From November 6–8, the ABA Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI) in Armenia held a legal education reform conference featuring clinical training, training of street law trainers, and discussions on forming an association of legal clinics and on the implementation of a human rights course. A total of 50 third and fourth-year law students, who provide pro bono services at five ABA ROLI-supported law school legal clinics, along with clinic directors, supervising advocates and law professors, took part in the trainings and discussions in Tsakhkadzor.
Liana Haroyan, ABA ROLI legal education reform senior staff attorney, Ruben Melikyan, a law professor at Yerevan State University, and Gohar Hovsepyan, street law training methodologist and president of the Civic Education Project, a local non-governmental organization, conducted the clinical training and street law training of trainers sessions. Students contributed to discussions by reporting on their experiences in serving the public.
The trainings will help students provide better face-to-face and telephone consultations and be more effective when participating in traveling lawyer programs.
The street law training of trainers covered legal issues, including the right to liberty and security, freedom of speech, the right to personal security and life and the right to fair trial. It also addressed methodologies that would enhance the trainees’ effectiveness in teaching teenage schoolchildren. Street law training materials including relevant sections of the European Convention on Human Rights, the Armenian Constitution and event presentations were distributed to the trainees. Between December 2009 and February 2010, each trainee will conduct human rights trainings at select geographically diverse high schools.
During the event, supervising advocates and directors from five legal clinics outlined steps for forming an association. Attending law professors joined legal clinic supervisors to discuss developing a human rights course and improving current human rights curricula in Armenian law schools.
To learn more about our work in Armenia, contact the ABA Rule of Law Initiative at <[email protected]>.