Iravaban.net – launches the Special Project “Higher Education Law Institutions in Armenia.” The first article of the series is about the Faculty of Law of Yerevan State University. Iravaban.net conducts an interview with Mr. Gagik Ghazinyan, the Dean of the Faculty of Law, Doctor of Law, Professor, corresponding member of the RA Academy of Sciences.
Dean of YSU Faculty of Law Mr. Ghazinyan does not like both the expression “corruption risks” as well as the corruption itself. However, not excluding the possibility of existence of this occurrence, he insists that currently favorable conditions for not existence of such occurrence are created in the faculty. Apart from the bribery, Mr. Ghazinyan considers vicious the use of different technical means by the students during the knowledge tests. He says that there are a lot of intelligent, well-educated and diligent students in the faculty that he leads, and added that they try to get positive marks with the help of advanced equipment, which would cause an envy of the hero of the well-known Soviet movie for whom the exam was always a holiday.
Mr. Ghazinyan, how would you assess the quality of current legal education in Armenia?
This is a multipolar question and the answer cannot be unequivocal. In all case it should seek to be better and the desire to advance the quality of education. What we have in our situation, may be considered satisfactory as compared with our current conditions. However our profession and the legal education, which is related to it, is one of the most dynamically developing one, and thus we cannot be satisfied with some stable state, simply it is not possible. On this assumption, of course the faculty is considered to be one of the leading ones in the republic. But as I already have mentioned we have a lot of work to for its further development and bringing it to a higher level.
Please point out some of the problems, which exist in the system of legal education. How are you going to solve them?
If we shall refer to your question in-depth, I would certainly like to see the initial grounds of the legal education in school. I mean that the problem is not only the system of higher education. The legal education should be continuous, starting from the legal awareness and education of the public, then be continued in the secondary and vocational education establishments and come to its logical end in the higher legal education. In case of the existence of the mentioned conditions we may talk about educating highly qualified legal professionals.
What problems currently exist in the Faculty of Law of YSU?
For several decades since the Soviet years, neither the representatives of my generation as well as of following generations have ever complained about the lack of theoretical knowledge provided in the university, and specifically in our faculty. However we all feel lack of practical skills, because of the absence or little possibility to apply our knowledge in practice. It occurred that we train pure theorists, whereas our society first of all needed practical lawyers. On the other hand, the Western law schools give preference to educating purely practical lawyers, which we may say was another extreme. Today we have chosen the middle way in our faculty; educating practical layers having good theoretical qualities.
What changes have been recorded in the educational field, in the transition stage of the Bologna process?
First, transition to the Two-Tiered Education System and thereby introduction of the credit system in the educational process. Furthermore, the teaching, and testing methods of knowledge and are harmonized to the mentioned process and implemented through other procedures. In other words, under this system, the student simultaneously with the learning process passes through the testing staring from the very beginning of education.
The complete interview in Armenian is available here.
Interview: Gevorg Tosunyan
Photos: Zakar Iskandaryan