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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
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.
On 13 December 2018, a workshop was held in Yerevan with the cooperation of the Armenian Bar Association on the publicity work of bar associations. The event was organised and carried out together with the German Federal Bar Association (BRAK). The workshop was opened by the President of the Armenian Bar Association, Ara Zohrabyan, the IRZ project coordinator in Armenia, Nelly Tumasyan, and BRAK Managing Director and lawyer, Dr. Veronika Horrer.
The Press Officer for the Armenian Bar Association, Hayk Hakobyan, then gave a speech on relations between the Armenian Bar Association and the Armenian media. Afterwards, Stephanie Beyrich, a lawyer and BRAK Managing Director and Press Officer, and Jan Helge Kestel, a lawyer and President of the Thuringian Bar Association and member of the Committee for Press and Publicity Work at BRAK, presented the PR strategy of the German Federal Bar Association (BRAK). The main focus of the workshop was on the following topics:
Comparisons between press work in Germany at a national level (German Federal Bar Association, BRAK) and at a regional level (regional bar associations, RAK);
relations between the BRAK and journalists;
points of reference for press work;
a field report from the points of view of the BRAK Press Officer and a President of a regional bar association;
the tools of successful press work.
Around 45 Armenian lawyers attended the event and took an active part in the discussions.
The workshop was met with such a favourable response that representatives of the Armenian Bar Association expressed the desire to organise the same event for lawyers from the capital and surrounding regions in Yerevan and at two other locations.
How can I make my teaching is as clear and concise as possible? What’s the best way of making sure my target group retains the information? What are the means of making sure that I am fulfilling the actual training requirements? These were just some of the central questions behind the “Training of Trainers” organised by the IRZ on 22 and 23 September in cooperation with the Academy of Justice of the Republic of Armenia in Tsaghkadzor.
The Academy of Justice in Armenia is responsible for training prospective judges and public prosecutors and also puts on advanced training courses for members of the judicial system. Almost all the training courses in the Academy are carried out by lecturers working in the justice system or by members of the universities. Many of these part-time trainers need to acquire basic teaching and communication skills and learn how to make effective use of teaching aids during their lessons.
During the course of the two-day training course, Martin Hussels, a judge and Deputy Director of the local court of Tettnang, outlined his approach to developing a training programme and addressed the issues outlined above step by step. He dealt with a wide range of topics: from theories about the learning styles of adults to practical details on how to prepare for an actual event, such as how to arrange tables to ensure good communication between the participants. Thanks to his many years of experience as a university lecturer, trainer at the German Judicial Academy and not least as an IRZ expert involved in many different projects, he was rapidly able to reach the participants despite the language barrier, leading to lively discussions on these subjects.
Both the representatives of the Academy of Justice and feedback from numerous individuals made it clear that the training provided plenty of practical help and therefore completely fulfilled its objectives.