Support for Access to Justice in Armenia

Dates:      1 October 2009 – 31 December 2012
Duration:  27 months (additional 12 months of no cost extension)
Budget:    EUR 4,157 000
Donor:      European Union with Council of Europe contribution
Partners:  Ministry of Justice, Court of Cassation, Chamber of Advocates, School of Judges,  Judicial Department

The 39-month EU/CoE Joint Project on “Support for Access to Justice in Armenia” assisted the reform of the justice sector in Armenia through institutional capacity-building, training of legal professionals and provision of legislative assistance. The project, until its completion in December 2012, was an integral part of the Council of Europe Action Plan for Armenia 2012-2014, which has been designed with the aim of supporting Armenia in the implementation of its obligations as a Council of Europe member state, including justice reforms. A follow up project is currently under discussion between Armenian authorities, the Council of Europe, and the European Union.

The main accomplishments of the project include:
a) The establishment of a School of Advocates in Armenia.
The School welcomed students for the first semester of 2012 academic year.  It will be able to provide training to 120 students per year (60 students per semester). The new premises (currently under renovation) will be able to host more students. For future it is planned to introduce a distance learning course, which will include study modules through Internet.
b)  Introduction of amendments in the Law on Advocacy that will contribute to the more efficient legal aid system in the country.
c) Revision of the Civil Code, the Civil Procedure Code, the Law on Notary, the Judicial Code, and the Criminal Code by leading European and Armenian experts who had an opportunity to exchange ideas and practices through a number of working groups organised within the project.
d) The setting up of the Armenian Electronic Notary System (AENIS)
The AENIS will provide the Armenian population with an easy online access to information of various State registries. The system aims to increase the security of real estate documents and transactions, protect property rights, decrease the overload of the courts, and enhance the quality of notary services.
e) Improved knowledge and capacities of 250 judges and around 1000 lawyers in the application of European standards and best practices in such areas as bankruptcy and combating corruption, drug trafficking, deontology and professional ethics.

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