On December 20, 2013, the ABA Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI) held an event for 25 Armenian Ministry of Education officials and university representatives in Yerevan to introduce its Trial Advocacy Skills Manual and to encourage its use in trial advocacy skills courses. The Ministry of Education approved the manual in December, clearing it for use in Armenian institutions of higher education without further vetting by individual law-school academic boards.
ABA ROLI developed the manual, along with a trial advocacy skills curriculum, to complement Armenia’s traditionally theory-based legal education by providing pragmatic guidance on the practice of law. The first of its kind in Armenia, the manual emphasizes new legal concepts in the country’s draft Criminal Procedure Code, anticipated to go into effect in May, and contains a range of practical exercises. Several of the code’s provisions would move Armenia toward a more adversarial criminal justice system, defining an increased role for defense advocates and improving human rights protections.
The manual draws upon domestic and international best practices and is designed to help students understand procedures specific to the Constitutional Court, the Court of Appeals and the European Court of Human Rights. Three universities used the manual in spring 2014 and additional universities are expected to incorporate it into their curricula in the coming year. ABA ROLI’s criminal reform work in Armenia 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 Armenia, contact the ABA Rule of Law Initiative at firstname.lastname@example.org.