Helsinki Citizens' Assembly-Vanadzor

2021-2022 graduates of Legal Clinic advise lawyers in the making not to miss the opportunity of participating in the project

June 13, 2022

Legal Clinic | Capacity Building | News

In April 2022, Legal Clinic - that started in October 2021 - was completed. 13 persons from Tavush, Syunik, Gegharkunik, Kotayk, Lori regions and Yerevan participated in it. The 6-month programme was conducted remotely and included budding lawyers, students and experienced trainers from the whole RA territory. Participants of this flow had three theoretical and three practical trainings regarding fundamental human rights, including freedom of conscience and thought, the rights of national minorities, the right to freedom of assembly, and the right to property. 


Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly-Vanadzor has been conducting the programme since 2013, and more than 100 lawyers have been trained in the frame of Legal Clinic, and many of them successfully use the knowledge acquired in their professional sphere.

Legal Clinic Coordinator Ani Chatinyan, who is the Legal Department Coordinator of Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly-Vanadzor, is happy to mention that the interest in the programme is growing. The graduates share their experience with their friends and acquaintances, inform them about the training, and as a result, the number of applications grows every year. The programme continues helping young lawyers to improve their professional skills in human rights protection and collection of information related to human rights.  


The graduates of this stage particularly attach importance to the involvement of experienced specialists in the programme, and the opportunity to have discussions with them and improve the skills of preparing legal documents. According to them, the theoretical knowledge acquired in the frame of the programme complements the education provided by the higher education institution, while practical trainings give an excellent opportunity to become skilled in their profession.


“Tumanyan” Law Office advocate Karen Tumanyan, who teaches in Legal Clinic and in a higher education institution, also thinks that the knowledge provided in the frame of the programme complements the education provided in a higher education institution.


VSU Faculty of Law student, Legal Clinic graduate Gohar Nazaryan attaches particular importance to the topic “Human rights and human rights protection mechanisms” studied in the theoretical phase, and the preparation of various legal documents in the practical phase, improving skills in this context, as well as getting familiar with the procedure of applying to the European Court of Human Rights.


In the frame of the project, “Protection of Rights without Borders” NGO lawyer, the RA School of Advocates lecturer Hasmik Harutyunyan taught the right to freedom of speech and human rights protection mechanisms. She attaches importance to involvement of students from various regions and of different age groups, as well as legal system workers. At the same time, she considers this diversity a challenge for the teaching process.


Project participant, lawyer Dzaynik Srapyan, who currently works in the Police, notes that the programme is special in that the participants have an opportunity to ask an unlimited number of professional questions and get answers, as well as to have active discussions with the specialists of the sphere. Dzaynik also highly appreciates the flexibility of the programme, i.e., the possibility to make suggestions around the topics


Founder-director of “Ara Ghazaryan” law office, international expert, advocate Ara Ghazaryan thinks that the project was interesting and mentions, “Despite the online format, the participants were very active in terms of interacting”. For example, the trainings on “Hate speech” were held via Q&A, an online game. A. Ghazaryan also notes that it is not possible to cover the topic in just a few trainings, as the topics are complex and concern all the branches of rights, however, it was still possible to present certain ideas. 


Due to the Legal Clinic, the sphere is replenished with specialists who value human rights and master human rights protection mechanisms.


The participants of Legal Clinic 2021-2022 will also be given certificates of participation.


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