Ara Zohrabyan (2nd from left), President of the Armenian Bar Association, IRZ expert lawyer Jan Helge Kestel (on his right) and members of the Ethics Council for the Armenian Bar Association
Ara Zohrabyan (2nd from left), President of the Armenian Bar Association, IRZ expert lawyer Jan Helge Kestel (on his right) and members of the Ethics Council for the Armenian Bar Association
Armenia

At the request of the Armenian Bar Association, the IRZ, together with the German Federal Bar Association (BRAK), organised three events on professional ethics for lawyers and dealing with the media and publicity work.

The series of events began with a workshop on professional ethics for lawyers for members of the Ethics Council of the Armenian Bar Association. This took place on 12 and 13 May 2019 in Tsagkhadzor. Lawyer Jan Helge Kestel from the Caemmerer Lenz law firm in Erfurt was invited to the workshop as a speaker. As President of the Thuringian Bar Association and a member of the Committee for Press and Publicity Work at the German Federal Bar Association, Jan Helge Kestel is an acknowledged expert in the subject, which was introduced by the President of the Armenian Bar Association, Ara Zohrabyan. Ara Zohrabyan talked about the situation and status of professional ethics for lawyers in Armenia and about the code of honour. Afterwards, the participants in the workshop discussed the following topics at length:

  • Introduction to the professional regulations for lawyers in Germany (system of chambers, control, organisation),
  • general aspects of professional ethics for lawyers in Germany,
  • professional regulations for lawyers, 
  • possible sanctions and other measures within the jurisdiction of the Court of Appeal
  • company law for lawyers in Germany,
  • in-house legal advisers – fundamentals and peculiarities
  • remuneration systems, 
  • marketing for lawyers from an ethical point of view and
  • the system for specialist lawyers.

On the following two days, seminars were held on how bar associations should deal with the media and handle their publicity work. The two seminars on the same topics took place on 14 May in Yerevan and on 15 May in Gyumri. About 40 lawyers took part in each event and showed a great deal of interest in each case. Following an introduction by Hayk Hakobyan, Press officer at the Armenian Bar Association, who spoke about the relationship with the Armenian media, Jan Helge Kestel and lawyer Stephanie Beyrich, Managing Director and Press Officer at the German Federal Bar Association (BRAK), presented the communications strategy at the BRAK, reported on their own personal experiences of publicity work and gave lectures on the following topics: 

  • A comparison between press work at national and regional level,
  • defining the relationships between journalists and the BRAK and journalists and regional bar associations,
  • points of reference for successful press work, 
  • tools of successful press work, including network and press distributors, press releases, information services at the BRAK, events for journalists,
  • dealing with negative press,
  • areas of tension between (regional) press work and the duty of confidentiality.

Both of these seminars took place in addition to the event held in December 2018, which not all the 70 interested lawyers were free to attend at the time. The Armenian Bar Association had therefore asked the IRZ to repeat this seminar twice more to give those interested an opportunity to attend and to include lawyers from other regions by holding a seminar in Gyumri. This meant that a total of 95 participants were able to benefit from the three events.