Azerbaijani Defense Attorneys Attend a Workshop on Combating Domestic Violence

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June 2014

On March 29, the ABA Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI) and the Council of Europe organized a workshop on combating domestic violence for 30 Azerbaijani lawyers. The training was the second of two organized to help improve participants’ understanding of domestic violence-related laws. Azerbaijan’s domestic violence legislation is not well known among the country’s advocates, and ABA ROLI is helping to fill a crucial training gap by facilitating this workshop.

Sevinj Aliyeva and Shefa Jamalzadeh, who together wrote ABA ROLI’s 2012 lawyers’ manual on domestic violence for Azerbaijan's lawyers, the Domestic Violence Practice Manual, conducted the workshop. In addition to teaching trainees about available legal tools, the event featured hands-on activities to practice issuing protection orders in domestic violence cases. It also explored the relevance and utility of international mechanisms for combating the crime locally, including by discussing European Court of Human Rights rulings on two cases—Opuz vs. Turkey and Kontrova vs. Slovakia. The court’s rulings on these cases declared domestic violence a form of gender discrimination and highlighted state authorities’ obligation to take protective measures to prevent its occurrence.

The training concluded with a screening of and discussion on the Austrian documentary Women on the Front Line, part of a series putting a global perspective on domestic violence, telling the stories of abuse survivors with a global, and highlighting the successes in Austria’s anti-domestic violence law. ABA ROLI distributed copies of its Domestic Violence Practice Manual and videos of the first training, which took place in October 2013, to participants.

ABA ROLI’s criminal reform work in Azerbaijan is supported by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs.

To learn more about our work in Azerbaijan, contact the ABA Rule of Law Initiative at rol@americanbar.org.

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