ECHR has today notified a judgment on Manucharyan v. Armenia case

ECHR picOn 24 November 2016 the European Court on Human Rights unanimously held that there has been a violation of Article 6 § 1 read in conjunction with Article 6 § 3 (d) of the Convention regarding Spartak Manucharyan v. Armenia case (Application no. 35688/11).

The case was brought to the ECHR by the expert of “Center for Strategic Litigations” NGO Tatevik Matinyan and Edmon Marukyan.

On 1 July 2009 criminal proceedings were instituted on account of the murder of K.S. who had been shot dead at 1.30 a.m. that day in the town of Alaverdi. The applicant presented himself to the police later that day, surrendered a gun and confessed to the murder. The applicant was charged the same day with murder and illegal possession of firearms. On the same date the police interviewed K.M., who was K.S.’s girlfriend and had been present at the scene of the murder. She stated that it had been the applicant, her neighbour, who, after yelling and swearing, had started to shoot at K.S.’s car moments after she had got out of it. On 3 July 2009 the applicant was questioned. He denied the charges and refused to testify. On 14 January 2010 the applicant’s brother, V.M., was killed. At an additional questioning on 9 March 2010, the applicant stated that he had confessed to the murder to cover up for his brother, who had a newborn baby and took care of their parents. The applicant stated that there was no longer any need to cover up for V.M. because he was dead.

The Regional Court thereafter held at least three more hearings – on 7 September, and 21 and 22 October 2010, each time making decisions to order the absent witnesses, including K.M., to attend. According to certificates delivered by the police on 20 and 25 October 2010, K.M. was absent from her place of residence when the police visited. The certificate of 20 October 2010 stated that S.M. told the police that her daughter was abroad. The Regional Court eventually examined the applicant’s case in K.M.’s absence.

On 4 November 2010 the Regional Court found the applicant guilty as charged and sentenced him to thirteen years’ imprisonment. The applicant is currently detained at Nubarashen Prison.

European Court on Human Rights ruling the violation also stated that … the absence of good reasons for the non-attendance of a witness could not, of itself, be conclusive of the lack of fairness of a trial, although it remained a very important factor to be weighed in the balance when assessing the overall fairness, and one which might tip the balance in favour of finding a breach of Article 6 §§ 1 and 3 (d). Furthermore, given that its concern was to ascertain whether the proceedings as a whole were fair, the Court had not only to review the existence of sufficient counterbalancing factors in cases where the evidence of the absent witness was the sole or the decisive basis for the applicant’s conviction, but also in cases where it found it unclear whether the evidence in question was sole or decisive but nevertheless was satisfied that it carried significant weight and its admission might have handicapped the defence. The extent of the counterbalancing factors necessary in order for a trial to be considered fair depends on the weight of the evidence of the absent witness. The more important that evidence, the more weight the counterbalancing factors would have to carry in order for the proceedings as a whole to be considered fair (see Seton v. the United Kingdom, no. 55287/10, § 59, 31 March 2016).

The court also held that the respondent State is to pay the applicant, within three months of the date on which the judgment becomes final in accordance with Article 44 § 2 of the Convention, EUR 2,400 as well as in addition, the Court considers it necessary to point out that a judgment in which it finds a violation of the Convention or its Protocols imposes on the respondent State a legal obligation not just to pay those concerned the sums awarded by way of just satisfaction, if any, but also to choose, subject to supervision by the Committee of Ministers, the general and/or, if appropriate, individual measures to be adopted in its domestic legal order to put an end to the violation found by the Court and make all feasible reparation for its consequences in such a way as to restore as far as possible the situation existing before the breach (see Scozzari and Giunta v. Italy [GC], nos. 39221/98 and 41963/98, § 249, ECHR 2000‑VIII; Ilaşcu and Others v. Moldova and Russia [GC], no. 48787/99, § 487, ECHR 2004‑VII; and Lungoci v. Romania, no. 62710/00, § 55, 26 January 2006). In the case of a violation of Article 6 of the Convention, the applicant should as far as possible be put in the position he would have been in had the requirements of that provision not been disregarded (see, mutatis mutandisSejdovic v. Italy [GC], no. 56581/00, § 127, ECHR 2006‑II, and Yanakiev v. Bulgaria, no. 40476/98, § 89, 10 August 2006). The Court notes in this connection that Articles 426.1 and 426.4 of the Code of Criminal Procedure allow the reopening of the domestic proceedings if the Court has found a violation of the Convention or its Protocols (see paragraphs 38 and 39 above). As the Court has already held on previous occasions, in cases such as the present one, the most appropriate form of redress would, as a rule, be to reopen the proceedings in due course and re-examine the case in keeping with all the requirements of a fair trial (seeGabrielyan v. Armenia, no. 8088/05, § 104, 10 April 2012).{“languageisocode”:[“ENG”],”documentcollectionid2″:[“JUDGMENTS”],”itemid”:[“001-168860”]}

The chairperson of CSL NGO held a presentation during seminar on Strategic Litigation – study visit to the Council of Europe from the Kyrgyz Republic

123On July 10, 2015 Tatevik Matinyan acting as a Venice Commission expert at the meeting of the Council of Europe and shared her expertise (holding a presentation and acting as a panelist) in strategic litigation for the benefit of a group of NGO representatives from Kyrgyzstan traveled to Strasbourg, France, for a seminar on the topic of Strategic Litigations between 8 and 11 July 2015, organised by the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe.

She presented the theory of planning and conducting strategic litigations supported by cases implemented by the experts of CSL. The presentation was followed by question/answer penal where Mrs. Matinyan also shared with the professional experience and advice on how to make strategic litigations a very effective tool for human rights organizations.

In accordance with the press release made by the Venice Commission representatives of NGOs, academia and journalists of the Kyrgyz Republic learned about the experience from several European countries on strategic litigation as well as about the Venice Commission’s practice of amicus curiae briefs. Strategic litigation is bringing carefully-selected public interest cases – often human rights cases – to a court on behalf of an individual, where the goal is to promote the interests of a wider group.
This seminar was a part of a study visit to the Council of Europe and the European Court of Human Rights, which enabled the participants to follow closely the work of the Venice Commission, the Parliamentary Assembly, judges and lawyers of the ECtHR and other parts of the Council of Europe.
These events were organised jointly with the UNDP office in Bishkek in the framework of the project “Support to the Kyrgyz authorities in improving the quality and efficiency of the Kyrgyz Constitutional justice system” with funding provided by the European Union.

How to Make a Video Essay

How to Make a Video Essay

Making a video essay may seem intimidating, especially if you have never done any video work before. But it is easier than it seems when you follow a few helpful tricks from team at Essay Basics.

To get started, first decide on your argument. Ideally, this should just be one sentence. Write it down and make sure to refer to it several times in the video but do not be afraid to modify it as you go through the entire essay.

You should also consider the type of video essay that you want to make. Is it a simple voice over? An image with texts? Or a supercut. Start small and do not try to do something too complicated all at once. Begin with simple ideas and use a limited number of materials at the beginning until you are confident that you can add more.

Argue your thesis creatively and engagingly. It is not just your opinions or the facts that you present that will make people pay attention to your video essay. Those who are very successful in doing video essays know how to entertain. These are channels like “the Nerdwriter” and “The School of Life” which is a philosophy channel. They are also well-informed. Break down your points and discuss them one by one. Answer a few questions that you think are important in a specific subject. Analyze the key points. Remember the questions that you listed and keep going back to them as you go through the video.

Make sure that your video essay is also well-researched. It should be multimodal. Aside from Google and sites like YouTube, use other supporting academic materials which you may find in your local library. Include documentaries, reviews, or information from other video essays. But lastly, make sure you include your references so you do not get into any legal trouble and copyright issues.

Keep exploring innovative ways of conveying critical ideas. Use still and moving images, spoken texts, music, split screens, and slow motion videos.


Presentation of the “Report on the results of monitoring over implementation of recommendations of the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) by the RA”

On May 29, 2012 the “Center for Strategic Litigations” HR NGO organized the presentation of the “Report on the results of monitoring over implementation of recommendations of the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) by the RA” which reflected the outcomes and the results of the monitoring and research process carried out in the frame of a project supported by Counterpart International Armenia and US AID. The aim of the event was to present the results of the monitoring in this way drawing the public attention towards the course of implementation of international obligations committed by the State.
In the frames of this project CPT Delegation reports prepared in the result of visits have been studied in detail and recommendations found there have been outlined. Afterwards, the responses submitted by the RA Government were thoroughly observed and information requests have been sent to all corresponding institutions of the Republic of Armenia aiming to obtain additional information about the CPT recommendations implementation progress.
Among the attendants were representatives from Counterpart International Armenia, Group of Observers implementing public surveillance, and other NGO members and journalists.
The report may be useful for the Office of RA Ombudsman, observation groups implementing public supervision over closed and semi-closed institutions of RA, employees of closed and semi-closed institutions, lawyers, NGOs and individuals working in the field of human rights, as well as international organizations.

Download Report PDF File (CPT Report Analysis eng)