Contest for Law and LL.M Students

Project: Promoting the use of
alternative sanctions in the South Caucasus

Geographic coverage: Georgia,
Azerbaijan, Armenia

Duration:  24 months, from November 2013 till October


Reform International - South Caucasus office in partnership with Civil Society
Institute NGO is implementing a new regional project “Promoting the use of
non-custodial sanctions in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia”, financed by the
United Nations Democracy Fund (UNDEF). The Goal of the project is to continue
promoting the effective use of non-custodial and early release measures as a
way of challenging the overuse of imprisonment and contributing to a decrease
in the prison population in the South Caucasus countries as well as
proportionate responses to crime.
The project will support further
increased use of community service as an alternative to imprisonment on one
hand, as well as some alternatives and also for the application of parole as a mechanism
for early release on the other.

About the contest

student competition is open to bachelor and master’s degree students of the Law
faculties in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia. The aim of the competition is to increase
awareness of students on the benefits of the use of alternative sanctions and
measures to imprisonment, to discover the major challenges of the criminal
justice policy in their respective countries, to think of new approaches as to
how to contribute to an increased application of community service and other
alternatives. The contest also seeks to promote students professional interest
towards the probation system.

maintain some form of treatment element for offenders, such as educational
development, alcohol and drug treatment, and job training, which can be
rehabilitative and preventive in nature. The state saves the cost of housing an
inmate. The offender is allowed to remain in the community and avoid a break in
family and community ties.

Subject matter

of Law Faculties (both bachelor and master’s degree) are invited to submit
their essays on the subject of alternatives to imprisonment. Presented essays
should provide evidence of author’sgeneral understanding of the criminal
justice policy in their respective countries. The essay should also demonstrate
critical thinking about the low application of the alternative measures in the
respective country.  The essay should contain
analysis of one or more alternatives to imprisonment: community service, release
mechanisms existing in those countries, such as conditional early release,
compassionate release (on health grounds), probation, restriction of liberty,
bail, personal guarantee and etc.

should precisely explain what the state’s policy (legislation and practice)
in dealing with challenges
of release mechanisms and community sanctions/measures, possible steps to
implement that policy and what kind of obstacles can be overcome to implement it and
identify the limitations of the policy. Presented essays should state author’s
reasonable arguments which would enable lobbing the ideas before the
governmental bodies.

and referencing successful International/European standards and practices with
respect to the alternative sanctions and measures in the essay will be an

· Participants
must be bachelor and master’s degree students at the time of application

· The
essay must be submitted in Word Doc. format to the e-mail address: and copied to Please enter “Student Contest”
in subject line of your email.

· To
allow for thoughtful consideration of the essay topic, your essay should be at
least 1,500 words, but no more than 2,000 words. Please provide proper
citations for the sources you use; finalists’ essays will be checked for
possible plagiarism and for the sources they have cited.

· The
essay must be written in English.


place - 500 USD (local currency equivalent)

2nd place
- 400 USD (local currency equivalent)

3rd places -
300 USD (local currency equivalent)

First place winner author will be invited to the
regional conference in Tbilisi to make a presentation.

All three place winners’ essays will be published in
the scientific magazines.

Essay Contest jury:

commission consisting of officials from the Probation Service, invited lawyers,
academic and NGO representatives will discuss submitted contest papers and will
make decision on the essays.


submission deadline: 20 June, 2014

Announcement of finalists: 10 July, 2014