In the summer of 2020, the Council of Europe Project started implementing the third phase of the HELP in the Russian Federation Project.

The official launch of the project took place during the annual training courses for Russian civil servants on the implementation of constitutional and international human rights guarantees in Russian law and practice, held in Moscow on October 19-21, 2020.

The HELP in Russian Federation project is implemented under the umbrella of the Council of Europe Programme on Human Rights Education for Legal Professionals (HELP programme) which is based on the CM Recommendation Rec (2004)4 on the European Convention on Human Rights in university education and professional training. This Recommendation recognises the direct link between the quality of legal education and quality of protection of human rights and calls for inclusion of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and the case law of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) in the vocational and in-service training of national legal practitioners. More recently, CM/Rec (2019)5 on the system of the ECHR in university education and professional training has reinforced the importance of the HELP Programme recommending its courses and methodology. The HELP programme offers a wide range of online courses on most relevant human rights topics. In conjunction with a special training methodology established by the Programme these courses represent an effective tool for better understanding of the ECHR, ECtHR judgments and other relevant legal standards arising from the Council of Europe legal instruments. In the context of the current restrictions of classic forms of education and training, HELP online courses become one of the core forms of training activities implemented by the Council of Europe.

The phase III of the HELP in the Russian Federation project is a follow up and is built upon the achievements of the two previous HELP projects in the Russian Federation (phase I and II) implemented in 2015-2019. It is designed for 18 months and will last until the end of 2021. The project activities have already reached over 1400 legal professionals in various Russian regions and attracted genuine interest of the Russian judicial authorities and leading academic and professional training institutions (Russian State University of Justice under the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation, regional courts, Moscow State Institute of International Relations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, Investigative Committee Academy of the Russian Federation, Russian University of Prosecution, Russian University of Internal Affairs, Kutafin Moscow State Law University, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Kazan State University, Sankt-Petersburg State University, Federal Chamber of Lawyers, Association of Russian Lawyers).

Currently there are 35 HELP courses developed and 12 of them are already translated into Russian and adapted to the Russian legal context. There’s a pool of some 130 certified HELP trainers in Russia, who make up the significant expert resource for further training activities. Mainly trainings will be targeted at judiciary, prosecutors, investigators and other representatives of the Russian state and law-enforcement. As a response to the current situation as well as to the needs of major stakeholders, the project will continue to adapt more HELP courses to national legal context. The Project will cover a variety of topics, such as prohibition of ill-treatment and rights of detainees, including conditions of detention, right for liberty and security, international cooperation in criminal matters, right to a fair trial, effectiveness of investigation, length of proceedings, reasoning of judgments, procedural safeguards in criminal proceedings and victims’ rights.

This Project is currently the only Council of Europe project being implemented in Russia and targeting Russian legal community. It is a response to the request of the Russian authorities who are actively cooperating with the Council of Europe in order to execute the ECtHR judgments and implement the human rights standards at the national level. The format of trainings under the Project provides opportunities to shape joint discussions and maintain dialogue on important and challenging human rights issues among the key stakeholders and legal community at large.

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Contacts Contacts

Senior Project Officer
Ms. Irina VITCHINKA

Project Assistant
Ms. Maria BELYAK