Strengthening the capacity of lawyers and Human Rights Defenders
This is a Regional Joint Programme between the Council of Europe and the European Union, implemented by the Council of Europe from January 2013 till June 2015 in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Republic of Moldova, Russian Federation and Ukraine.
The general objectives of the programme is to To develop national capacities for effective human rights protection by increasing knowledge and skills on the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and the Revised European Social Charter (RESC) among lawyers of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Republic of Moldova, Russian Federation and Ukraine.
Enabling the lawyers of the beneficiary countries to successfully litigate cases based on the ECHR and on the RESC, in proceedings before national courts, as well as before European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) in case of well substantiated claims and to avoid the submission of manifestly unfounded or inadmissible claims.
National capacities to train and retrain lawyers on selected articles of the ECHR through the prism of Article 14 and Protocol No. 12 of the ECHR, as well as the RESC (Art. E) are strengthened. The ability of lawyers to promote domestically European human rights standards and use them in litigation/legal proceedings before national courts, as well as before ECtHR in case of well-substantiated applications and to avoid submission to the ECtHR of manifestly unfounded or inadmissible claims is developed.
- National capacities to train and retrain lawyers on selected articles of the ECHR through the prism of Article 14 and Protocol No. 12 of the ECHR, as well as the RESC (Art. E) are strengthened.
- The ability of lawyers to promote domestically European human rights standards and use them in litigation/legal proceedings before national courts, as well as before ECtHR in case of well-substantiated applications and to avoid submission to the ECtHR of manifestly unfounded or inadmissible claims is developed.
- Regional co-operation and networking among bar and lawyers’ associations and between lawyers and human rights defenders of the partner countries is promoted and strengthened.
- E-learning courses designed for the target group lawyers are offering a flexible and interactive network for training and easy access to up-to-date information on ECHR and RESC in national languages, thus enabling the target groups to learn more on the ECHR and RESC.
- Use of and reference to the resources and expertise of the European Programme for Human Rights Education for Legal Professionals (the HELP Programme) is increased; targeted human rights materials are published in different languages; online courses on anti-discrimination issues are available in national languages.
In order to achieve the objectives, the Council of Europe implements a wide variety of activities in the framework of the programme
- Desk review of the current lacuna in training programmes.
- Preparation, publication and distribution of training programme/curricula and capacity building materials, CoE handbooks on human rights, training modules in national languages.
- Regional training-of-trainings (ToT) seminars for national ECHR lawyers’ trainers from Bar associations and human rights NGOs.
- Cascade training seminars for lawyers and human rights NGOs and legal consultants in the capitals and in the regions.
- Quarterly thematic one-day workshops for lawyers and human rights NGOs and legal consultants in the capitals and in the regions.
- Three 2-days regional conferences for sharing the best practices (2 conferences in participating countries + one conference in Strasbourg).
- Setting-up of a regional forum on the HELP website, to be used as a regional exchange platform between lawyers and human rights defenders.
- Drafting of country specific guidelines on the use of domestic remedies in anti-discrimination cases.
- Translation and dissemination of the handbook on the European case law on non-discrimination produced by the EU Fundamental Rights Agency and the ECHR into the national languages of the partner countries.
- Two-day moot court (ECtHR model) for 24 participants from the partner countries.
Final beneficiaries and target groups:
The final beneficiaries of the programme are the general population of the beneficiary countries, the national and regional bar associations, vulnerable groups (national minorities, persons with disabilities, sexual minorities etc.). target groups consist of practicing lawyers (both members of professional associations and human rights defenders).
Duration: 2013 –
Geographic coverage: Regional (Republic of Moldova; Armenia; Azerbaijan; Georgia; Russian Federation and Ukraine)
Focus Area: Capacity building in the field of European Convention on Human Rights, Revised European Social Charter and Non-discrimination
Partners: Union of Lawyers; Council for prevention and elimination of discrimination and ensuring equality
Benefeciaries: Lawyers; Human rights defenders; NGOs