Stepping Forward Counseling Center Summer Camp
Stepping Forward Counseling Center Summer Camp for Kids With Psychological and Mental Disorders
Summer C.A.M.P. (Clinically Advanced Multi-Modality Program) offers a summer of sun, fun, and friends at their all inclusive summer camp. Each summer program runs for 8-10 weeks, with a 2 consecutive week minimum for results.
Each camper has 7 objectives: 4 group goals and 3 individual goals. The campers are assessed on their performance on these 7 objectives throughout the three or four environments the individual engages in each day. The objectives can be, but are not limited to, increasing impulse control, cooperating with peers, adapting to losing, concentration or staying on task, sharing with others and the art of conversation. SFCC uses a behavioral program to replace ineffective, inappropriate behaviors with positive and effective behaviors. Because the camp environments are similar to the camper’s natural environments, it is very likely that the behaviors taught at SFCC will generalize to the individual’s natural settings (home, school, etc. ).
Modalities – Behavior Modification, Token Economy, Modeling+Rehearsal Training, Individual Behavior Therapy, Psychiatric Consultation+ Therapy, Social and Emotional Skill Training, ABA
Summer C.A.M.P. staff members are hand-selected professionals that are licensed clinical staff, master level interns, Special Education Teachers, Ph.D.’s or Recreation Therapist.
Stepping Forward Summer Camp, is ideal for children and young adults ages 4 and up with mild to moderate learning, emotional and behavioral difficulties. From horseback riding, sports, yoga, kickboxing, art therapy, therapeutic drama and much more, our summer camp is filled with nothing but good-for-the-soul fun. The ultimate goal of our Summer C.A.M.P is to teach our clients everyday life skills, such as mindfulness, attention to tasks, motor skills, teamwork, expression of emotion, cognitive skills, social interactions, positive self-image and so much more.
Their clients improve in areas of:
Stepping Forward Counseling Center (SFCC), LLC is a mental health organization with three open locations in Irvine, Yorba Linda, California and Chatham, New Jersey. We provide a safe space for children and young adults who are struggling with neuro-biological disorders, emotional issues or mental illnesses, such as Bipolar Disorder, Conduct Disorder, ADHD/ADD, OCD, Anxiety, Depression, etc. SFCC offers highly effective mental health services, programs and summer camps (Stepping Forward Therapeutic Summer Camp) to clients residing in Southern California and New Jersey. Our staff of highly compassionate and knowledgeable mental health specialists are experts in the evaluation and treatment of emotional and mental ailments. SFCC is passionate about helping young children, adolescents and their families improve their quality of life.
Stepping Forward Counseling Center – Nutley & Chatham | Kids Special Needs Camps Near Me
SUMMER C. A.M.P.- CLINICALLY ADVANCED MULTI-MODALITY PROGRAM Our C.A.M.P is designed by our staff to accomplish goals in environments where our clients can have the most fun. The data proves it works! The key to our program’s success lies in its commitment to your child’s success to the treatment plan. The base of the program is the same as in all our programs. Data driven evidence based treatment. We teach the mind to think, the hands to work, the heart to love. Stepping Forward Counseling Center LLC Therapeutic Social Skills Summer Program. Recreational Therapeutic Program Play and Learn with us this Summer! Join us for a summer of sun, fun and friends at our inclusive summer camp. Achieve goals, conquer fears, build confidence and self-esteem, and develop an enthusiasm for life while learning social and emotional skills that will last a lifetime. Each summer program runs for 8-9 weeks where we ask our clients to commit to at least 2 consecutive weeks minimum for results.
Stepping Forward Counseling Center, LLC receives a PPP loan between $150K-$350K on April 28Stepping Forward Counseling Center, LLC received a Paycheck Protection Program loan for between $150,000 and $350,000 on April 28, according to the US Treasury Department.
There were 9,295 PPP loans issued in New Jersey during the week ending May 3 and the average loan amount was between $150,000 and $350,000.
There are approximately five million approved PPP loans with a total of $517,451,965,102 set aside for funding, according to the Small Business Administration. The average loan size was around $105,000 with over 5,000 lenders currently participating in the program.
The program was slow to get off the ground when it was crushed by an onslaught of would-be applicants. Another major criticism of the program pertained to who was receiving the loans. A program that was meant for small businesses witnessed the Los Angeles Lakers receive $4.6 million from the program. The Lakers qualified for the program under the rules as written but returned the funds according to a Laker’s statement provided to news outlets.
Breakdown of PPP Lending during week of May 3
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What Affirmations Are & How to Use ThemWhat are Affirmations?
Before even jumping into how affirmations work or how you can start to work them into your self-care routine, let’s talk about what affirmations actually are.
It doesn’t mean that as soon as you say it, you will feel instantly capable or confident in a way you hadn’t before, but it is a stepping stone. It is a declaration to yourself that you intend to live as if it were true, even if you don’t feel the truth in the sentence at the moment you say it. So if you say “I am capable” even when your confidence is low, you will take that affirmation + move forward as though you believe it. You will act as though you are capable, and in time you will prove yourself right!
Affirmations can be a great tool to help challenge negative self-talk.How do affirmations work?
Cultivating the positive environments & emotions we want starts in our minds. Whether we notice it or not, the thoughts that are repeated throughout our minds we start to believe, and they become the lens through which we see the world around us.
So, if you (in one form or another) think of yourself as stupid or worthless, then after a while, it won’t seem like a feeling: it will feel like a fact. Every day in one form or another, you find an example of it.
Replace that with a positive thought. Start your day thinking “I am smart and capable.” Repeat it to yourself over and over whenever you need to hear it. After a while, you will begin to believe it and overwrite those negative lessons you used to believe.
This sort of positive self-talk has numerous benefits! Not only will it boost your belief in yourself and your self-confidence, but it will begin a positive cycle that will help you continue to improve and appreciate yourself. Studies have shown that when you have a stronger sense of self-worth, you are more inclined toward self-improvement. You won’t get as discouraged when something doesn’t work the first time. It will also be easier to not see it as a reflection of your worth. Instead, you can look at it as a natural part of the learning & growing process.How should you practice affirmations?
However, affirmations can be a bit of a double-edged sword for those starting off with low confidence. When you jump from extremely negative self talk to extremely positive self-talk, there is a gap there that you can’t seem to bridge naturally. No one goes from thinking they are worthless to thinking they are amazing in the space of an afternoon.
So it is crucial to find affirmations that work for you in whatever part of your self-love journey you’re on. The other key is to pair them with clear goals that follow actionable steps. For example, if you find an affirmation that says “I am smart and enrich the lives of those I come in contact with” but you really don’t feel like that, then you’re probably going to feel worse after using the affirmation. It will feel like you are lying to yourself. Just saying it won’t be enough for you to find truth in it. Instead, you could say something like “I’m allowed to ask for help when I need it.” or “I deserve a solid self-love practice.”
Starting small with affirmations will help you build up your confidence, and get you going, and eventually, you will be able to use more confident affirmations and mantras!AFFIRMATIONS TO TRY:
- I can ask for help when I need it
- I deserve a solid self-love practice
- I can find joy in small ways, even on hard days
- I am more than my negative thoughts
- I am capable of success
- I am full of creativity
- I will feel proud of myself for my accomplishments
- I trust myself to make the right decisions
- I am learning & growing every day
- I am in the process of becoming the best version of myself
- I have the power to create the life I desire
Interviews – Mental Health Student CoalitionCharles “CD” Wright
Clinical Case Manager for the Center for Assessment, Referral and Education (CARE)
Interviewer: Tony Wang
What can students expect out of the CARE assessment process? (In other words, how are you different from the Counseling Center and how do you work together?)
So we are the single portal of entry for the counseling center among other things. So in essence, in order to get an appointment through the counseling center, you must go through CARE. But I want to be clear: That’s not all we do; that’s only one of the functions we serve. For anyone who wants to get counseling at the STAMPS center or Georgia Tech counseling center, they come through us first. We are all licensed therapists. We do an assessment and we look at whether the student should be referred to the counseling center. Would long term therapy work? Does this person need psychiatry. That sort of thing. We pretty much triage everything.
What other resources do you refer students to?
We have students coming in saying that they don’t necessarily need psychiatric help; they just want a positive environment. We also refer people to veteran’s affairs that are veterans. They are kind of an overlooked community at Tech. People who need financial assistance such as food and security issues. People who are looking to socially link with others. Referrals to the dean’s office and referrals to the office of disability rights. We work hand in hand with VOICE. VOICE works with sexual violence survivors. I work a lot at Health Initiatives, which is at the STAMPS building, which focuses on programs for student health. And the list goes on. There are a lot of great resources at campus. We try to give a good assessment of the student and like them to stuff at Georgia Tech or any surrounding communities.
How has working at GT been different than working in other settings?
I have worked in a lot of settings. I was a private practitioner for 15 years. I’ve worked at some universities and have done consulting and contract work at some universities. I have worked in mental health for a long time about 28 years. I know I look very young, but don’t let that fool you. One thing I think is unique at CARE is that it really is state of the art in terms of having a referral agency that is embedded in the university. A lot of times, at other universities, you just go to the counseling center, and the counseling center can refer you. But that takes a lot of time. A lot of outpatient clinical therapists aren’t really in tune with what’s going on or what resources are available on campus. For us, we are all licensed therapists with a history of providing therapy, and during the assessment, there is some situational counseling, but our goal is to provide a holistic perspective of what is going on with the student and link them up with services that can help. So students can come and just say “I’m feeling very stressed”, which is quite common here. So we try to help the student determine what caused the stress and what’s going on. What positive buffers that are helping you hold you up? Has there been any history of stress? There’s a lot of questions we ask. When someone says they are stressed, we try to quantify that and find what the roots really are. Because sometimes, it might be academics, but other times, it might be “I’m isolating myself”, “I’m too self critical”, “I got competitiveness with other students”, “I don’t spend enough time with my girlfriend”. There’s a lot of things that are really compounding that. We try to figure that out and try to find resources. Like I said we are really like preventive intervention and there is some intervention, but there is a big preventiveness part as well. So we do a thorough assessment and ask a lot of questions. Because, 9 times out of 10, there are things we can refer the student to that they weren’t even aware of when they first came to CARE.
I guess short story; Georgia Tech is very unique in the services it provides. We have been really popular. The first day last fall, they had no idea what this would be like. We got 40 students showing up the first day. We got roughly 140 the first week. It all played out from August to December, where school ended. About 1000 students came in total, which is very impressive. Spring has come in par with that. So the system is very well used and received.
In your opinion, how has the stigma around mental health and resources on campus negatively impacted student treatment?
Good question. We had this discussion recently. So behavioral health stigma is being shifted all the time, which I think is great. 10 or 20 years ago, not a lot of students would use this service, because they did not like to talk about mental health which was supposed to be private. And it still is private, the services we provide are confidential and we follow FERPA, so it is a private thing and people don’t really talk about it much. Like all social issues, it is being discussed more and more. So I would say with this generation of students, there is less stigma that I have seen than in recent years. I think in part this is due to apps such as relaxation and mental health apps. Mental health is presented differently in film and pop culture, which I think is great. A lot of people have been talking about it – I think it’s been 4-5 years ago Jay Z came out about going to therapy. And there are a lot of singers and actors coming out about it as well. People looking at therapy as a therapeutic coach rather than a medical model. Back then in the medical model, it was looked more as a sickness. And that is not a good way to look at it. Now that’s not the norm. People are taking a lot more time to care for their mental health.
The thought in the past was that “You just suck it up” for anxiety and depression, and that still somewhat applies in the present, but it used to be exhaustion and people really falling apart and not doing well and affecting their lives. So people now are doing a better job looking to get a sense of balance. When you are a student, it’s regardless easier said than done, but I see a lot of students now prioritizing that. And I think that’s great that so many students are showing up.
How can students reverse this stigma?
Just keep doing what they’re doing; it’s working! I kind of touched upon that earlier, but really just seek a sense of balance. A sense of balance is really important in your life in general. You know, it’s like “Work Hard; Play Hard”. I see a lot of students need a lot more recreation. Georgia Tech students are brilliant and are doing wonderful stuff, but sometimes they forget to take care of themselves in the process. So it is very important that students still strive for balance and seek help when they need help. Sometimes look at the holistic view. Like maybe you don’t need therapy, but instead you need to eat properly. The health trifecta: If you’re sleeping off, if your eating is off, if your exercising is off – if anything is off – it is probably going to throw other things off emotionally and mentally. So those things are very important, and Georgia Tech has a lot of resources for that such as nutritional counseling, the CRC, which is an amazing facility. We have a pool from the Olympics there. So that’s a lot of the reason why we ask students these questions; we want to look at the holistic view such as drinking and social life. The health stuff will certainly impact your psychologically if for a long time.
What are some of the biggest mental health concerns that have come from the
Stress and anxiety. Certainly. We are blessed to have a lot of international students and they are wonderful, and that puts them on a whole nother level. The virus impacted a lot of people. A lot of them come from other countries that have been impacted by it before we were. We were hearing about it a lot before it was really making it over here in the news. Not just stress for yourself, but like stress for other places where your family is such as China, Europe, or India. That’s been part of a lot of stress with the students.
Additionally, social isolation. A lot of students had internships in places such as New Zealand, so they did not sign up for summer classes. They couldn’t make it to their internships, so they’re stuck in Atlanta with no classes. So they’re living in an apartment by themselves and not going out to see people. So social anxiety and stress and uncertainty about what the fall in school is going to be like.
Can students still call CARE during this pandemic and receive care?
Absolutely and they have been. The process currently is, since we were walk-in from 8 to 5 before. You would do the electronic assessment and you would see someone that day, or it could be you fill that out at 4pm and you see someone the next day. Or we work it around your schedule. The way it is now; students can call whatever time. The admin will check the phone. Then they will call clinical case workers such as myself. Then we will send over the paperwork where they can access it online and it’s confidential and very secure. They will fill that up and we will set up a Bluejeans meeting. We would conduct that meeting like we would in an office. And if someone wants to go to psychiatric help, we can write a referral to STAMPS and more. It’s been very successful; it’s worked beyond our expectations and just as good as in person meetings.
What if they are not actively enrolled in classes in the summer?
So this summer, we have been doing the right thing. Typically you need to be enrolled to access our services, but because no one planned for this to happen, and our goal is to help the students, we still help them. We’re still providing services and doing all of that.
How can students access CARE resources remotely?
So that process I stated earlier. Call the office, leave a message, the admin will get back to you and ask for your info, the admin will contact clinical case managers. We will reach out via phone or email because we will send the links or paperwork. Do the paperwork and enter it into the system. We will then set up a Bluejeans meeting and do the assessment. We will then email the outcome. Once you do an assessment, you can always reach out back to us. If other needs come up such as meeting the dean or ADHD testing or more, it’s now much easier since you are now in the system. You could just call and ask for the clinical case manager without doing the additional paperwork.
What is your favorite Georgia Tech tradition?
I don’t know; I just like showing up! It’s been great! I’ve been at Georgia Tech for only a year, but I love it. The students are outstanding; I’ve enjoyed campus and have been very active. I’ve met a lot of people. I’m going to miss eating lunch at the Campanile everyday outside when on campus. So you know, seeing the Ramblin’ Wreck on the sidewalks; I always saw that as very interesting. I’ve been to plenty of other universities; I have never seen a car riding on a sidewalk. The first time I saw that, I was like “What is that”. Then I got closer and found out. So I thought that was neat how they do that. I do like the Ramblin’ Wreck. And I was behind the Ramblin’ Wreck in Starbucks on Spring Street so that was kind of funny. So you know, it gets around.
Do you have any suggestions for how students can take care of their mental health on their own?
Number 1 is just the health trifecta. It’s copyrighted by me, so make sure you credit me when you use it! Just kidding. But yeah, sleeping, eating and exercise. Super important for everyone. It is mega important for students to keep their balance and stress low. I try to remind a lot of students: “Be proud of yourself.” A lot of students lose track of that; I mean, you are Georgia Tech, and you earned it! It’s not an easy university to get into. And there can be this kind of competitive nature, and I try to remind people that “You can’t forget your own process and journey that got you here. You are clearly intelligent and hard working.” But a lot of folks forget that, and I try to remind them of that. Like I get it to a point, but you have to remind yourself that you are in a room with other smart, hard working people not just from Atlanta but from places such as Russia, China, and India. It’s a global community, and that’s great; you’re there with people from all over. A lot of valedictorians, you know what I mean? I see it happen to a lot of students, so it’s important to stay in touch with that part of yourself. Keep your goals in mind and remind yourself that you’ve done amazing things to get here.
What are some ways to relax and have fun during this time?
Well, you have to be creative. Exercise is very important, and I have told students – and I practice what I preach; I walk to Midtown and campus all the time. I’ve been a fan of the fitbit for some time. I have told people literally that I have walked 5 miles in my parking deck – I’m not kidding! I know what it’s like to walk 20 flights of stairs. So you have to be creative with that. I think having some element of exercise is important even if it’s just old school such as push ups and situps. Also, try having a schedule. For example, try to have a time when you go to sleep. I’m going to get up, have a shower, eat breakfast, see how the day goes, and then I might have Netflix. But to try to balance your work and night. For some folks, they get up and sleep whenever. They don’t really shower consistently timewise. They start their day out with Netflix; that will all impact your day later. So if you can have some schedule and also build in time for exercise and chill such as listening to music and watching TV. Also, go to your hobbies. Middle of the day, reward yourself such as reading or playing music for an hour. Then go back to work. Social life as well. Take your time to be social especially if you’re feeling isolated. Call someone via phone or Zoom. Or, walk 5 miles in a parking deck everyday!
Do you have any specific initiatives you are involved in on campus?
I definitely try to volunteer a lot on campus. I’m the Well Being Director on CARE, which is a wellness program for staff. And then I would say us, a little better than other departments, we partner with pretty much all departments. We are pretty ubiquitous on campus. Everything from athletics to professors to the Dean’s office, the CRC, Health Initiatives, psychiatry, women’s center, LGBTQIA, veterans, pretty much you name it – we’re involved with them. We partner with everyone and have relationships with everyone on campus.
Stepping Forward – Informed Consent Clinics
“INFORMED CONSENT” WHAT IS “INFORMED CONSENT?” <strong>Informed</strong> <strong>Consent</strong> is a treatment model that simplifies access to medical care – specifically access to hormone replacement therapy – for trans* people. Put another way, the informed consent approach gives agency to trans* people to make responsible decisions for themselves and to not wait months, even years, just to access the basic care they need in order to get on with their life. Under informed consent; • You talk with a medical care provider (a physician or a nurse practitioner) to review the medical / physical risks of transition and rule out any medical conditions that could cause problems. • Go over a checklist of risks and effects like http://dl.dropbox.com/u/932389/Trans/MTF%20<strong>Informed</strong>%20<strong>Consent</strong>%20Form.pdf • Get blood work done • Sign a consent form that states that you are making the decision to take hormones consciously, of sound mind and conviction. • A fairly short psychological evaluation to rule out other mental health conditions may also occur. In other words, there isn’t a “gatekeeping process” as there would be with “the traditional treatment model” (more about this below) – if you are determined to start hormones, it will allow you to access the basic care you need in a quick and efficient manner – the trade off is that you are the one who takes on the liability if you later regret starting hormones. <strong>Informed</strong> consent may not be for everyone. • If you are still trying to figure out whether you want to transition, by all means, talk to a therapist or psychologist – many of the contacts on this list will refer you to appropriate friendly and competent resources. • Minors are viewed differently both legally and medically – some of these clinics will work with minors, but parental consent will probably be required (just because this list doesn’t say they do, contact them anyways and let me know what you hear back) • If you’re not in the USA or Canada, you might be out of luck. I unfortunately don’t know anyone internationally. This sounds really “out there” and is nothing like what my doctor does! While many doctors (and insurers) still use the “traditional system” this isn’t something groundbreaking. Providers have been offering informed consent hormone replacement therapy without problems for years! The latest WPATH standards (version 7) also support (with some tiny differences, see page 36 of the WPATH v7 SOCs) informed consent as the right way of treating patients. Hopefully soon we will see more and more providers prescribe hormones under this model! Will I get the same quality of care if I use an informed consent provider? Yes, absolutely. In fact, many of the people who started offering hormones under informed consent only did so after seeing many trans* patients and gaining a lot of experience over the years – their experience and superior level of knowledge allowed them to be confident enough to take the step of offering HRT under the informed consent model. 1 <strong>Stepping</strong> <strong>Forward</strong> <strong>Informed</strong> <strong>Consent</strong> Providers -Catherine Mateo Version:6/6/2012 4:55:00 AM Make sure you have the latest version! Check here to check.
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Keep Moving Forward – Only Look Back to See How Far You’ve Come
Written by Maria Connolly on . Posted in Handling Change.
Stuck in a rut? Taken a wrong turn in life? Can’t seem to find your way back to your dreams? Maybe you’re even wondering how you got to where you are in life. Perhaps years ago you started down a path and it’s taken you further away from the life you expected. Now you don’t know how to get back on track or how to keep moving forward.
Even if you feel lost, the good news is that it just takes one baby step at a time to move forward to where you want to be.
Discover seven ways you can keep moving forward towards your dreams:
- Learn to love yourself more. Isn’t it true that we can be our own worst critics? It’s a battle of the mind. Just remember, your mind is under your control, not the other way around. So don’t let your mind get the best of you. Give yourself some slack and choose to always think the best of yourself.
- Realize you are not broken! About 15 years ago, when one of my teachers showed me that cultivating self-love could be the answer to my anxiety and depression, I was shocked. I wondered, what did that have to do with what I was feeling? I really thought I was totally broken! But it was refreshing to realize that a bit of self-love could change the quality of my inner environment.
- Don’t be afraid to start over. Don’t define yourself in one way only. Embrace everything that you are. If the career you chose a decade ago isn’t making you happy, try something new. It’s okay. It’s not wasted time. You’ve learned a lot in your life’s journey that will help you build the type of life you really want.
- Let go of things you no longer need, even if they once meant a lot to you. It’s easy to settle or compromise. You may not get everything you want, but if you pay close attention, you can make the best of every outcome, and still get a lot of what you want in life. Learn to manage your time, energy and attitude appropriately. Asking yourself, “How much do I really want or need this?” will help you determine if it’s something you can let go or something you need to fight for.
- Get comfortable with being uncomfortable. The more you expand your comfort zone, the more you’ll look forward to growing. Subconsciously you may have been taught that discomfort should be avoided. Yet, you’re made to feel upset, sad and hurt for a reason. These and other feelings are a natural part of living. The key is to face discomfort and learn from it. This is what ultimately molds you into your best self.
- Do your best and be content with achieving competence. Comparing yourself to others or even a younger version of yourself is not productive. Obsessing over perceived “flaws” will blind you to the beauty of your diversity. Remind yourself that you are good enough.
- Remember, it’s not all about you. Sometimes we have the tendency to put ourselves at the center of the universe, and see everything from the viewpoint of how it affects you. When self is your sole focus, you may start feeling sorry for yourself. Looking for little ways to help others will get you out of the pity party. And it helps solve feelings of self-consciousness and inadequacy too. It’s interesting how serving others benefits the giver more than the one who receives.
Look back over the years and reflect on how far you’ve come…the obstacles you’ve overcome, the fears you’ve conquered, the dreams you’ve made come true. Now, think about what’s next on your Keep on Moving Forward wish list.
If you’re ready to form an accountability partnership, I’d love to discuss your options. Why not contact me and schedule an “Unlocking Your Potential” 30-minute complimentary consultation (in-person, by phone or via Skype). Dreaming doesn’t change your life. Actions do. Are you ready to keep moving forward?
Personal Growth – Professional Growth
Especially for parents whose children do not attend a kindergarten, an advisory center has been opened on the basis of our kindergarten, by contacting which, parents can receive free qualified assistance from specialists: a physical education instructor, music director, educational psychologist, teacher -logopedist.
Main activities of the advisory point
- Work on creating a client base, based on the interaction of the advisory point with the EIS.
- Conducting a comprehensive examination (counseling) of children aged 1.5 to 7 years at the request of parents (legal representatives).
- Conducting workshops for parents (legal representatives) to improve literacy in education and expand ideas in the field of pedagogical and special knowledge.
Goals and objectives of the advisory point
- Ensuring the unity and continuity of family and social education.
- Provision of psychological and pedagogical assistance to parents (legal representatives)
- Support for the comprehensive development of the personality of children who do not attend children’s educational institutions.
- Provision of comprehensive assistance to parents (legal representatives) and children 5-6 years old who do not attend educational institutions in ensuring equal starting opportunities when entering school.
- Providing advice to parents (legal representatives) on various issues of education, training and development of a preschool child.
- Assistance in the socialization of preschool children who do not attend educational institutions.
- Conducting comprehensive prevention of various deviations in the physical, mental and social development of preschool children who do not attend educational institutions.
Order “On the work of the advisory point”
Regulations on the advisory point MDOU d / s No. 25 of compensating type
One step forward – two backward
March 12, 202122:29
The quality of the domestic justice reform was discussed at the Moscow State Law Academy
March 12 at the Moscow State Law University named after O.E. Kutafina (Moscow State Law Academy) in a mixed format hosted the International Scientific and Practical Conference “Sphere of Justice” dedicated to the protection of subjective civil rights in the field of civil law proceedings, arbitration and through alternative methods of resolving disputes, as well as general problems of the judicial system at the present stage of development.
Within the framework of the conference, a panel discussion was held on the topic “The quality of infrastructure reforms of justice”, moderated and one of the speakers of which was Elena Avakyan, a member of the Council of the Federal Chamber of Lawyers of the Russian Federation, Counselor of the Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners Law Office.
In their speeches, the participants in the discussion talked about how effective the reforms of justice turned out to be, what are the tasks to be solved by the court in the context of the digitalization of not only the economy, but also of justice, in the conditions of immersion in the information ocean, where, as Elena Avakyan noted, “ we know how to separate salt from water “, i.e.That is, “when fakes become facts, and facts become fakes.”
The general tone of the discussion was set by Kirill Titayev, Director of Research at the Institute of Law Enforcement at the European University at St. Petersburg, who, having analyzed the ratio of convictions and acquittals, made a number of conclusions about why an acquittal is becoming something unusual for a self-sustaining judicial system. In his speech, attention was also paid to the problem of appointing to the position of a judge a candidate who has no other experience except as an employee of the court apparatus.
Timur Sokolov, head of the Department of Criminal Law Proceedings at the Higher School of Economics, noted: in order to understand the reform, first of all, one should understand what needs to be done in order for us to have real judicial law in our country. However, the legislator often makes point proposals that do not radically change the concept of justice. This, according to the speaker, is also the fault of legal scholars who have not yet created a unified theory of what justice should be. He named a whole range of tools used in judicial reform, and noted that there is practically no discussion of the source of funds for such a reform.
Mikhail Shvarts, Head of the Department of Civil Procedure of St. Petersburg State University, Professor, Managing Partner of the Schwartz & Partners Law Office, said that we need a favorable ecosphere for the reform of the courts. He stated that technologies will come to court proceedings. As for digitalization, the most important thing here is not the convenience of services, but the fact that the institutions on which the resolution of social conflicts depends need to be protected. For example, how to protect a judge from information flows so that his attention is not diffused and he can focus on the main thing?
The head of the legal department of PJSC “Nizhnekamskneftekhim” Aidar Sultanov, in his speech, touched upon the issues of interaction of business structures with the judiciary, dwelling in detail on the activities of various judicial instances.He called their current state of degradation, one of the signs of which is the completely unreasonable limitation of the time for the parties to speak, even when the fate of multimillion-dollar assets is being decided in the process. Such justice, according to the speaker, does not lead to the settlement of conflicts.
In her detailed commentary, Elena Avakyan outlined the conditions that are necessary for the judicial reform to move forward along the intended path, and not swing back and forth like on a swing.
She recalled that many countries are gradually abandoning professional representation at lower levels, while in Russia, citizens who do not have a legal education have lost the right to represent the interests of their friends and neighbors; at the same time, the state failed to ensure a full-fledged right to representation, especially in depressed regions or in low-budget cases. This even applies to world justice. Professional representation is absolutely necessary at the stages of appeal, where the representative must clearly understand what exactly he is challenging and what legal norms he refers to.
Unfortunately, according to a member of the Council of the FPA RF, professional reforms are now following the expected path, but they are losing some of the usual mechanisms. We received direct cassation in the courts of general jurisdiction, but practically lost direct supervision, and instead received a second cassation and super powers of the deputy presidents of the Supreme Court. “This is a step forward – two steps back,” says Elena Avakyan.
Speaking about domestic courts, she stressed that in the context of digitalization, a lawyer should have the same opportunities to access judicial analytical resources as judges.But to do this, he must be recognized as an equal participant in the proceedings, and not the spokesman for the opinion of his client and, moreover, not his accomplice, the expert believes.
As for judges, it is necessary, first of all, to discuss the issue not of what are the criteria for their selection, but of how to increase confidence in the judges, what actions really defame the judge, raise doubts about his objectivity. According to Elena Avakyan, it is necessary to select them in this way, “in order to deprive judges of their powers, we had to once every 100 years”.
The last thing that needs to be digitized is justice, the speaker said. And although the judicial system has overtaken both the investigation and the legal profession in terms of the degree of digitalization, it often deals with cases in which there is no dispute as such, creating a toxic, empty burden on judges, depriving them of the time necessary to resolve really worthy disputes. “We must bring to court only what cannot be resolved without it” – only in this case, according to Elena Avakyan, we will create the judicial system we are striving for.
Konstantin Katanyan90,000 Why Americans are postponing the visit of the President of Ukraine News today
The team of President Volodymyr Zelensky is dancing the legendary “Lenin’s tango” with the West.
She takes a step forward, passing in the Verkhovna Rada laws on the High Qualification Commission of Judges of Ukraine (VKKS) and the High Council of Justice (SCJ), according to which “international experts” are given control over the selection of members of these structures.The US and the EU insisted on their adoption as part of the judicial reform extremely tough.
But then the Office of the President (OP) takes two steps back, not fulfilling other insistent demands. Let’s take the most eloquent examples.
One – about the reform of the SBU, which implies the transfer of the function of combating economic crimes to the newly formed Bureau of Economic Security (BES).
Other – about the liquidation of the Kiev District Administrative Court (OASK), whose leadership is believed to lead the judicial opposition against external control.
The third – on the preservation of the corporate management of state-owned enterprises, so that against the will of the pro-Western supervisory boards, it is impossible to dismiss managers, as happened in Naftogaz with disloyal OP Andrei Kobolev, who was replaced by Yury Vitrenko, who was oriented towards the president.
One gets the impression that the authorities do not really want to further strengthen the role of the West in internal processes and therefore either sabotage themselves or close their eyes to someone’s sabotage of the “reforms” they do not like.
And appeals to the Ukrainian leadership are getting tougher – as well as “educational measures”. G7 ambassadors, without diplomatic equivalents, say that without fulfilling the reform plan, Kiev should not hope for a new tranche of the IMF loan and other Western aid. The situation around the date of Zelensky’s visit to the United States is suspicious, which, it seems, may be postponed. At least for August.
How long Zelensky is ready to resist and how the West will respond, “Strana” figured out.
Distance in five steps
The list of US and EU requirements for Ukraine is well known.
According to US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, five key steps are expected from Kiev. The first is the adoption of laws on the “reset” of the VKKS and the SCJ, taking into account the controlling role of “independent international experts” (that is, in essence, the transfer of the judicial system under the control of the West). The second is the holding of “transparent” (that is, according to the procedure approved by the West and in the interests of its candidates) competitions for the leaders of NABU and SAP.The third step should be to preserve the influence of supervisory councils made up of Western henchmen in state-owned enterprises. The fourth is the reform of the SBU, for which it is necessary to adopt a law. The fifth step is the “imprisonment” of high-ranking officials for corruption: the society, they say, needs proof that anti-corruption bodies are not eating their bread in vain.
There are additional requirements: for example, to dissolve the OASK, which allegedly puts a spoke in the wheels of US-patronized bodies.
Progress in these areas has been uneven.
If the laws on GSP and VKKS were adopted (also not without difficulty), then there is either no movement at all for the rest, or weak.
The draft law on the Security Service of Ukraine “stuck” in the Rada, where there is a covert struggle for its content.
The competition for a new “anti-corruption” prosecutor is at an impasse, as the government and the pro-Western lobby “knocked down” each other’s candidates.
In a few months after the introduction of the President’s urgent bill on the dispersal of the UASC, even the parliamentary committee did not pass.
But this court “torpedoed” the attempts of the National Anti-Corruption Agency, which is influenced by the Americans, to remove Vitrenko from the post of head of the board of “Neftegaz”.And this, including, according to Western lobbyists, explains the delay with the law, as clearly shows the OP’s unwillingness to leave the state-owned enterprise uncontrolled by the supervisory board.
Even with the judicial reform, not everything is so smooth. Opponents blocked it with resolutions to abolish voting for the laws on the SCJ and VKKS. And Rada went on summer holidays. To overthrow these very decisions, the mono-majority initiates an extraordinary meeting next week.
As the deputy head of the Servant of the People faction Yevgenia Kravchuk told the Strana, the deputies want to meet on July 20.“I have no doubts that these resolutions will not get enough votes to be adopted. This will open the way for the signing of them by the speaker and the president, ”said Kravchuk.
It is not clear when the rest of the items from Blinken’s list will begin to be executed.
The G7, however, has already chosen a new target for itself. On Friday, July 16, an international advisory group consisting of representatives of the EU, the US and NATO called on the Ukrainian parliament to immediately pass the law on the SBU in the version approved on July 14 by the Rada’s committee on national security, defense and intelligence.Moreover, this version has not yet been presented to the public.
It is also unclear when it can be voted on.
On the whole, foreign partners are dissatisfied with the progress and speed of the reforms being pushed through. The soloists in this choir, as usual, are the USA. And in Washington the other day they made it clear that Zelensky’s visit may not take place at the end of July. None of the parties officially announced the date, but the press wrote about 26 July.
And now the White House announced that American President Joe Biden had invited Ze “this summer,” but in what month it was not specified.“Today there is no date that could be announced now,” they said in Washington.
Political scientist Ruslan Bortnik considers the evasiveness of the American side not accidental.
“Leapfrog with the date is definitely related to the Blinken-Kent homework for Zelenskiy (US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State at the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs George Kent – temporarily acting US ambassador to Ukraine – Red .) Americans are waiting for Kiev to cope , and depending on this, the date of the visit will be appointed.However it turned out later that Biden did not specify what summer he had in mind. Apparently, so far the parties have nothing to talk about, ”the expert comments to“ Strana ”.
However, for the United States in the context of the visit, it may be more important not even the course of reforms, but the unwillingness to talk about topics that are interesting to Zelensky. “The Ukrainian president will raise the issues of blocking Nord Stream 2, Ukraine’s joining NATO. And Biden will be in a difficult situation because he has no answers. And this is also a reason to play for time, ”says Bortnik.
But such a scenario is unprofitable for Zelensky, because he comes under fire from the criticism of pro-Western forces, including ex-President Petro Poroshenko, who has long accused Ze of failed diplomacy overseas.
So, the authorities are ready to meet the demands of the West? Experts differ on this point. So, Ruslan Bortnik says that Zelensky wanted a profitable reform deal for himself.
“He is not at all a supporter of the fight against external control, but he does not want to give up control over key areas just like that.He behaves like a businessman, which he is: they say, let’s negotiate. He does not have a crumbling state and an active phase of the war like Poroshenko, so he can play for time and bargain. But in the case of a profitable deal – if he is offered, for example, new loans without special conditions, military-political assistance, and maybe NATO membership, he will agree to all the demands of the West, ”Bortnik comments to the publication.
In turn, political scientist Vadim Karasev is sure that Zelensky does not seek to give the country under external control, believing that this will undermine his power.
“Now you cannot count on external legitimacy – whether from the West or the East. Power is provided by internal legitimacy, which is achieved through controlled institutions like the UASC, which has the right to overrule the decisions of various bodies and structures, including those controlled by the West. Therefore, they appoint their own minister of internal affairs. And the same international experts in the selection commissions for the transition period are a minor concession before the visits. The formalization of the regime of personal power is going on as usual, ”the expert insists.
In Servant of the People, they talk about mutually beneficial cooperation with the Western allies, and the thesis about “external control” of Ukraine, imposed by Moscow, is “dispersed” by the Ukrainian opposition.