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2020 May

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. “By the way, I believe that word was sort of overused and thus lost its true meaning, which actually was going to contribute to the improvement of the judicial system amid the revolutionary euphoria. However, vetting was not going to be done just for the sake of it but rather for increasing the efficiency of the system as well as the public’s trust towards it. Vetting of judges would also help to remove discredited and politicized judges from system,” Martirosyan has said.

According to the TIAC expert, vetting alone would not solve all the problems of the judiciary but it was definitely one of the most important tools. The next most significant objective is ensuring the independence of the courts, regarding which the Judicial Code has taken a step back. “There is a new provision, according to which, a new committee for the evaluation of judges will be informed comprising of judges and representatives of NGO’s who will be assessing the judges. This will be done based on how substantiated the judicial act will be. This is simply nonsense. Nowhere in the world does any other court system allow another body other than the court of the upper instance to evaluate the judicial act adopted by a judge. This procedure threatens the independence of the judge since this committee will have the right to launch proceedings that can potentially restrain the judge. This is a type of political control over the judiciary, which is unacceptable,” Hayk Martirosyan has noted.


Original source: MediaLab