Anti-Corruption Fight in the Framework of Legal and Judicial Reforms

To what extend are the anti-corruption measures considered in the fight against corruption? An anti-corruption event aimed to introduce “The Anti-Corruption Aspects of Legal and Judicial Reforms” took place in Lori Marz on 24 July.

Ms Naira Gyulnazaryan, Coordinator of Anti-Corruption Projects of OSCE Yerevan Office welcomed the organization of the seminar and said that it was conducted in the framework of the OSCE anti-corruption programs as well.

“Judicial System is one of the most important systems and preconditions if we want to have a corruption free country. I believe that if the citizen is unable to protect his basic rights in court then we shall not be able to speak about the fight against corruption,” Ms Naira Gyulnazaryan, said.
AYLA President, Mr. Karen Zadoyan, the “Multi-Faceted Anti-Corruption Promotion” Project Manager introduced the program, as well as the Anti-Corruption Coalition and its activities. Then he referred to the government’s fight against corruption:

“Unfortunately, at present, Anti-Corruption Council initiated by the Government does not correspond to the idea of the Anti-Corruption Coalition, which is first of all the independence and efficiency. This is the reason that the Coalition did not participate and advised the CSOs not to participate in its activities. And so no NGO submitted a bid for participation in the Council,” AYLA President Mr. Karen Zadoyan said.

Mr. Marat Atovmyan, Local Expert of the project, spoke about the public oversight in the area of legal and judicial reforms.

“This control aims to force the State to ensure the application of the law, act in a responsible and professional manner, which means, to be effective,” Mr. Atovmyan said. Then he added, “The government should ensure transparency in the implementation of the program. The society should be provided accessible information about the program, and in addition the government must publish project implementation report every six months. It will promote reform and increase public confidence in the authorities responsible for implementation. It will promote and increase public confidence towards the reforms and the authorities who are responsible for their implementation, and this in its turn will facilitate the process of reforms implementation in practice.”

Further Mr. Gevorg Tosunyan, the journalist of independent professional website spoke about the data investigation in the area of legal and judicial reforms.

Mr. Arthur Sukiasyan, the Lori Regional Coordinator “Multi-Faceted Anti-Corruption Promotion” Project, referred to the oversight of the legal and judicial reforms by the Anti-Corruption Coalition. He spoke about the anti-corruption aspects of legal and judiciary reforms.

Lawyers, NGO representatives, representatives from the judicial system, prosecution as well as representatives from the Alternative Punishments Department of the Penitentiary Department of the RA Ministry of Justice attended the event.

The participants raised the issues of their concern as well. The lawyers mentioned the gaps that exist in the judiciary system. They spoke about the workload of the courts.

Mr. Hovhannes Ghazaryan, the Head of “Voske Mijin (The Golden Mean) Public Initiative Center NGO” Attached importance to the public control, “The problems of judiciary sphere are the largest in the country. Why is it so? Because if the courts work normally, the other spheres will also come to the state of normal work even though they might not work normally. But if it is in the contrary, that is all the areas are well, or that areas also do not work, and in addition the judicial area does not work as well, then even the best country will come to a state that today we have in Armenia. In my opinion, in the classic sense of control is no longer effective, the government does whatever it wants. So it is necessary to apply the method of pressure in the street.”

Mr. William Minasyan, representative of Lori Unit of the Alternative Punishments Department of the Penitentiary Department of the RA Ministry of Justice spoke about the probation services in the scope of legal and judiciary reforms. He informed about the pilot project of probation service that operates in Vanadzor from this month. Mr. Minasyan proposed the NGOs to work together.

The project is implemented with the financial assistance of the European Union by the “Armenian Young Lawyers Association” NGO (implementer) in cooperation with the “Freedom of Information Center of Armenia” NGO (FOICA).