On 17 May 2013, “Protection of Rights without Borders” (PRWB) NGO, within the framework of “Empowering Armenian Judiciary through Studying EU Law” project, funded by the EU Delegation to Armenia, held a workshop on the topic “EU Justice System: Need for Knowledge and Possibilities for Armenian Law Practitioners” in the RA Chamber of Advocates.

The main goal of the project was to promote awareness of EU law and the European Court of Justice in Armenia and reinforce the EU-Armenia cooperation. The target audience of the workshop included advocates and students of the RA chamber of Advocates. The main topic on the training’s agenda was the EU justice system and specifically, the European Court of Justice.

The training was delivered by EU Law expert of PRWB, Arman Sargsyan. At the beginning of his speech, Mr. Sargsyan briefly presented the history of the Court. Then, he highlighted the structure and composition of the Court. During the training, the instructor also touched upon the Court’s mission and described in full details the types of applications that can be viewed by the Court, as well as submission guidelines and entities eligible to submit such applications.

At the beginning of the course, the students did not have a clear understanding of several issues relating to the accessibility of the court in Armenia and the methods of implementation of its case law. There was even certain amount of confusion regarding the powers and functions of the Court of Justice of the European Union and European Court of Human Rights. However, in the course of the training, the participants improved their knowledge of the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice and were able to identify the legal domain, where the Court implements its activities. It should also be noted that the participants discussed and evaluated their specific role in the EU Armenia integration processes, particularly in the formation of an independent judiciary in line with best European guidelines.

The training went on very interactively as the advocates actively participated in the discussion and asked the instructor many questions on a variety of issues. At the end of the training the participants were highly satisfied with the training. According to them, the material was topical and well-delivered. Some participants observed that they received full and comprehensive answers to their questions. Many of them expressed an interest in participating in other programs and training courses of the NGO. It is also worth mentioning that one of the main components of this project was the study component. In this regard, the line of workshops for Armenian law practitioners and theorists on the topic “European Union and the European Justice System” was of especial importance.

The delivered training course was the first in the training series. PRWB is going to organize three more training courses on the topics “European Union, EU Institutions and Decision-Making Processes”, “European Human Rights Standards, EU Law and EU Judiciary” in the upcoming years. The target audience of the training courses is the RA judges and prosecutors, lectures and Law theorists, as well as members of NGOs and other concerned organizations and individuals. Another program on EU law is going to be developed by the NGO under this study component, which will be incorporated in the curriculum of higher education institutions as a result of a close cooperation between PRWB and these institutions.

Thus, the Armenian law students will be granted an opportunity to specialize in EU law – still a new field in Armenian reality – and start a career in this very prospective area.