The Europe in Law Association accomplishes its mission of strengthening and disseminating the values proclaimed by the advanced States among the bodies of public administration, local self-government, the judiciary, the wider jurist community, the civil society and the larger public by capacity building on individual, institutional and societal levels. The ELA’s capacity building activities on both individual and institutional levels aim to develop conditions allowing individuals to build and enhance their knowledge of human rights and the European integration processes to better participate in decision-making at both domestic and European levels.
A good example of such a capacity-building initiative is the ELA’s recent assistance to a number of individual Armenian journalists in enhancing their knowledge of the right to freedom of expression as reflected in the European Convention on Human Rights and as interpreted by the European Court of Human Rights. Apart from such major initiatives, the ELA has been engaged in capacity building with individual organizations as demonstrated by the successful co-operation the ELA has established with the NGO Investigative Journalists by providing ongoing advice to the organization’s journalistic team. Apart from the media, the ELA’s capacity building on an institutional level has targeted another two important institutions of the Armenian legal reality – the Armenian Bar Chamber and the Armenian judiciary.
Having conducted a thorough assessment of the needs and assets of the above institutions, the ELA has identified an important training gap that needs speedy action if everyone within the jurisdiction of the Armenian State is to enjoy fully and unequivocally his/her right to freedom of expression – the media law standards. Insufficient knowledge and understanding of these standards has in most cases resulted in inadequate level of protection of the fundamental human right to freedom of expression in Armenia.
To address this gap, the ELA’s team has designed a workshop for barristers and judges similar to the one it has previously conducted for the media workers. In the course of this workshop, the above stakeholders will be acquainted in more detail with the relevant media law standards.
Apart from the ELA’s team, participation of a number of renowned media law experts from the Council of Europe countries will be secured to enable the Armenian judges and barristers to engage in a professional and mutually beneficial exchange on the freedom of expression discourse in Europe. The capacity building in the area of the right to freedom of expression has been just a good start for the ELA. We extend a helping hand to all the interested parties across the whole spectrum of the ELA’s priorities which includes the right to a fair trial, freedom from torture, the right to privacy, the right to freedom of assembly, the processes of European integration, etc.