Hovsep Sargsyan, a member of the Bar Association; Davit Harutjunyan, a judge at the Court of First Instance of the City of Yerevan; Vazgen Rshtuni, a judge at the Criminal Chamber of the Court of Appeal of the Republic of Armenia; Prof. Anna R. Margaryan, Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Law at Yerevan State University, Nelly Tumasyan, IRZ Project Coordinator in Armenia (from right to left)
Hovsep Sargsyan, a member of the Bar Association; Davit Harutjunyan, a judge at the Court of First Instance of the City of Yerevan; Vazgen Rshtuni, a judge at the Criminal Chamber of the Court of Appeal of the Republic of Armenia; Prof. Anna R. Margaryan, Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Law at Yerevan State University, Nelly Tumasyan, IRZ Project Coordinator in Armenia (from right to left)
Armenia

On 24 and 25 September 2021, a Criminal Moot Court was held in Aghveran, Armenia, for the sixth time since 2016. This highly successful annual event is organised by IRZ together with the Faculty of Law at Yerevan State University. Students at Armenian universities as well as representatives of other organisations can apply to participate in this competition. The aim of the Moot Court is for participants to actively experience a court hearing through role play and thereby gain practical experience in the various legal professions. 

This year's event was opened by Anna R. Margaryan, Professor of Criminal Law and Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Law at Yerevan State University, and IRZ Head of Section Frank Hupfeld. Professor Margaryan then explained how the Moot Court works.

A total of ten groups of three people applied to participate in this year's court competition. The groups from the following five institutions passed the written selection tests and participated in the Moot Court:

  • Yerevan State University
  • Artzakh State University (Nagorno-Karabakh)
  • Police Academy of the Republic of Armenia
  • French University in Armenia
  • Armenian-Russian University in Armenia 
47 20210925 armenien moot court 2
Participants in the Moot Court

During the Moot Court, each group was supervised by a trainer. For the five role plays in the first phase of the Moot Court, each group took on both the prosecutor and the defender role once. The two winning groups from the first phase competed against each other in the subsequent final competition. The participants' performances were judged by an Armenian-German jury: 

  • Vazgen Rshtuni, a judge at the Criminal Chamber of the Court of Appeal of the Republic of Armenia
  • Davit Harutjunyan, a judge at the Court of First Instance of the City of Yerevan
  • Hovsep Sargsyan, a member of the Bar Association
  • Dr. Arnd Weishaupt, a judge at the Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf and IRZ expert

After the results of this year's court competition had been announced, there was a festive award ceremony. For once, two groups won this year's Moot Court – from the French University in Armenia and from the Yerevan State University. 

47 20210925 armenien moot court 2
Two groups that competed against each other during the Moot Court

The award ceremony was attended by the above-mentioned jury members and representatives of Yerevan State University, the Dean of the Faculty of Law, Prof. Gagik Ghazinyan, and his deputy, Prof. Anna Margaryan. The ceremony was also attended by a group of people who travelled especially for the occasion:

  • Arman Tatoyan, Ombudsman of Armenia
  • Dr Artur Israelyan, Vice-Rector for International Cooperation and Public Relations at Yerevan State University
  • Elen Hakobyan, a representative from the Judicial Academy
  • Armen Asatryan, a representative from the Bar Association
  • Vahe Engibaryan, a representative from the Judges' Association

Their presence reflects the popularity of this series of events in Armenia.

Since the representatives of the participating institutions explicitly emphasised the importance of the moot courts in Armenia, IRZ plans to continue the series of events next year.