Project : Access to Justice in Armenia

Justice and Legal Co-operation Department

Title Access to Justice in Armenia
Project area Armenia
Budget EUR 4 157 000
Funding European Commission
Duration 01/10/2009 - 31/12/2011 (27 months)

Overall objective:

  • To support the reform of the justice sector, to promote the rule of law and human rights in Armenia and help Armenia meet European standards as regards the judiciary;
  • To improve the efficiency of the judiciary;
  • To strengthen the capacity of the judicial professions and advocates, including the Chamber of Advocates of Armenia;
  • To provide practical and sustainable solutions for a better accountability within the justice system in Armenia;
  • To improve access to justice for the population in general and free/affordable access for vulnerable groups of the population.

Specific objectives:

  • The Chamber of Advocates and its School of Advocates are strengthened
  • The post-graduate training centre for judges is strengthened
  • Trust of the public in the justice system increases by promoting access to justice through the adoption and implementation of a strategy for effective legal aid and the review of relevant legislation.

The objectives pursued by the Joint Programme are to provide support to the Armenian Government in its reform process of the judiciary. The Project was launched on 2 October 2009, with the active participation of all relevant actors of the judicial system, in particular the beneficiaries which had been looking forward for some time to developing a way to support the establishment or strengthening of the capacities of their institutions. The need for a country-tailored programme in the field of the judiciary was apparent in several recent judgments of the ECtHR, including Nikoghosyan and Melkonyan v. Armenia of 6 December 2007 and Paykar Yev Haghtanak Ltd. v. Armenia of 20 December 2007.

Activities and results in 2009

  • Recruitment of the project team
  • Establishment of the project office in Yerevan
  • Engagement of the long-term consultant (legislation)
  • Launching conference on 2 October 2009, with the participation of all the main actors involved in the judicial system
  • Expertise on the draft law on the “Judicial Academy”
  • Steering Committee meeting on 10 December 2009, which reviewed the inception report, adopted the work plan for 2010-2011 and considered the list of procurement envisaged in the framework of the project.

Activities and results in 2010 (until mid-September)

  • Interim report
  • Evaluators’ assessment of the project according to ROM
  • Engagement of the long-term consultant (training)
  • Engagement of the international mid-term consultant (pilot training programme for lawyers)
  • Preparation and implementation of 25 activities under the three components (1. Support to the Chamber of Advocates, 2. Support for the improvement of training and education of judges and court personnel, 3. Support to the facilitation of access to justice and transparency of the judiciary)
  • Expertise on the draft law on the “Advocacy”
  • Study visits to Italy (Rome and Naples), the Czech Republic (Prague and Brno) and Spain (Barcelona).

Assessment and follow-up

The project team has implemented the activities in accordance with the work plan. This important project will be an opportunity for Armenia’s authorities to confirm their readiness to reform the judiciary in line with European standards and CoE commitments.