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Projects

Project “NEW CHALLENGES - NEW OPPORTUNITIES: Communication and Fundraising Strategies for Human Rights NGOs and Groups in Russia”

Russian HR organizations face serious threats that may in the nearest future cause them to fold their operations and/or lose their independence. On the one hand, Russian authorities try to marginalize and discredit HR defenders in the public eye by implementing legal amendments and publishing biased information and, on the other hand, financing of Russian NGOs coming from foreign and international organizations is being reduced. At present, Russian citizens do not trust HR defenders just because they do not know much about their activities. Only 16 % of the Russian citizens consider HR NGOs work in Russia to be effective. And nearly 90 % of the population do not know any particular HR NGO or HR defender. Experts state that only 10% of HR NGOs had ever received any private or corporate donations.

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Court transparency as a means of ensuring citizens’ constitutional right of access to information

The goal of the three-year Project, developed in conjunction with our long-standing partners, the St. Petersburg branch of the Russian Academy of Justice and the Guild of Court Reporters, is to ensure court transparency and access to court information for the public.

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Archives in a democratic society: international standards

The Project is aimed at facilitating access of researchers to archived documents. The project includes performing interviews with archivists and researches that regularly use state archives; monitoring of the services provided by various archives, and a study of public opinion. Based on the Project findings, a guidance booklet will be published for archive users.

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Legislative grounds and tools for interaction between courts and mass media

To ensure the implementation of this law, the following events will be organised: monitoring court adherence to national law and applicable international standards in the Russian Northwest, specifically concerning publication of information on court websites; research on court practices in other countries and of international courts as regards ensuring access to court information; seminars and training programmes on best practices of collaboration between judiciary and mass media for court press secretaries and reporters.

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Raising the competence of NGOs providing free legal aid to eligible groups of people

The Project is aimed at the development of the legal aid system through raising the professional level of NGO staff, setting quality criteria, and promoting the publicity and transparency of NGO services. The Project activities include round table discussions, training sessions for NGO staff and a concluding conference. We are inviting NGOs providing or planning to provide legal aid to take part in this Project.

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Monitoring the observance of human rights in St Petersburg

The Project aims to support the activities of St Petersburg Human Rights Council in gathering information about rights violations, analysing this information and preparing annual reports for public discussion.

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Projects in archive

Raising Professional Skills of Defence Lawyers in Business Crime Cases

The project "Raising Professional Skills of Defence Lawyers in Business Crime Cases" implemented by Citizens' Watch in 2013/14 was aimed at raising professional skills of young Russian lawyers in preparing cases and litigation. Trainers: Arkady Gutnikov, St.Petersburg Institute of Law named after Prince P.G.Oldenburgsky; Yuri Khapaliuk, Institute for legal Research, Advocacy and Mediation at St. Petersburg Lawyers Chambers; Sergei Krauze, International Bar “St Petersburg”; Robert Brown, Corker Binning; Thomas Price QC, 25 Bedford Row Barristers Chambers. Project Coordinator: Maria Razumovskaya, Citizens’ Watch.

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Strengthening Access to Justice for the Poor in the Russian Federation

The project run by Institute of Law and Public Policy (Moscow) is aimed at ensuring better access to the judicial system and highlighting the needs of the most poor and vulnerable social groups in the participating regions (Leningrad and Perm Regions). Establishing Legal Aid Centres Network

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Development of probation service

Providing supervision and social rehabilitation of offenders in community-based alternatives to prison.

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European Standards in Civil and Criminal Proceedings

A bilateral project (Russia - the Netherlands) aimed at an exchange of experiences between Russian and Dutch defence lawyers Time frames: November 2011 - May 2013 Funded by the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs under the Matra Programme

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Professional legal ethics and responsibility in protecting civil rights

The project has been initiated by St. Petersburg lawyers to discuss the notion and limits of legal secrecy and work out best practices and recommendations for the legal community, with an aim to ensure the constitutional right of citizens to the privilege of confidentiality.

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Training for Russian lawyers on the application of the European Convention of Human Rights standards

Citizens' Watch, in collaboration with the International Bar of St. Petersburg, has launched a project aimed at broadening the knowledge of practising Russian lawyers about the European Convention of Human Rights. A series of training seminars has been organised for the lawyers of St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Region, who will later arrange training courses for the members of their respective bars and professional associations. The project is funded by Consulate-General of Germany in St. Petersburg

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Development of juvenile justice

For the activities in 2006 - 2009, please see the project "Development of probation service for young offenders".

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