Georgian prosecutors attended the launch of the Council of Europe HELP (Human Rights Education for Legal Professionals) course to prevent and combat violence against women and domestic violence on 22 February 2018 at the Chief Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia. Representatives from the Training Centre of Justice, the Academy of the Internal Affairs of Georgia, and the Human Rights Academy of the Ombudsperson of Georgia also participated in the event.
In his opening remarks, Deputy Chief Prosecutor Giorgi Gogadze highlighted the important role of his office and prosecutors working on such cases and the need for continuing societal awareness as “prosecutors alone cannot prevent this crime”. He also mentioned that this will be the second HELP course launched with prosecutors after the successful experience with the HELP course on anti-discrimination.
Christian Urse, Head of the Council of Europe Office in Tbilisi stressed the good cooperation of the Council of Europe with the Chief Prosecutor’s Office, the Parliament and the Public Defender’s Office, particularly following the ratification of the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence (the Istanbul Convention) by Georgia in 2017.
The presentation of the Human Rights Education for Legal Professionals (HELP) Programme of the Council of Europe was done by Eva Pastrana, from the Council of Europe HELP unit, while Sara Haapalainen, from the Council of Europe’s Capacity Building and Co-operation Projects Unit of the Equality Division, provided insights on how to prevent and combat violence against women.
The course will be tutored by Head of the Human Rights Unit of the Prosecutor’s Office, Salome Shengelia, who presented the Georgian context and legal order regarding the criminalisation of violence against women and the need to prosecute perpetrators. Following the launch in the presence of prosecutors, who will continue their training online for a period of three months.
The course, developed by the Council of Europe, aims at improving the quality of the judicial response to cases of violence against women and at supporting access to justice for victims while prosecuting perpetrators. It covers in interactive ways the key concepts, the international and European legal framework and the European case law governing the prevention and protection of women and girls from violence, focusing in particular on the Istanbul Convention. More than 20 prosecutors are taking the online course comprising of theory, case law and practical exercises.
The course can be accessed in English on the HELP online platform at this link. The Georgian version will be posted in May 2018, upon completion of the training by the Chief Prosecutor’s Office.
For more information please download this course brief.