C. The Training Course As mentioned above, the entire Social Advocates training course lasts six months, with participants meeting for two day-long courses each month. In the past, the courses were held in Moscow, a location chosen for its accessibility to the participants and trainers. Depending on the availability of participants and trainers, the course could easily be shortened or expanded to fit local needs. Two sample agendas are included in Section III, Annex B. The Social Advocates training consists of approximately thirteen study blocks covering both fundamental aspects of Russian law that the advocates will most likely encounter in their work with victims of violence and an introduction to legal skills, generally pre-trial skills and legal writing. The training course addresses the following substantive and procedural topics: domestic violence, constitutional law, civil law and civil procedure, criminal law and criminal procedure, family law, labor law, housing law, administrative law and international human rights law. Each of the trainer’s sections contained in this manual begins with the specific goals and activities for the course. The course sections also include sample plans, proposed issues to be addressed and an outline of the content of each course. While the substance-area sections of this manual address concrete points of Russian law, the intention is for the text to be general enough to serve as a model or roadmap. Other topics and laws can be taught using the methods outlined by the trainers.
28 Aside from a grounding in Russian law, Social Advocates participate in practice-based courses that will give them skills to more effectively assist victims of domestic violence. Skills-based topics include legal writing and negotiation practice.