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Statement of the President of the Chamber of Advocates on the Trial of Lyuks Stepanyan`s Case

The RA Chamber of Advocates expresses its concern on the incident that took place at the Court of general jurisdiction of the RA Tavush region during the court sitting on the case of Lyuks Stepanyan`s murder.

Unfortunately in our society (including state officials) very often advocate is identified with his/her constituent, and the activities of the latter are described as obstacles to justice.

The reality is different, though, the advocate on criminal cases with his professional activity stands against the accusing party which has large opportunities of applying power, and creates conditions for the court to carry out justice. Ensuring a proper protection of the accused, the court provides opportunity to objectively evaluate the action of the accused and while punishing him maximally exclude judicial mistake which can influence people`s faith.

It is normal that for the accusing party (as well as the victim) the activities of the advocate for the benefit of the accused won`t be pleasant, and on the contrary, it is not pleasant for the accused the activities of the accusing party (as well as the victim) against him, but that`s where the competitive litigation lies.

We don`t have to forget the case of Mataghis where some youngsters have been convicted to life imprisonment, or the case of Armen Poghosyan when he was convicted to 15-year imprisonment (he beared his punishment for 5 and a half years), and in these cases the accusing parties and the courts have been mistaken.

These examples show that the system can be mistaken (systems of developed countries can also be mistaken), thus the role of the defense can`t be undervalued. I am sure that for any victim it is important that the exact guilty person bears the punishment, and to achieve this the principle of competition should be respected.

The RA Chamber of Advocates condemns the behaviour of insulting Yerem Sargsyan and Vaghinak Gevorgyan by the people present at the court sitting on the case of Lyuks Stepanyan`s murder.

The RA Chamber of Advocates expresses its concern that the Court of General Jurisdiction of Tavush region does not ensure proper conditions for trial and the security of trial participants.

At the same time understanding the grief of the parents who lost their son, the RA Chamber of Advocates expresses its support and asks and calls upon the parties to not give in to emotions.

We should remind that Lyuks Stepanyan`s successor has been provided an advocate free of charge by the RA Chamber of Advocates.

President of the RA Chamber of Advocates

Ara Zohrabyan


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