Educational-practical training (Internship) of the 7th group of the students organized free of charge by the Educational Network of the “Integrity Action” British Non-Governmental Organization and “LEGAL ALLIANCE” Law Firm LLC, in cooperation with the Armenian Young Lawyers Association NGO and The law Foundation of Armenia, was accomplished.
The Summer Internship involved 16 participants who represented law, economics and management faculties of various universities in Yerevan. In particular:
1. Julietta Kirakosyan (Yerevan State University, Faculty of International Relations, Department of Public Administration)
2. Ani Aslanyan (Yerevan State University, Faculty of Economics)
3. Gurgen Grigoryan (Yerevan State University, Law Faculty)
4. Viktorya Muradyan (French University in Armenia, Law Faculty)
5. Irina Hovakimyan (French University in Armenia, Law Faculty)
6. Tatev Yaghjyan (French University in Armenia, Law Faculty)
7. Edgar Meyroyan (Russian-Armenian (Slavonic) University, Law Faculty)
8. Arthur Khachatryan (Russian-Armenian (Slavonic) University, Faculty of Economics)
9. Julietta Khachatryan (Armenian State University of Economics, Faculty of Economics)
10. Qnarik Yedigaryan (Armenian State University of Economics, Faculty of Regulation of Economy and International Economic Relations)
11. Tatevik Hovhannisyan (Armenian State University of Economics, Faculty of Regulation of Economy and International Economic Relations)
12. Hasmik Drnoyan (Armenian State University of Economics, Faculty of Management)
13. Ashot Atabekyan (Armenian State Pedagogical University, Law Faculty)
14. Artyom Mesropyan (Public Administration Academy of the RA, Law Faculty)
15. Arthur Makaryan (Mants University, Law Faculty)
16. Ruzanna Gziryan (European Regional Educational Academy, Law Faculty)
These students have been selected from among 80 applicants.
In the course of 40 hours` training, instead of planned 32 hours, the mentioned students were given an opportunity to take part in the ongoing activities of the “LEGAL ALLIANCE” Law Firm LLC and attend thematic lectures, they visited various state bodies, non-governmental, international and business organizations. The educational-practical training was composed of theoretical lectures, including on topics of integrity, as well as practical training, putting the accent on professionalism, ethics, accountability and aspects of anti-corruption behaviour in the above-mentioned bodies and organizations.
The group, in particular:
On 04.08.2014 the group met with Mr. Karen Zadoyan, Advocate, Managing Partner of “LEGAL ALLIANCE” Law Firm LLC; Mr. Harutyun Aleksanyan, Programme Manager, Europe & Central Asia Integrity Education “Integrity Action”, Mr. Marat Atovmyan, Responsible for the educational part of the Internship (Educational-Practical Training), expert of the “LEGAL ALLIANCE” Law Firm LLC; as well as Miss Syuzanna Soghomonyan, Coordinator of the Internship, expert of the “LEGAL ALLIANCE” Law Firm LLC.
During the meeting Mr. Zadoyan introduced the goals and objectives of the internship (Educational-Practical Training), the steps and best practices towards the insertion of integrity principles in Armenia, as well as the results expected by the organizers from the participants.
Mr. Aleksanyan introduced detailed information on the history of the “Integrity Action” International Non-Governmental Organization, its mission, values, all activity directions and referred to the aim of the Internship (Educational-Practical Training) as well.
Mr. Marat Atovmyan introduced to the students’ attention the curricula of the internship, the methodology and organizational issues.
Miss Syuzanna Soghomonyan introduced the history of “LEGAL ALLIANCE” Law Firm, its values, principles and directions of its activities and attached special importance to the role and importance of professional ethics.
The Educational-Practical Training (Internship) was divided into several phases.
During the first theoretical phase different lectures on integrity and films on accountability, transparency, competence, ethics and anti-corruption behavior issues were introduced. Mr. Marat Atovmyan, Responsible for the educational part of the Internship (Educational-Practical Training), expert of the “LEGAL ALLIANCE” Law Firm LLC and Miss Syuzanna Soghomonyan, Coordinator of the Internship, expert of the “LEGAL ALLIANCE” Law Firm LLC presented respectively interesting lectures.
On August 4, the first lecture was given by Mr. Marat Atovmyan who introduced to the participants the concept of integrity and its components, definitions and special features of corruption and effective governance, as well as the concept of transparency and issues of its application. The participants also did some practical work throughout which they solved the given situational problems.
On Second day – August 5, the lectures were devoted to the characteristics and regulations of the integrity-component ethics and anti-corruption behavior. Mr Atovmyan presented to the participants the practice of application of these two components in Armenia. Afterwards, participants formed groups and did some practical work in order to further strengthen the knowledge gained.
The third day – August 6 exclusively included practical work in order to deepen and develop the theoretical knowledge gained. The issues of corruption, good governance and transparency were distributed among the participants who were assigned to present their own and well-grounded solution options.
On August 7 Syuzanna Soghomonyan gave a lecture which was devoted to the accountability – the most important component of integrity. Syuzanna introduced to the participants the concept and characteristics of accountability, the international and national practice of its application. Afterwards, the participants were introduced to three films on accountability. After watching the films, each of the participants expressed their own opinion, then there was also a debate followed by topic-related practical work.
On August 11 lecture was devoted to the last component of the integrity – competence. Syuzanna presented to the participants the concept of competence and issues of its application in Armenia – introducing also the international practice. The participants watched 2 movies and did some practical work followed by a heated discussion.
In the second phase, the participants had a series of meetings with the representatives and leaders of national and international, non-governmental and business organizations. The meetings were held in an interactive manner and the students had the opportunity to freely express their thoughts and ask lots of questions.
On August 11 the first meeting took place. The participants were hosted by Armen Abrahamyan, head of the state service on social security of the RA Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs. During the meeting Mr. A. Abrahamyan introduced to the participants the recent reforms, putting the accent on the resulting activities towards ensuring transparency and accountability. The pension reforms and the social approach to them presented an especially high interest among the participants. The established electronic base was also introduced, which allows controlling the process of the citizens` cases. The participants were given a great opportunity to present the questions and concerns on the issues existing in this sphere.
On August 12 the students visited the RA Ministry of Justice SNCO “Special Creative Center for juvenile offenders”, were introduced to the activities of the center, its functions, projects, especially to the reintegration issues of juvenile convicts. Additionally, the issues of professionalism, ethics, accountability and anti-corruption behaviour have been discussed. During the discussions the students presented suggestions and their mechanisms for problem resolutions, as well as expressed their readiness in working with juveniles and voluntary assistance in foreign language trainings.
The Second meeting on August 12 was devoted to the application of integrity principles in the public sector. A meeting took place with the staff of the Swiss Alumni Association. Each staff member presented their functions and framework of competences, noting in particular the importance of transparency, ethics and competence while implementing their functions.
The last meeting scheduled for August 12 was with Mr. Ara Vardanyan, Director of Hayastan All-Armenian Fund. He spoke about financing, donors and the main directions of the fund’s activities. The students, asked questions about funding and implementation processes of the programs, as well as the procedures of selection of specific priority projects. Mr. Vardanyan also spoke about ensuring transparency of the activities and selection of the staff. At the end, the participants received the annual reports of Hayastan All-Armenian Fund.
On August 13 a meeting was held in the RA Ministry of Justice. The meeting was composed of two parts. During the first part the interns took part on the voluntary basis in the public awareness campaign of the ministry. During the campaign the students organized an action when they put the numbers of the ministry`s rapid response hotlines on bank account blocking issues on the car windscreens, as well as distributed to the drivers.
In the second part a meeting took place with Norayr Balayan, head of the legal security department of the Ministry system. He briefly presented the Ministry structure, functions, ways of work organization in terms of integrity. Mr Balayan spoke about the aims of program and institutional reforms of the Ministry, in particular the inserting procedures of electronic governance system and institute of probational service in the sphere of notariats. The students were interested in the conditions of keeping convicted people, to which Norayr Balayan noted that “Armavir” Criminal-Executive Institution would be opened soon, and problems would be resolved in a phase manner. In response to the suggestion of the students to make the connection with the ministry closer as possible, Mr Balayan noted that the ministry was always open and encouraged the cooperation with interested people and experts.
On August 14 Marat Atovmyan presented to the internship participants` attention the procedures of integrity principle applications in international organizations. During the lecture the participants were introduced to the measures undertaken by international institutions, directed at ensuring each integrity principle. The participants had an opportunity to freely present their opinions and engage in active discussions. After the meeting the internship participants had visits to international organizations.
The first visit was to the UN Mission in Armenia, where they met with Ms Armine Halajyan, Officer of Department of Public Information. Ms Halajyan introduced the UN structure and functions, and referred to the issues of ensuring integrity in the UN organizations. She particularly referred to the competence and accountability components. The interns asked a lot of questions to Ms Halajyan. At the end the participants received some publications of the UN.
The second meeting of the day was scheduled with Gohar Avagyan, Officer of Public Relations of the OSCE Yerevan Office. Mrs. Gohar firstly spoke about the general activities of the OSCE Yerevan office, and then particularly presented the activities to ensure integrity. The necessity and prehistory of establishing OSCE office in Yerevan, its values and main directions of activities, as well as the staff selection procedures, transparency and accountability of the projects implemented have been introduced. The participants had an opportunity to raise all their questions.
On August 13 a meeting was organized with Emma Ghazaryan, head of external affairs department of the H2 TV Company. She introduced the main characteristics of the TV Company activities, policy Interesting discussions on transparency and accountability issues of the TV Company were held. Emma Ghazaryan presented the company’s past, current and future planned large-scale projects. Participants also visited several pavilions where they got acquainted with how filming and broadcasting were done.
August 19 was fully devoted to the display of integrity in the non-governmental and business sphere. The interns had a meeting with Gerasim Barseghyan, head of “Mediamodel” company. Mr Barseghyan spoke about his work behaviour, selection of co-workers and right conduct of cases. He also introduced to the participants his approaches on ethics and competences.
The second meeting of the day was with Marina Tashjyan, head of legal department of the “BTA” bank. During the meeting Marina presented the bank policy in the sphere of integrity, ensuring the transparency and accountability of the bank activities, displaying anti-corruption behavior.
Third and fourth meetings took place at the US Alumni Association office. Firstly, the founder of “ARMACAD” non-governmental organization, Khachik Gevorgyan presented the approaches of his institution towards accountability and transparency and adopted values, evaluations by the interested parties, and answered to the questions of the interns. Afterwards, Alexander Shagafyan, Executive Director of Armenian Center for Democratic Education-CIVITAS presented the objectives and directions of the non-governmental organization and the implemented activities.
During the internship the students have been assigned to present practical team works on integrity about concrete themes, by dividing the students into three groups. Team works gave an opportunity to also develop the participants` abilities of team work and analysis.
On August 20 the closing ceremony of the 7th Educational-practical training (Internship) took place, where Mr. Karen Zadoyan, Advocate, Managing Partner of “LEGAL ALLIANCE” Law Firm LLC; Mr. Harutyun Aleksanyan, Programme Manager, Europe & Central Asia Integrity Education “Integrity Action”, gave speeches. Karen Zadoyan spoke about the Educational-practical training (Internship) and results obtained. Afterwards the Educational-practical training (Internship) students presented the practical group works relating to these themes:
1. Implementation of Constitutional-legal reforms in the RA in terms of integrity (group 1).
2. The process of Armenia`s membership to the Customs Union in terms of integrity (group 2).
3. Pension reforms in terms of integrity (group 3).
Active discussions took place after which the participants were awarded with participation certificates. At the end of the ceremony the students were given an opportunity to express their ideas and words of gratitude.