The Council of Europe is currently implementing a three-month (1 January - 31 March 2022) UK-funded project “HELP implementing the ECHR in Eastern Partnership countries”. It aims at increasing the knowledge and skills of legal professionals in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Moldova on the ECHR and the ECtHR case-law. In this regard, the project contributes to implementing the HELP online courses on “Access to Justice for Women”; “Procedural Safeguards in Criminal Proceedings and Victims’ Rights”; “Transitional Justice and Human Rights” and “Judicial Reasoning and Human Rights”.
Following the successful launch events of three courses in the countries concerned, the project team also organized four national online launch events of the Council of Europe HELP online course on Judicial Reasoning and Human Rights, which completed the project’s objectives set in this regard.
The HELP course includes the following modules:
- Right to a fair trial under Article 6 and the minimum requirements for the national courts’ reasoning
- Reasoning of criminal judgements in the context of Articles 2 and 3
- Reasoning of criminal judgements in the context of Article 5
- Reasoning of criminal judgments in the context of Article 8
- Reasoning of criminal judgments in the context of Article 10
- Reasoning of criminal judgments in the context of Article 6 and non-attendance
You can watch here a (4-min) course welcome video by the President of the European Court of Human Rights, Judge Robert Spano.
In total, 124 judges, prosecutors and lawyers from Georgia, Armenia, Moldova, and Azerbaijan will benefit from this HELP online course, translated into the respective national languages and adapted to the training needs of the legal professionals. The course launch events took place during the period of 28 February - 9 March 2022, in collaboration with national judicial training institutions. The main features of those launch events may be summarized as follows:
- Georgia (28 February): The event was opened by Eva Pastrana, Head of Justice and Human Rights Training Division, CoE, and Giorgi Giorgadze, CoE Office in Georgia. Agata Nieboj, representative of the EU Delegation to Georgia and Maia Botsvadze, Deputy Director of the High School of Justice, also welcomed the participants.
- Armenia (2 March): the event was opened by Ana Medarska-Lazova, Deputy Head of the Judicial and Human Rights Training Division of the Council of Europe, and Anahit Abrahamyan on behalf of the Academy of Justice.
- Moldova (4 March): the event was opened by William Massolin, Head of the CoE Office in Chișinău, alongside Ecaterina Popa, ad-interim Director of the National Institute of Justice.
- Azerbaijan (9 March): the event was opened by Ana Medarksa-Lazova, Council of Europe and Gunel Sadigova, Deputy Dean, the Justice Academy of Azerbaijan. Ivana Roagna, author of the course, presented its main aspects to the participants.
Further to the welcoming speakers from the CoE, EU and national training institutions, the ECtHR judges, Lado Chanturia (Georgia), Armen Harutyunyan (Armenia) and Diana Sârcu-Scobioală (Moldova), joined the respective country events and shared their expertise on the importance of well-reasoned judgments in the application of the ECHR and human rights laws by domestic courts and the key elements of judicial reasoning.
The course’s national editions will be tutored by HELP national tutors Tamar Alania (Georgia), Anahit Harutyunyan (Armenia), Ecaterina Popa and Petru Balan (Moldova), and Rafael Eyvazov (Azerbaijan), who will assist the participants throughout the implementation process.
The courses will be implemented until the end of March 2022. Successful participants will be certified jointly by the Council of Europe and the respective national training institutions.
Following the completion of the courses, the participants are expected to benefit from increased knowledge of standards and practices concerning judicial reasoning and justice quality standards relating to criminal and civil proceedings, case law and good practice.
This HELP online course was recently updated by the joint European Union/Council of Europe Action Strengthening the effective legal remedies to human rights violations in Serbia, implemented within the joint programme Horizontal Facility for the Western Balkans and Turkey 2019-2022, jointly with the Council of Europe HELP Programme
The English version of the course can also be taken for self-learning in the HELP online platform at https://help.elearning.ext.coe.int/ with the possibility of obtaining an individualized and digital “statement of accomplishment” upon completion.