The Rule of Law

Article 5 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) often makes headlines in the UK.

Most recently the Government’s plans to extend the time limit for detention without charge to 42 days took a knock after the Council of Europe raised doubts about its compatibility with the legislation.

But 42 days is nothing compared with three years, as Victoria Prais, a member of the Treasury Solicitor’s Department, found on a training mission to Yerevan in Armenia.

Having ratified the ECHR in 2002, the small ex-Soviet republic has a chequered history of implementing detention laws, but is keen to improve its knowledge, especially in the face of pressure from a Council of Europe keen to encourage new member states to develop good practices in the domestic application of human rights standards.

What Prais found opened her eyes to a country very few know much about, with judges eager to be compliant in an evolving legal system.