The Institute of Politics and Law operates in the Russian-Armenian (Slavonic) University since 2012. Larisa Alaverdyan, the First Ombudsman of the RA, MP of the National Assembly of the Fourth Convocation is the Director of the Institute of Politics and Law. The institute is specialized in three directions: law, political science and international relations. We talked with Mrs. Alaverdyan about the issues of interdisciplinary relations and teaching models of the institute as well as the problems on reduction of getting marks through back door, the corruption occurrences and the issues of the labor market.
The interview was carried out in the framework of the special project “Higher Education Law Institutions in Armenia”.
Mrs. Alaverdyan, lets speak about the structure, Why an institute joining 3 branches and what features does it have?
international practice shows that the science is developing in interdisciplinary way, and does not divide becoming one direction. For example, the law as a science cannot exist without the involvement of international relations and vice versa. That is there is the objective to join the disciplines which are more closely related to each other, since, eventually they are interconnected to each other in different areas. Experience shows that the coordination allows using issues related in the scientific and educational processes. As a result of this the system became more flexible as the number of the deans of separated faculties have reduced, and the most important circumstance is that the interaction is a substantial boost to the process of deepening of the students’ knowledge.
As I understand the law is transversal direction, that is you train your students in criminal and civil as well as in international law.
Yes, all the directions are stressed. I believe that the branch directions of law will always stay up to date despite the fact whether they are criminal, criminal procedure, civil or civil procedure law. In addition, there are areas such as the state law and the theory of state and law, history of state and law or constitutional rights which are of great importance. It seems that there is a mistake that the branches of law should be developed. In reality we should not pay attention to the theory, which is also developing and problematic. We shall hav a great number of problems in the branch sectors.
What do you do for the formation of the professionals of the international law?
Some 10 years ago, our universities have departments of international relations, but have not had professionals of the law. I attribute to it very many trials that we faced and failed to properly protect the national interest. This applies not only to the Artsakh issue, which seems superficial, but also to great many other interests of the RA. Just one example: Armenia is among the countries that do not have access to the sea, under the international law it has some other privileges and the surrounding countries that have access to the sea, are required to provide these rights to Armenia. In fact, today we only speak about that. This is just one simple example but the range may be continued.
Today the profession of the lawyer is a modern one, is there a need of so many lawyers in the labor market?
You see, I am really pleased that you asked this question. It is just the same thing there were times when people said “Why do women need education?” Most of them get married and become housewives. And who says that a mother should not have higher education!? Just on the contrary, if we have a lot of citizens who have legal education, it will raise the level of awareness of the population. It is not necessary that all the graduates should go to the labor market as lawyers; they can work in different spheres. We really need this. If we look at the developed countries, where social customs are so advanced that the level of awareness rises in the environment that had become natural. I believe the more legally educated citizens are trained, the more beneficial it will be. Only the best will in the case of healthy competition will work in their specialty sphere. In conclusion, I shall say that the legal services market gradually expands. The more opportunities for the normal development are provided to small businesses, the more will the labor market of the lawyers develop. I have to note that as a rule our best students already star work from the fourth year of their study. In addition the major part of the LLM students have their permanent jobs.
Does this mean that the LLM Program is easy?
No. We adapt our hours and the schedule. We conduct classes on Saturdays. We do everything so that our LLM students learn the complex program easily.
What is the format of your training? Do you prefer the traditional methods or have you introduced innovations, for example a distance training model?
We have not yet passed to the distance training model; we still have some way to go to transfer to it. Our curricula foresees this transfer, but the issue does not even refer to the technique, here we have the problem of ensuring the quality.
Let’s talk about of painful phenomenon of the universities, namely the corruption. Does it exist in your university?
I think that we may boast in this regard, as in this sense the corruption has been minimized in the university. In fact, it is not elusive; we know how to act to eliminate this defect to the possible extent. We have chosen the principle of transparency. Even the exams are hold in the presence of many students, no less than 5, in addition, there is representative of the management as well. I also invite other specialists. Everyone knows that cleansing occurred in the past years in this university. The rector had a notable role in that. Unfortunately the practice of giving marks as a result of a phone call yet exists; I want to emphasize it has not disappeared from the caller’s mentality. Everyone knows I am categorically opposed to this question, and am even rude when talking the first figures, , ministers and other officials. I always say to those who call to me, “if you call then you have to call for a good thing, such as with request to support the students with excellent academic knowledge, or ask to pay more attention on them and deepen their knowledge. I believe most of the lecturers act in this way as well.
Interview: Gevorg Tosunyan
Photos: Aleksander Sargsyan
Author of the idea: Karen Zadoyan