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 Report - Report on Human Rights Summer School (AYLU)

 Report date: 07.09.2004

Report on the Human Rights Summer School

9-20 August 2004

Baku, Crescent Beach Hotel

Organised by the Azerbaijan Young Lawyers Union (AYLU) in cooperation with the Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law (RWI)

Resource persons provided by RWI:

Assistant Prof. Karol Nowak (RWI),

Mr. Oldrich Andrysek (UNHCR Head office),

Ms. Emma Melander Borg (RWI).

Resource persons provided by AYLU:

Nadir Adilov Chairman of AYLU,

Mahir Safarli UNHCR Baku,

Parvana Bayramova National Expert, Director of the Legal Clinic of Azerbaijan University,

Elvin Aliyev National Legal Expert,

Gunay Mammadova Expert on women rights and gender issues,

Durdana Mammadova Head of the HR Dept. of Constitutional Court,

Sahib Mammadov Director of the Citizens Labour Rights Protection League,

Emma Melander Borg RWI,

Elnur Nasibov Legal expert, NRC Baku,

Elmira Souleymanova Human Rights Commisioner (Ombudsman) of Azerbaijan,

Ramil Isgandarov Project Coordinator / AYLU,

Elmari Mamishov Deputy Chairman of AYLU.

Background

This report summarizes an initial training course, during which the participants were educated in the international human rights instruments to which Azerbaijan is bound, with particular focus on the European Convention on Human Rights (ratified by Azerbaijan in 2001) and on those provisions of most concern to Azerbaijan (liberty and security of the person, freedom of expression and of the press, right to privacy, right to a fair trial and more) and the complaint procedures of the European Court of Human Rights. The course also included the International Covenants on Civil and Political Rights (ratified by Azerbaijan in 1992) and the Human Rights Committee, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and its Committee. Human rights of women and national human rights institutions (Ombudsman) were also included in the course.

Objectives of the Human Rights Summer School

The main objectives of the human rights winter school are:

Establishing a culture of summer schools on human rights in Azerbaijan.

To improve the knowledge of European and international human rights standards and complaint mechanisms as well as of the national human rights protection mechanisms such as the Ombudsman institutions among the Azerbaijani population and among young lawyers in particular.

To train law students as well as young lawyers on the European Convention on Human Rights and on how to deal with the complaint mechanism of the European Court of Human Rights, in order to enable them to promote and protect human rights in Azerbaijan

To reinforce the network between academia, legal practitioners and NGO representatives in Azerbaijan.

The RWI contributed with the two main publications for the course:

Nowak, Introduction to the International Human Rights Regime, Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, Leiden, 2003

Jacobs and White, European convention on human rights (3rd ed.), Oxford University Press, 2002

Participants

In total approximately 120 people applied for the training and 24 were finally selected for the course. 12 of the participants were women. Except for law students, participants were included from the public sector, international organisations, practicing lawyers, NGOs, academia and the media.

The average age among the participants was approximately 23,7 years. The female participants were very inactive and quiet during the first couple of days, which changed later during the course, leaving an impression of approximately equal activity from the male and the female participants.

The language of the course was English, Russian and Azeri, and as the group was mixed consecutive translation was provided throughout the course.

Contents and Structure

The duration of the course was two full weeks. The seminar was divided into one theoretical section (International Human Rights Law, ECHR and the legal and factual human rights situation of Azerbaijan) and one practical section (moot court).

RWI contributed with academic input on international human rights system (Mr. Oldrich Andrysek) and on ECHR (Assistant professor Karol Nowak). The AYLU contributed with national experts on the legal and factual situation of Azerbaijan.

The theoretical section lasted for seven workdays. The course clearly focused on the ECHR and the articles considered as particularly important to Azerbaijan. The articles of the ECHR that were selected by AYLU were: i) prohibition of torture (article 3), ii) the right to liberty and security (article 5), iii) the rights to a fair trial (article 6), iv) the right to respect for private and family life (article 8), v) freedom of expression (article 10), and vi) the protection of property (protocol 1 article 1). Also, for many of the participants their previous knowledge of human rights was very limited. Thus, the course also provided a general background to the concept of human rights and the international human rights system. The Azeri human rights legislation and its implementation was also put under scrutiny and greatly discussed.

Opening Ceremony

The opening ceremony had been conducted on August 9. There were more that 20 guests from Ombudsman Office, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Education, NGOs, Embassies and international organizations, Courts and Mass Media.

At the opening ceremony the Human Rights Commissioner (Ombudsman) of Azerbaijan Ms. Elmira Souleymanova, The Head of the Human Rights Section of the Constitutional Court Ms. Durdana Mammadova, Representative of the Ministry of Education Mr. A. Ibrahimov, Expert from Parliament Mr. Namig Aliyev, The Ambassador of France in Azerbaijan Mr. R. Blattman, The Ambassador of OSCE in Azerbaijan Mr. M. Pavesi, The Country Representative of UNHCR Mr. Bohdan Nahajlo, representative from US Embassy Y. Hrabi, representative from Norwegian Embassy - S. Brakka, representative from Turkish Embassy S. Ozaydin were participated and made a speech during the opening ceremony.

Lectures

After the introductory section of the first day, Mr. Andrysek introduced the human rights concept and international human rights law, explaining the historical developments behind the universal declaration, the ICCPR and the ICESCR. He stressed the protection that the human rights system offers to individual minority needs. Of particular relevance to the participants was that he discussed the conflict between corruption and human rights. It was also highlighted that violations of human rights can be a direct cause of international conflicts. The first day also included an introduction to the ECHR and the European court, and how it relates to the UN system. ECHR was introduced as a much more efficient instrument than any of the instruments of the UN. The preconditions for getting your case admitted to the European court were outlined (is it a violation of human rights, are all domestic remedies exhausted and is the complaint logged within six months after the last ruling?). The first day also included a session on the Azeri legislation on human rights. The Azeri constitution of 1999 was introduced as being in accordance with the human rights instruments signed by the country.

The week continued with sessions on ICCPR and the human rights committee and on ICESCR and its committee, and the differences between the instruments and their committees were outlined. Mr. Andrysek had worked for some time screening cases for the human rights committee, why he could tell interesting first hand stories about the committee and its cases. The selected articles of ECHR (the first two being article 3, prohibition of torture, and article 5, the right to liberty and security) were elaborated in some detail by Mr. Nowak. This first session on the articles of ECHR was to some extent devoted to general questions regarding the ECHR and the court. Among other things, it was explained that ECHR is a minimum standard, i.e. that national legislation always applies if it provides a better protection than ECHR. The articles were also introduced as relative to some extent, as they are often weighed against each other. This however is not the case in relation to article 3; torture can never be allowed.

The Azeri national system for the protection of human rights was outlined for the course participants. Firstly, the court system was elaborated, with particular emphasis on the constitutional court and on some peculiarity of its status in relationship to the court system. Secondly, the ombudsman institution was introduced, starting with a general lecture by Mr. Andrysek on the Paris principles (principles relating to the status and functioning of national institutions for protection and promotion of human rights) and National Institutions (ombudsman institutions). This lecture was followed by a Ombudsman of Azerbaijan by Ms. Elmira Souleymanova, when it was explained that any applicant to the European Court does not have to first apply to the ombudsman institution in order to be admitted to the European Court. The ombudsman institution is thus not conceived as the last national remedy, as it cant change court decisions. The presentation came to focus instead on the position of the ombudsman institution on the latest political developments. An important note on the Azeri ombudsman institution is that they submitted the first report last year, introduced to the parliament in 2003.

The lecture on womens rights in Azeri legislation was given by Ms. Gunay Mammadova. The gender neutrality of the constitution and the national legislation was highlighted, as was the establishment of the State Committee on womens issues. The national action plan for the improvement of womens situation in Azerbaijan was mentioned. Positive discrimination of women in certain circumstances was discussed as a remedy, but dismissed by the group as discriminatory against men. An extended discussion followed the lectures, during which the use in Azerbaijan of the rights represented by the CEDAW convention was questioned by a section of the group.

UNHCR made an important contribution to the course by sending one of their trainers, Mr. Mahir Safarli, which held the session on the international instruments for the protection of refugees and asylum seekers, followed by a lecture on the legal and factual situation of IDPs in Azerbaijan, by Mr. Elnur Nasibov from Norwegian Refugee Council. As Azerbaijan has one million refugees and IDPs, mainly due to a war that was lost to Armenia, this topic is important and sensitive and surrounded by rumours and misunderstandings. Thus, the support of UNHCR and NRC on this issue deserves special recognition. The presentations were met by great interest by the participants and a heated discussion on the domestic situation.

After the first couple of days the course came to focus only on ECHR and on Azeri legislation and reality in comparison to the provisions of the selected ECHR articles. Mr. Nowak gave lectures on articles 6 (right to a fair trial), 8 (right to respect for private and family right), 10 (freedom of expression) and protocol 1 article 1 (protection of property). This part of the course was also preparing the participants for the practical part of the course.

Study visit to the Children and Women Prison

Its a first at the history of the human rights education in Azerbaijan, that the participants of the Summer School on Human Rights (24 people) had a practical visit to the Children and Women prison in Baku. The visit had been conducted on August 12 after the lectures on women rights. At the evaluation list the participants noted the great role of the visit on practical understanding of the women rights issues. International and national experts also joined the group for study visit.

Moot Court

The practical section of the course consisted of a moot court exercise, which lasted for three days. It was supervised by Mr. Nowak with support from Mr. Elvin Aliyev. To cases were selected, based on real cases from the European Court. The moot court was designed to allow for every participant to represent the state in one case and to represent the applicant in the next, with the purpose of getting him or her acquainted with the reasoning of both sides. The participants got one and a half day to prepare their cases, during which they worked independently in their groups, with support from Mr. Nowak. Their reference material consisted of the three above-mentioned publications, provided by the RWI.

There was also competition component added to the course in comparison with the last Winter School. 3 students who had a best performance awarded with the Diploma from Mr. Nowak and Aliyev.

The course finished with an evaluation session of the moot court, after which the overall course was evaluated both orally and in written form.

A general note on the seminar is that the group was very active and participative. Many of the lectures continued long after schedule to leave room for comments and discussions.

Evaluation

Participants were requested to written evaluations at the end of the course and included suggestions on what they would like to see addressed in the next seminar, which will be arranged in the summer of 2005 When assessing the course, the majority of the participants expressed that the course had fulfilled their expectations to a great extent and considered they had been provided with the information they were hoping to attend prior to attendance. Many noted that they thought that the seminar had been just the right length. Suggestions were given for topics to improve at the next human rights school, such as to increase the topic on refugee and IDPs rights, to add the topics on religious rights and freedom of association, the history of human rights, European Human Rights Case Law, comparative analyzing of national and international human rights legislation, the other regional (beside Europe) human rights mechanisms, children and minority rights, migration, disability rights.

There was a question in evaluation that what difficulties the participants can faced in applying the newly acquired knowledge and experience in their present occupation and future activity. It was bad that some participants think that the difficulties could be:

The problem to have a time to read all the books provided at the summer school.

Im afraid that Ill not be able to implement my knowledge to protect human rights because of bad situation in this sphere in Azerbaijan.

Very bad level of implementation of the laws on human rights in Azerbaijan.

Reality of difficulties at local level

Concerning the practical arrangements the majority of the participants emphasized that they appreciated with the conditions.

The list of participants for the Summer School

No

Participant

Organization

1

Laman Yusifova

Ombudsman Office

2

Khanlar Khandjanov

Ombudsman Office

3

Rashad Azizov

Constitutional Court

4

Fidan Mammadova

Baku State University, student

5

Afasane Huseynova

Baku Slavyan University

6

Rufat Mustafayev

National Academy of Sciences

7

Gunel Aslanova

Baku State University

8

Dadash Farhadov

Baku State University

9

Khamis Seyranov

Baku State University

10

Arif Ahmadov

Baku Human Rights School

11

Ayan Musayeva

Economic University

12

Gunay Ismayilova

Court of Appeal

13

Fuad Hasanov

Against violence Human Rights Center

14

Konul Zeynalova

Azerfrans company

15

Vugar Mammadov

Independent lawyer

16

Parviz Tahmazov

Khazar University

17

Sabina Yolchuyeva

ADISAD law firm

18

Fatma Abdullayev

National Academy of Sciences

19

Elnur Ismayilov

Trade Union Confederation

20

Kamal Alizade

Baku State University

21

Sabina Aliyeva

ABA CEELI

22

Sevindj Aliyeva

Instructor in criminal law

23

Sadiga Mehdiyeva

AYLU

24

Ismayil Allahverdiyev

Corporation University

COMPREHENSIVE INFORMATION ABOUT THE BOOKS PRESENTED BY NGOS AND INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS FUNCTIONING IN AZERBAIJAN TO THE PARTICIPANTS OF HUMAN RIGHTS SUMMER SCHOOL ORGANIZED BY AZERBAIJAN YOUNG LAWYERS UNION AND RAOUL WALLENBERG INSTITUTE

in August 9-20, 2004

 

PUBLICATIONS MADE BY AZERBAIJAN YOUNG LAWYERS UNION WITH FINANCIAL AID OF VARIOUS DONORS

Books, Journals, Booklets

In Azerbaijani

Statute of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

General Overview of the Functions of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

Convention on the Rights of the Child

Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment

UNHCR Manual on Refugee Protection and the European Convention on Human Rights

Handbook on Procedures and Criteria for Determining Refugee Status

Commentary to the Regulations on Commission on the Juveniles Protection

Juvenile Justice

Young Lawyer Journal 1st issue

Young Lawyer Journal 2nd and 3rd issues

Memory booklet titled Protect your rights!

Memory booklet titled How to apply to the European Court of Human Rights?

Memory booklet titled How to apply to the Constitutional Court?

Memory booklet titled Intrastate mechanisms of Human Rights Protection

UNITED NATIONS HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR REFUGEES

In Azerbaijani

Legislation on Refugees and Asylum Seekers Collection of normative legal acts.

European Convention on Citizenship and explanatory note

Booklet dedicated to the World Refugee Day: Role of NGOs in Work with Refugees and Asylum Seekers

In English

Journal about Refugees

In Russian

Journal about Refugees

Journal about Refugees

OFFICE OF THE HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR NATIONAL MINORITIES

In Azerbaijani

The Hague Recommendations on the Rights of National Minorities and explanatory note

The Oslo Recommendations on the Rights of National Minorities and explanatory note

 

INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEE OF THE RED CROSS

In Azerbaijani

International Humanitarian Law. An introduction.

The International Committee of the Red Cross

Principles and Development of International Humanitarian Law

Collection of Exercises on International Humanitarian Law

The Geneva Conventions of August 12, 1949 and additional Protocols.

Booklet titled The International Committee of the Red Cross

Emblem ICRC booklet

In English

International Humanitarian Law Answers to your Questions.

The Geneva Conventions of August 12, 1949.

International Humanitarian Law. An introduction.

International Law Concerning the Conduction of Hostilities.

Protocols additional to the Geneva Conventions of August 12, 1949.

INAM CENTRE FOR PLURALISM

In Azerbaijani

Organizing Public Advocacy

Legislative provision of political rights and freedoms in Azerbaijan

Documentation and application procedure in the case of law infringement

Local government and self-governing bodies.

Role of UN and OSCE in provision the minority rights and conflict regulation.

Human Rights and Elections.

Establishment of democracy and the role of elections.

Consumers rights.

Press Service of the Parties and Public Relations.

European Mechanisms of Human Rights Protection.

Election technologies.

COUNCIL OF EUROPE

In English

European Convention on Human Rights

NORWEGIAN REFUGEE COUNCIL

In Azerbaijani

UN Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement

Legislation of Azerbaijan Republic on IDPs legislative collection

Training modules on UN Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement

HUMAN RIGHTS INSTITUTE OF THE AZERBAIJAN REPUBLIC NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCE

In Azerbaijani

Azerbaijan in European Space collection of documents against torture.

Human Rights and Police manual

Work of Police in the European Human Rights Context

Human Rights and Police. How to conduct discussions manual for instructors

Tax reforms in building civil society scientific articles.

Human Rights and their protection in International Law

Ombudsman Institute in Azerbaijan

On the way to Democracy.

I want to kill the war.

PHILOSOPHY AND POLITICAL-LEGAL RESEARCH INSTITUTE OF THE AZERBAIJAN REPUBLIC NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCE AND BAKU LEGAL CENTRE

In Azerbaijani

Actual Problems of State and Rights Protection in Azerbaijan Republic collection of articles.

SOCIETY FOR HUMANITARIAN RESEARCH

In Azerbaijani

Journal Human Rights in Azerbaijan

Booklet Virtual Resource Center of NGOs

AZERBAIJAN HUMAN RIGHTS PROTECTION CENTRE

In Azerbaijani

International Human Rights Standards for Law Enforcement activity human rights book for police.- Published by UN Commissioner on Human Rights.

Human Rights and Law Enforcement Bodies. Human Rights manual for police. - Published by UN Commissioner on Human Rights.

Manual on effective investigation and documentation of the acts of Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. Istanbul Protocol. - Published by UN Commissioner on Human Rights.

Standards of the Committee against Torture

Memory book for the relatives of prisoner. Published by Azerbaijan Human Rights Protection Centre

In Russian

Procedure for submission and consideration of complaints. - Published by UN Commissioner on Human Rights.

Committee of elimination of Racial Discrimination. - Published by UN Commissioner on Human Rights.

Civil and Political Rights: Human Rights Committee. - Published by UN Commissioner on Human Rights.

Activity of the UN Special Reporteurs: 17 questions and answers. - Published by UN Commissioner on Human Rights.

European Human Rights Convention

OMBUDSMAN OFFICE

In Azerbaijani

Materials of the 1st International Baku Conference titled Role of Ombudsman in the State with Rule of Law

RELIABLE FUTURE YOUTH ORGANIZATION

In Azerbaijani

Rights of the Child and their Training.

Reporting materials of the training course on Conflict Resolution and Peace Building.

Manual for trainers on Womens Rights

Human Rights and training

MINISTRY OF JUSTICE HEAD OFFICE ON EXECUTION OF COURT DECISIONS

In Azerbaijani

Provision of Human Rights and Freedoms, Choice of Azerbaijan

 

The report prepared by

Ramil Isgandarov Project Coordinator / AYLU

Approved by Nadir Adilov Chairman of AYLU

Azerbaijan Young Lawyers' Union (AYLU)
AZ 1005 Mirze Ibrahimov str. 11, aprt. 8
Baku, Azerbaijan Republic
Phone: +994124973247; 4953162
Fax: +994124973127
email: aylu@azeronline.com
http://www.aylu.info

 



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