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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.
The forthcoming reform of the law governing the prison system in Armenia involves several changes, which will directly affect staff working in penal institutions. The IRZ has advised the Ministry of Justice in the drafting of the new law, which is due to come into force during the first six months of next year.
The prison system is therefore in great need of advice when it comes to practical arrangements, treatment programmes, management structures, etc. In order to fulfil this requirement, the decision was made to organise workshops in four institutions to develop customised concepts for the subjects of “individual sentence planning”, “management structures” and “work in prisons”. Expert talks and consultations in individual penal institutions should lead to the identification of any weak areas and the development of shared strategies, which could be defined in agreement with the relevant authorities.
From 14 to 16 September 2018, three consecutive events were held in partnership with the Ministry of Justice and the Prison Service of the Republic of Armenia to discuss practical issues in prisons.
As German experts, the organisers were fortunately able to attract senior government official Thomas Müller, prison director at the Karlsruhe penal institution, and Heinz Brüche, who is responsible for education at the Bildungszentrum Justizvollzug Baden-Württemberg (a training centre for prison staff in Germany).
First of all, expert discussions were held with the Ministry of Justice for the Republic of Armenia in Yerevan. The following were the main topics of discussion:
Rehabilitation and reintegration of convicts,
risk management and assessment methods and
support and treatment options available in penal institutions.
Representatives from the following institutions took part in the expert discussions:
Armenian Ministry of Justice,
prison and probation service,
centre for legal training and rehabilitation programmes,
European Council office in Yerevan and
various NGOs, including the Foundation for “Prisoner Aid”, the Office for Human Rights and the Armenian Red Cross.
Afterwards, workshops took place for staff at the prisons in Armavir and Abovyan to cover the following topics:
Introduction to the reorganisation of quarantine cells in prison system planning;
reorganisation of the quarantine cells in prison system planning, including diagnosis, establishment of treatment measures, decisions on security and regime;
introduction of treatment measures to improve criminal prognosis;
development of work and leisure opportunities for prisoners,
management structures in prisons and
delegation of responsibility.
The participants in all three events were very interested and motivated. They asked a lot of questions and took a very active part in group work.
Two other workshops following the same format are due to take place this year at the penal institutions in Sevan and Vartashen.
By the end of this year, participants in the workshops should have developed concepts, taking any local requirements into account, for individual enforcement plans, management structures and work in prisons. These will be discussed and processed in partnership with the two German experts next year at other, more in-depth workshops.
On 14 and 15 July 2018, a conference was held for notaries in partnership with the Chamber of Notaries of the Republic of Armenia on issues concerning their daily professional practice. This event was carried out together with the German Federal Chamber of Notaries. Its vice-president and honorary president of the Chamber of Notaries of Koblenz, Richard Bock, took part as a speaker.
From the Armenian side, board members of the Chamber of Notaries of the Republic of Armenia, notaries from all over Armenia and representatives of the Ministry of Justice took part in the event. The Armenian Chamber of Notaries was represented by its president, Vanine Hovsepyan,and the Minister of Justice was represented by the First Deputy Minister of Justice, Artur Hovhannisyan.
The recently updated notarial law of the Republic of Armenia stipulates that Armenia’s notary practices must be digitalised. This means that the subject of digitalisation is highly contentious for this professional group and was the main focus of the event. Richard Bock explained in detail the process of digitalisation in Germany, including electronic authentication, electronic contracts, electronic signatures and other electronic aids.
The following topics were also discussed:
sales contract (processing a sales contract),
obligation to provide information,
notarial authentication procedure,
property sales contract,
register entry and
acceptance or waiver of inheritance.
The participants in this event were extremely interested and motivated.
With regard to the recently changed version of the current notarial law, it became clear that the chamber of notaries was barely involved or not involved at all in the legislation. This fact has a significant impact on the application of the law. It is therefore becoming increasingly important to strengthen the chamber of notaries, particularly as far as its communications with the Ministry of Justice are concerned, so that this profession can continue to exist in Armenia.