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Promised vetting of judges not taking place due to lack of inefficient parliamentary oversight: Hayk Martirosyan

On May 20, an expert discussion on the topic of “Soft vetting for the future but not for the past” was held at the Armenian Institute of International and Security Affairs (AIISA) where Hayk Martirosyan, a legal expert from the Transparency International Anticorruption Center (TIAC) touched upon a number of issues in the scope of the expected legal and judicial reforms in Armenia.


Obviously, it has been very hard for the Prime Minister to make a decision in this situation: Sona Ayvazyan

An internal EU report claims that the UK government has pressured the Armenian government in a two-year standoff between protesters, an international mining company and the authorities, according to openDemocracy.

The Amulsar gold mine shot to the forefront of Armenian politics after the country underwent its “Velvet Revolution” in 2018, when public protests forced the ruling Republican Party out of power. In the aftermath local residents and environmental activists began a blockade of the unfinished $400m mining project, bringing them into conflict with British-American mining company Lydian International, the company’s international supporters and the Armenian government.


Law-enforcement fails in fight against corruption. Why aren’t tougher measures being taken: Sona Ayvazyan

In a brief interview to Factor.am, Executive Director of Transparency International Anticorruption Center, Sona Ayvazyan has pointed out the fact the law-enforcement authorities in Armenia are losing the fight against corruption. Why do we have a situation where people accused of major financial abuses are so easily able to leave the country?


Changes to Judicial Code are a step back in terms of ensuring independence of judiciary

In an interview with MediaLab, Transparency International Anticorruption Center legal expert, Hayk Martirosyan has talked of issues related to legal and judicial reforms in Armenia, particularly with regard to the integrity assessment and vetting of judges. Based on recent developments, Hayk Martirosyan has noted that the current judicial system will basically not undergo vetting.


Statement regarding “Draft Law on Making Amendments and Supplements to RA Law on 2020 State Budget”

The parliament exercises oversight over the executive branch of government, among other instruments, through the approval and oversight of the main financial document of the country – the state budget. This mechanism of checks and balances ensures prevention of abuse of power as best as possible, thus safeguarding the constitutional guarantees for the regular activities of the branches of government.


Judicial Code provision on evaluation of judges goes against logical structure of judiciary: Hayk Martirosyan

TIAC legal expert Hayk Martirosyan spoke to “News” of Armenia’s public television about the government’s plans with regard to vetting of judges and changes to the Judicial Code of the country. According to the TIAC expert, the government basically does not plan on conducting a vetting of judges, since the third component of vetting – integrity assessment – refers only to the candidates to become judges.


We denounce the violence in the Parliament

Prime Minister Pashinyan has repeatedly and clearly stated that violence has no place in our life. Today, however, after several attempts to interrupt MP Edmon Marukyan’s speech in Armenia’s Parliament, My Step faction MP Sassoon Mikayelyan exerted violence on Marukyan, after which an all-out brawl began on the Parliament floor. The culture of dignified and civilized parliamentarism, still in its making, thus suffered a heavy blow. The disgraceful traditions of the criminal parliamentary anticulture that had emerged during the period of state capture turned out not only to have not disappeared, but also to be lingering.

It is with regret that we note that, had the new Parliament had the courage to make a political assessment of the disgraceful past record of state governance, this incident exemplifying the criminal anticulture would perhaps not have occurred today.


Experts believe government is lagging behind with judicial reforms and fight against corruption

Armenian Service of Radio Free Europe has revisited what the Armenian Prime Minister addressed in his speech given to the National Assembly on May, 2019 regarding the fact that the country does not het have an independent and credible judiciary in the country, considering the biggest shortcoming of his government to be the failure to return assets “stolen from the people” as well as the lack of success in fight against corruption.


Announcement regarding the Draft Law on Making Amendments to the Republic of Armenia Law on the Treatment of Arrestees and Detainees

Transparency International Anticorruption Center (TIAC) expresses its positive conclusion with regard to the Draft Law on Making Amendments to the Republic of Armenia (RA) Law on the Treatment of Arrestees and Detainees developed by the RA Ministry of Justice. Notably, we find that the proposed draft legislation along with a number of existing norms will enable identification and public awareness of alleged violations against arrestees and detainees as well as the acquisition of information on illegal and discriminatory behavior against them through contacts with them.


Will the authorities go all the way? What developments are expected following the entry into force of the new law on seizure of illicit assets?

On April 6, 2020, the National Assembly of Armenia adopted the Law on Seizure of Illicit Assets. Project Director of Transparency International Anticorruption Center, Varuzhan Hoktanyan spoke to Factor TV about the newly-adopted legislation.

“Everyone knows there was massive pillaging in the country, however major obstacles might arise during the attempts to return stolen assets. The process of forfeiture of assets has to be very well-founded so that the person the assets were seized from does not demand his property back after the government changes,” the TIAC expert opined.