Closing Conference for the “@MediaSocieties – Armenia 2019” Project

Frank Hupfeld, Head of Section at the IRZ, during his welcome speech to open the conference
Frank Hupfeld, Head of Section at the IRZ, during his welcome speech to open the conference
Armenia

On 9 December 2019, a conference was held in Yerevan to mark the end of the “@MediaSocieties – Armenia 2019” project. Those participating in the event presented and discussed the results of the project, which was financed by the German Foreign Office as part of the “Expanding Cooperation with Civil Society in the Eastern Partnership Countries and Russia”. The conference programme was completed by expert lectures on current topics.

Once the responsible IRZ Head of Section, Frank Hupfeld, had welcomed the participants to the conference, Jakob Ziegler from the press office at the German Embassy and Boris Navasardyan, President of the Yerevan Press Club (YPC), also gave welcome speeches. Thomas Wierny, who had supported the entire project as a consultant and expert in media and press law, moderated the conference and presented the project from the original idea to completion.

The following experts gave lectures and were then available to answer any questions and take part in discussions:

  • Ara Ghazaryan, a lawyer at Arniconsult: Latest Developments in Media Policy in Armenia
  • Tobias Brings-Wiesen, Institute of Media Law and Communications Law at the University of Cologne: Activities of social Networks to avoid Regulation
  • Boris Navasardyan, YPC President: The Fight against “Hate Speech” and the corresponding Armenian Draft Legislation
  • Nouneh Sarkissian, Media Initiatives Centre NGO: The Results of workshop I on “Online Media – Good Online Governance”
  • Christoph Bößmann, Consultant in Copyright Law and Licensing Rights: Analysis of the position paper developed during workshop I
  • Aghavni Harutyunyan, Editor-in-Chief of www.Globnews.am: The results of workshop II on “Transparency of the media”
  • Jan Christopher Kalbhenn, LL.M., Managing Director of the Institute of Information, Telecommunications and Media law: Analysis of the position paper developed during workshop II

Around 35 Armenian and German experts from various sections of the media and media regulation took part in the closing conference. The entire project was met with a great deal of interest and the Armenian participants repeatedly stressed the importance of such events for Armenia.

Background information on the project

The objective of the “@MediaSocieties – Armenia 2019” project was to encourage the freedom and diversity of the media and the pluralism of opinions in Armenia and to support the journalism profession. The project was financed by the German Foreign Office to support “Expanding Cooperation with Civil Society in the Eastern Partnership Countries and Russia” and was aimed at media representatives and those involved in the media market, as well as the relevant academic groups in Armenia.

Target groups:

  • Radio and press representatives
  • Bloggers
  • Online editors
  • Legal experts from the academic and business worlds

The IRZ’s partner organisation in Armenia was the Yerevan Press Club. The YPC stands for free, independent and qualified media. The aim is to further develop democracy and civil society in Armenia. The project was prepared and supported by Thomas Wierny, a consultant and expert in the field of media and press law.

The project was scheduled to run from May to December 2019. To begin with, a fact-finding mission took place in Armenia to plan and prepare ahead of the project. This was followed by the opening conference held in Yerevan in July. [LINK to the report] During several consecutive workshops, experts from Armenia and Germany worked on the topics “Online Media – Good Online Governance” and “Transparency of the Media” in a cooperative atmosphere. The results of these workshops were summarised in position papers. These reflect the current status of discussions and show the direction the participants think new regulations should take. The position papers are being published and made available to a wider audience.

Gefördert durch:
Auswärtiges Amt

Study trip to Berlin probation services

The Armenian delegation with Prof. Dr. Heinz Cornel (3rd from right) and Wolfgang Eichstädter (centre) from Alice-Salomon-Hochschule Berlin
The Armenian delegation with Prof. Dr. Heinz Cornel (3rd from right) and Wolfgang Eichstädter (centre) from Alice-Salomon-Hochschule Berlin
Armenia

From 15 to 18 October 2019, the IRZ organised a study trip to Berlin for nine Armenian probation experts from the Ministry of Justice, the public probation service and the Centre for the Implementation of legal Education and Rehabilitation Programmes. Building on a workshop on the Armenian probation system in Yerevan held in May, the aim of this study trip was to give the experts an insight into the German probation system.

A varied programme was put together for this event which had been discussed in May with the Armenian authorities. The Armenian delegation was accompanied by the German experts Wolfgang Eichstädter, former head of the probation and court assistance service and lecturer at Alice-Salomon-Hochschule Berlin, and Prof. Dr. Heinz Cornel, also from Alice-Salomon-Hochschule and former president of the DBH Fachverband für Soziale Arbeit, Strafrecht und Kriminalpolitik e.V. (professional organisation for social work, criminal law and crime policy) throughout their stay in Berlin. Visits to the following institutions were on the agenda:

  • Juvenile detention facility in Berlin: Guided tour and talks with the Head of the Juvenile Detention Service and Judge at the Local Court Jörg Pervelz;
  • Social services of the justice system of Berlin: Presentation of four working areas by Ms. Kekeisen, who is in charge of the control service and HR;
  • Tegel penal institution: Guided tour of different sections and discussions with the social service;
  • Straffälligen- und Bewährungshilfe e.V. Berlin e.V.: (an organisation providing assistance for ex-offenders): Presentation and in-depth discussions covering the importance and function of community service under the law of criminal procedure;
  • Alice-Salomon-Hochschule Berlin: Reception by Chancellor Andreas Flegl and discussions about opportunities for further training and future cooperation.

These visits were reflected on in afternoon workshops at the IRZ in Berlin and were complemented by further topics. The participants discussed, for example, reporting and report structures, the different formats of case conferences among colleagues and client-centred communication skills in lectures, presentations and exercises.

Given the great demand for further training and cooperation in Armenia, the IRZ is planning to continue its support for Armenian institutions in implementing their probation service.

Successful Continuation of Criminal Law Moot Courts in Armenia

Nelly Tumasyan, IRZ project coordinator in Armenia, and members of the jury Erich Joester, Vazgen Rshtuni, Mkhitar Papoyan, Armine Fanyan and Arsen Martirosyan (from left to right)
Nelly Tumasyan, IRZ project coordinator in Armenia, and members of the jury Erich Joester, Vazgen Rshtuni, Mkhitar Papoyan, Armine Fanyan and Arsen Martirosyan (from left to right)
Armenia

A Criminal Law Moot Court took place from 4th to 6th October 2019 in Aghveran in Armenia for the fourth time since 2016. This very successful annual event is organised by the IRZ in partnership with the Law Faculty of the University of Yerevan. The event was attended by students of the State Universities of Yerevan, Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) and Gavar and by two groups of the Armenian police academy.

Up to six groups take part in the Moot Courts each consisting of up to four persons. A trainer is in charge of each group. Students of Armenian universities and representatives of other organisations can apply for participation in a Moot Court. This year, they came from the police academy. The Moot Court comprises six role plays in total, after which the two winning groups compete against each other in the finals.

This year’s event was opened by the Dean of the Law Faculty of the State University of Yerevan, Prof. Gagik Ghazinyan, and Amalia Wuckert representing the IRZ. Subsequently, Anna R. Margaryan, Professor for Criminal Law at the Law Faculty of the State University of Yerevan, explained how the Moot Court works.

The performance of the participants was assessed by an Armenian-German jury:

  • Vazgen Rshtuni, President of the Court of Appeal of the Republic of Armenia,
  • Mkhitar Papoyan, Judge at the Court of Appeal of the Republic of Armenia,
  • Armine Fanyan, a lawyer representing the Bar Association of the Republic of Armenia,
  • Arsen Martirosyan, Head of Department at the Office of the Public Prosecutor General of the Republic of Armenia and
  • Erich Joester, a lawyer and notary specialising in criminal law, Joester und Partner law firm, and former President of the Bar Association of Bremen.

After the results of this year’s Moot Court were announced, a prize was awarded. The ceremony was attended by the ombudsman of Armenia, Arman Tatoyan, the Vice-Principal for International Cooperation and Public Relations of the State University of Yerevan, Dr. Artur Israelyan, the Director of the School of Advocates, Simon Babayan, and the Principal of the Judicial Academy, Sergej Arakelyan. There presence highlighted the great popularity of the Moot Court events in Armenia.

As the representatives of the involved institutions emphasized the importance of the Moot Courts for Armenia, the IRZ is planning to continue the series of Moot Courts next year.