On 16 and 17 December 2017, 20 Armenian specialists dealing with human rights protection in the military sphere improved their knowledge and skills on human rights standards in the armed forces set out in the case law of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) as well as the jurisprudence of the Court of Cassation of the Republic of Armenia.
The training, facilitated by two Council of Europe consultants, aimed at strengthening the capacity of both the staff of the Human Rights Defender (HRD) and the members of the Expert Council on Human Rights of Military Servicepersons to apply European standards in their daily activities. Among the training’s participants were the Deputy Human Rights Defender, the Head of Secretariat of the HRD, the Head of Unit for Protection of Rights of servicepersons and their family members and the Head of Research and Educational Centre as well as other staff members dealing with servicepersons’ rights issues and members of the Expert Council.
The participants were given a detailed overview of the key ECtHR cases related to human rights and freedoms in the armed forces including the two recent judgments against Armenia on Articles 2 and 3 of the Convention, Zalyan and Others and Muradyan. The notion of “citizen in uniform” as well as the autonomous concepts of “effective control” and “government agent” in military context were thoroughly discussed. Likewise, the most important decisions of the Court of Cassation regarding human rights of servicepersons were presented and analysed. A comprehensive discussion was held on the particular practical issues raised by the participants followed by case studies for the trainees.
The seminar was organised within the scope of the Project “Strengthening the application of European human rights standards in the armed forces in Armenia”, co-funded by the UK government’s Conflict, Stability and Security Fund (CSSF) and the Council of Europe and implemented by the Council of Europe.