Criminal Law

  1. History and concept of international criminal law.
  2. War crimes, genocide, crimes against humanity, and the crime of aggression.
  3. International and internationalized criminal courts.
  4. Immunities.
  5. International criminal law and world politics.

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