“Starting from the First Lesson we teach to stay away from Corruption,” Ara Zohrabyan

During the lecture for the participants of the Anti-Corruption School for Young Leaders, Ara Zohrabyan, the Chairman of the RA Chamber of Advocates said that they had done everything to neutralize corruption in the School of Advocates.

He presented information on the procedures for admission to school and the qualification examinations. “It is not possible to interfere or assist the applicants. The whole process is being recorded. We have organized the process of qualification exams in such way that the corruption occurrences are excluded,” Mr. Zohrabyan emphasized.

He also said that during the admission to school the option of “admission through acquaintance” does not work either. Mr. Zohrabyan said that the applicant is admitted to school only based on his or her knowledge and regardless the position of their parents or relatives. Thus, according to the Chairman of the Chamber, his godson, the former prosecutor of the General Prosecutor’s Office, the son of the Judge of the Court of Cassation were not accepted to school. When Mr. Zohrabyan is asked to interfere, he answers that he can only train the applicant based on the collection of the questions and answers and nothing more.

Then Mr. Zohrabyan emphasized the fight against corruption is their priority, “Starting from the first lesson we teach our students to stay away from corruption.”

He spoke about the advocate’s activities as well. First, he introduced his own experience. The Chairman of the Chamber remembered some funny episodes. He told that he started his advocate’s activities in 2001 when the judiciary system was displaying arbitrariness and the advocates were trying to solve the problems through wangling. “I remember that sometimes when we gathered together, some elder advocates proudly told that they managed to solve the problem or win the case through their own ties. I would like to note that in those days the advocates’ community was compiled of the retired investigators, prosecutors and judges. At the same time most of these people did not believe in justice, or personal knowledge. That is to say the advocates themselves did not trust in their knowledge,” Mr. Zohrabyan told.

He remembered that in those days the young advocates, and he among them, began to struggle against the arbitrariness in the judiciary system. One of the simplest examples is that the judges did not put on judge’s gowns; they made them enter the court room according to the requirement of law. At the end Mr. Zohrabyan turned to the audience, “When you chose the right way it is always narrow. My advice to you is – stay away from corruption.”

The young leaders were interested in the activities of the Chamber of Advocates and the problems of the Advocates’ community as well.

Notably the students of the school made at our in the building of the Chamber and visited the Office of the Public Defender. Ms Melanya Arustamyan, the head of the office introduced the functions of their office. The students get acquainted with the work of the School of Advocates as well.

The Armenian Young Lawyers Association” NGO organize the Anti-Corruption School for Young Leaders in the framework of the U.S. Alumni Outreach Grants Program with financial support of the US Embassy in Armenia.

Iravaban.net independent information website is the information partner of the Anti-Corruption School for Young Leaders.

Photos: Aleksander Sargsyan

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