The Council of Europe has launched training for trainers of Armenian lawyers and human rights defenders in applying the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and the Revised European Social Charter (RESC), looking in particular at anti-discrimination standards. The first three-day training session in a series of four, is taking place in Yerevan.
Thirty lawyers and human rights defenders were selected for training via competition. These professionals will pass a final test at the end of the four sessions and thereafter form a pool of trainers, equipped with specific expertise in anti-discrimination law. They will pass on their knowledge to groups of lawyers and human rights defenders, training them to apply human rights standards in Armenian cases. Armenian lawyers and human rights defenders will be better able to make well-founded applications to the European Court of Human Rights.
Mr Oleksandr Pavlyuk, the Council of Europe’s Head of Office in Yerevan, pointed to the potential impact of training of trainers. “I believe that the acquired knowledge on the European understanding of discrimination and specifics of admissibility issues in discrimination cases will significantly improve the quality of applications sent to the European Court of Human Rights” stressed Mr Pavlyuk.
The Head of the EU Delegation to Armenia, Ambassador Traian Hristea, noted that appropriate response to discrimination cases is of high importance to the European Union and expressed hope that lawyers and human rights defenders will benefit from this learning opportunity.
Mr Ara Zohrabyan, the Chairman of the Chamber of Advocates of Armenia, highlighted the importance of identifying of new trainers and raising their knowledge of the concept of discrimination as provided for by the European Convention on Human Rights. “I am very confident that the future trainers will be able to take full advantage of this unique opportunity, which will greatly contribute to the effective litigation of discrimination cases on the domestic level” said Mr Zorabyan.
The activity is organised in the framework of the Council of Europe and European Union Joint Programme “Strengthening the capacity of lawyers and human rights defenders for domestic application of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and of the Revised European Social Charter (RESC)”. It is a regional Project running in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova, the Russian Federation and Ukraine.