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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.
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.
The opening conference on the “@MediaSocieties – Armenia 2019“ project took place in Yerevan on 15 July 2019. The event was attended by about forty participants and covered topics such as transparency, good media governance and journalistic ethics. The Permanent Representative of the Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany in Armenia, Klaus Wendelberger, also took part and opened the event. Welcome addresses were also given by Amalia Wuckert for the IRZ and Boris Navasardyan as President of the Yerevan Press Club (YPC). Thomas Wierny, who supports the project as an expert in media and press law, moderated the conference, presented the project concept and gave an introduction to the expert sessions.
Further speakers at the conference were:
Dr. Shushan Doydoyan, Chairwoman of the Freedom of Information Center,
Dr. Frederik Ferreau, Institute for Media and Communications Law, University of Cologne,
Gegham Vardanyan, producer of Media.am,
Prof. Dr. Bernd Holznagel, LL.M., Institute for Information, Telecommunications and Media Law (ITM), Westfälische Wilhelms University of Muenster,
Mesrop Harutyunyan, assistant lecturer at the Yerevan Brusov State University of Languages and Social Sciences, and
Prof. Dr. Hektor Haarkötter, Professor for Communication Studies with a Focus on Political Communication at the University of Applied Sciences of Bonn-Rhein-Sieg.
During the final panel discussions, the experts Mesrop Harutyunyan, Prof. Dr. Bernd Holznagel, Prof. Dr. Hektor Haarkötter and Boris Navasardyan exchanged their views regarding the particular responsibility of the media in times of election campaigns.
Prof. Dr. Bernd Holznagel, Prof. Dr. Hektor Haarkötter, Mesrop Harutyunyan, Boris Navasardyan, Thomas Wierny during the final panel discussion (from left to right)
The conference met with a great deal of interest by media professionals. The participants repeatedly pointed out the importance of this event for Armenia in the present phase.
The continuation of the project is scheduled for the fourth quarter of this year. At first, several subsequent workshops are planned, which will be attended by Armenian and German experts from various areas of media and media regulation to deal with these topics in detail. It is planned to compile the results of these workshops in a paper reflecting the current state of discussions and indicating in which way the new regulation should be directed in the participants’ opinion.
Following up on the workshops, a final event will take place at the beginning of December, where the draft papers will be presented to a larger audience for discussion. The aim is to debate the considerations and results also with those players who did not take part in the workshops, and to consult on the implementation of the concepts.
About the project
The “@MediaSocieties – Armenia 2019“ project is aimed at supporting the freedom and diversity of the media and pluralism of opinions in Armenia and at strengthening the journalistic profession. The project is financed by the Federal Foreign Office within the “Expanding Cooperation with Civil Society in the Eastern Partnership Countries and Russia“ programme.
The project addresses media professionals, players in the media market and the respective fields of science in Armenia.
The target groups are:
representatives of TV broadcasting stations, newspapers and radio stations,
online editors and
law professionals from science and practice.
The IRZ’s partner organisation in Armenia for this project is the Yerevan Press Club. The YPC supports the development of free, independent and qualified media seeking to strengthen the development of democracy and civil society in Armenia.
Thomas Wierny, an expert in the field of media and press law, supports the preparation and implementation of the project.