Kristina Afoyan is Head of the Division of Criminal and Administrative Cases in the Department for Relations with the European Court of Human Rights at the Ministry of Justice in Armenia. Her main responsibilities include settling disputes, delivering decisions and formulating the Armenian government’s response to decisions made by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). She is a trained lawyer and has been working in the Ministry of Justice since 2005, being promoted to Head of Division in 2012.
Kristina is keen to strengthen the principle of precedent in the Armenian legal system. Recent developments in the Armenian Constitution and Judicial Code have introduced the notion of precedent into the legal system, making all decisions made by the ECHR legally binding.
Krisina’s action plan therefore is about applying the lessons of the past to solve problems now and in the future by establishing case law and the doctrine of precedent within the Armenian judicial system. Her aim being to improve legal equality and raise trust towards the judiciary. She will offer training to Armenian judges, advocates and prosecutors on:
- how the doctrine of binding precedent works in the context of English common law, with particular reference to the way in which the courts decide what is binding in earlier decisions
- how courts refer to the decisions of higher courts and how deep they go explaining the similarities or differences between the two cases
- what tools and methods judges use for drawing conclusions
- the mechanisms of citing precedents in the United Kingdom’s various judicial systems
- the cases and the circumstances in which, the highest court should feel free to depart from its own previous decisions