A round table discussion on the draft Criminal Code of the Republic of Armenia was organised on 14 March. This was an important initiative, as it gave guests and the members of the working group tasked to draft the new Code the opportunity to benefit from exchanges with the Council of Europe experts. A significant number of issues of concern were raised, and concrete recommendations were made to harmonise a series of controversial provisions of the draft Criminal Code with the case law of the European Court of Human Rights. The goal was to reduce the possibility of interpretation that may result in a violation of the rights prescribed by the European Convention on Human Rights.
The event was chaired by Natalia Voutova, Head of the Council of Europe Office in Yerevan and welcomed Ambassador H. E. Piotr Świtalski, Head of the European Union Delegation to Armenia, Davit Harutyunyan, Minister of Justice of Armenia, and Arman Tatoyan, Human Rights Defender of Armenia, amongst other high-level guests.
This activity was organised as part of the “Supporting the criminal justice reform and combating ill-treatment and impunity in Armenia” project, funded through the European Union and Council of Europe Partnership for Good Governance.
Since 2015, the project has contributed to the reform of the criminal justice system in Armenia. In 2016, several consultation meetings took place between members of the working group and the Council of Europe experts. In 2017, the project drew up an expertise of the draft Criminal Code of Armenia, aimed at bringing the Code in compliance with the European standards deriving from the European Convention on Human Rights and relevant case law of the European Court of Human Rights. This is particularly important in the context of the fight against torture, ill-treatment and impunity. Through 2018, the project continues to support the criminal justice reform in Armenia by means of activities that facilitate the adoption and further implementation of the new criminal legislation.