The IRZ concluded its work in Armenia for 2016 with two important projects for students. As in previous years, a guest lecture was held for students on the criminology masters programme, which focussed this year on probation services. On 6 and 7 December, the speaker Wolfgang Eichstädter provided an insight into the practical work of probation officers in Germany.

The lecture focussed on discussions with subjects, as well as issues concerning the organisation of the working day. He cited a few examples of cases from his long-standing career as a probation officer in Berlin and held discussions with the participants on dealing with subjects in these situations.

A new law on the probation service entered into force in Armenia a few months ago, introducing fundamental changes to regulations governing the role and tasks of probation officers. These practical insights were therefore of great interest, and not only for the students. A few active probation officers also attended the lecture and took an active part in the open discussions.

The moot court in criminal law, which was held from 8 to 10 December in the Aghveran mountain resort, was of a more competitive nature. Six groups of students from five different universities in Armenia had qualified for the final round in a written competition. They took it in turns to take on the role of Public Prosecutor and the Defence and had to make a convincing case for their arguments in front of a jury of six highly experienced Armenian and German judges and lawyers. From the German side, Erich Joester, a criminal defence lawyer and notary from Bremen, and Jan F. Orth, Presiding Judge at the Regional Court of Cologne, put the rhetorical and strategic abilities of the students to the test with some tricky questions. The team of five from Yerevan State University won the competition but this intense event will be remembered by all the participants as a special highlight of their training. If possible, the IRZ plans to hold the competition again next year.