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06 April 2020

Activity Details (ID# 32964)  

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Title Workshop for the Ombudsman's office staff on access to information 
Description Training for Ombudsman’s Apparatus staff and other respective government officials 
Status Completed 
Date 02/11/2011 
Location Baku, Azerbaijan
Countries CoE Members: Azerbaijan
  Joint Programme Activity - SC-MLD-MEDIA II
Joint Programme EC/CoE
JP SC-MLD-MEDIA II - Promoting freedom, professionalism and pluralism of the media in the South Caucasus and Moldova    (Logframe)  (Activities)
Project Purpose 1 - 2011/DG I/JP/2601   Promoting freedom, professionalism and pluralism of the media in the South Caucasus and Moldova
Expected Result 1.2 - The implementation of the media-related regulatory framework and self-regulation are improved in line with Council of Europe standards;
Council of Europe Programme of Activities
I – Democracy
Line of Action ⇒ III.3 – Promoting Democratic Governance and Stability
Programme ☆ III.3.2  Good governance, Internet and Media

Working Method

Training Course 
Directorate Directorate General of Human Rights and Rule of Law 
CoE Contact ,   email
Partners Armenia - Secretariat Field Presence
Last Modified 18/02/2013 

Activity Synopsis (ID# 32964) (Hide Synopsis)

Objective(s) The objective of the workshop was to train the employees of the office of the Commissioner for Human Rights (Ombudsman) of Azerbaijan Republic and public information officers working for the ministries and other government agencies as well as some journalists on how to deal with the issues concerning the access to information and procedures of considering complaints of various stakeholders on access to public information. In summer 2011 the parliament of Azerbaijan amended the legislation giving the right to the Ombudsman office to deal with issues of access to information. This workshop therefore was useful to the officials of the Ombudsman office to obtain the necessary skills and knowledge in the area of access to information and on how to deal with citizens’ complaints in this area. The workshop was requested by the Azerbaijan’s Ombudsman Ms. Elmira Suleymanova at the meeting with representatives of the JP “Promoting Freedom, Professionalism and Pluralism of media in the South Caucasus and Moldova” in April, 2011 in Baku. Experience of European countries in the issue of access to information, the legislation of Azerbaijan Republic in this field and other related topics were comprehensively discussed with the participants. 
Output/Results The Ombudsman’s office has published a special leaflet on Ombudsman’s role in dealing with complaints on access to information, law of Azerbaijan Republic on “Access to Information” and other materials were distributed during the workshop. The activity has had high attendance while 60 people participated in the workshop. Several print media and TV stations were present at the opening of the workshop and it was widely covered in the media the next day.

The participants were motivated and interested in the presentations delivered by the experts: Serbian Ombudsman Mr. Sasha Jankovic and experienced Azerbaijani media lawyer Alasgar Mammadli. There were many interactions, comments and questions by the participants. Azerbaijan’s Ombudsman Elmira Suleymanova was moderating the workshop. Employees of the Ombudsman’s office were especially active.

During one day the participants were presented speeches and presentations on the following topics: “How Ombudsman ensures its access to information?”, “Regulation of the access to information in Azerbaijan: legislation and practice”, “Access to Information: Overview of European countries’ experience” and “Modern challenges to the universal concept of the “rule of law”. Three presentations were made by Mr. Sasha Jankovic and one on Azerbaijan’s legislation and practice by Mr. Alasgar Mammadli. Ombudsman Elmira Suleymanova in her speech shared her experience with the participants. She said that Ombudsman’s office considers more than 20 000 complaints during a year and now she is waiting for additional staff and funds to deal with the complaints on access to information. She also said that her office plans a series of other activities on access to information.

There was time allocated after each presentation for the input by participants about the situation in Azerbaijan.

During the discussions it became clear that both Serbia and Azerbaijan have similar legislation on access to information which meets European standards. However, the situation with its implementation is different and Azerbaijan still has to overcome many problems in this area. In the meantime, Sasha Jankovic said that Europe does not have a unique and single legislation and practice in this area and gave example of the situation in several countries, including Serbia, Hungary, Sweden, Greece, Germany ... 
Conclusions/Follow Up The workshop can be considered as very successful. The general conclusion was that Azerbaijani legislation concerning access to information is in line with European standards. However its implementation is not always the case. In his welcoming speech, Amb. Constantin Yerocostopoulos, Head of Council of Europe office in Baku, followed by Sasha Jankovic, positively assessed the fact of transferring the authority of dealing with citizens’ complaints on access to information to the Ombudsman of Azerbaijan. They believe that it should improve the situation in this area.
The participants and Ombudsman Elmira Suleymanova stressed the importance of this kind of training for their practical work.

Participants Employees of the Office of the Ombudsman,
Public Information officers of the government bodies,
Consultants/Experts Mr. Sasha Jankovic, Ombudsman of Serbia
Mr. Alasgar Mammadli, Lawyer, Azerbaijan 
CoE Secretariat Amb. Constantin YEROCOSTOPOULOS, Head of Baku Office, Azerbaijan
Shahin Abbasov, Project Manager, Baku, Azerbaijan 
Total No. Participants 60 
Last Modified


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