Economists are in much bigger demand around the world than lawyers. Following this opinion lawyer Arsen Babayan got into the specialty of economic communications “trying to be competitive,” says Babayan. However from the first year of the first specialty he got cold feet. As he was following his father’s footsteps into law, he chose to specialize in bar.
«iravaban.net»talked with head of outreach and external relations department at the Judicial Department of Armenia, second degree counselor, Arsen babayan.
– You have been working in legal area, so you can give a good estimate of public attitude to courts. How much does Armenian citizen trust courts?
-Working in legal area for many years is not yet enough to estimate public attitude to courts. I think to give an evaluation one must use objective and professional tools. It would be a mistake, though, to say that level of trust is satisfactory. If I try to give evaluation I must use reliable analysis, which in turn should be based on reliable sources. For example, one foreign polling company implemented a pol and found that 25 percent of people have profound distrust to courts, This number may seem positive, but at the same time the number of people e fully trusting courts was 6%. Other indicators show that people partly trust or partly distrust or are indifferent. Anyway, I believe for any analysis we need specialists with reliable sources.
– They say, in order to make people love justice, you need to show them the consequences of injustice. What is your attitude to this?
– You don’t need to show anything to make one love justice. Justice is something one loves originally regardless of anything. Any conscious person loves justice. However perception of justice is often presented subjectively. In some ways the subjective perception is also objective, as everyone wants to be the winner. As to consequences of injustice, I agree that each case of injustice should be shown to people along with consequences. Proper evaluation of any injustice will lead to more efficient deterrents.
– In Soviet times there was the public shaming punishment type. If one is sentenced to it, TVs began to shame the person. Don’t you think this could work in our time?
– In terms of today’s free media, I don’t think there is need for it today. There was clear censorship to media in Soviet times. Today the state prioritizes the role of liberal media in civl process. So the media plat the role of shamers in such cases. However unfortunately, the presumption of innocence is often ignored here. In this regards I appreciate the decision of the Court of Cassation on regulating libel.
-The result of the justice council work which is punishment of many judges, does it show there are many inappropriate judges?
-All decisions of the Justice Council are published on Judicial department’s website. You can pick any, and there will be detailed explanation to each. My personal analysis does not show that there are many violators.
– Recently we held a poll on courts. One of the respondents said that corruption will exist here as long as law students think in terms of returning double the money they spend on education. Is it true that lawyer’s profession is associated with wealth?
-I disagree with the citizen. Let me approach this from professional standpoint. Knowledge is basically product that we obtain at school. Upon graduation we have enough of the product to later start selling it. And it’s normal that student wants to generate income after graduation, but he must understand that he only product he has is competitive knowledge.
As to professions of lawyer, attorney and judge as source of wealth, I believe that a good professional in any area has a chance to be well off. I’m talking about a perfect world though, as today we have many professionals and even scientists who are not so well-off to put it mildly. Among them are also judges, attorneys and lawyers.
-In you blog you write that efficiency in governance is related to better control. You mention that “It’s like a drug, which may cause other disease if abused. Unfortunately, today we prescribe too much of the drug in fight against corruption.” What is your prescription then?
– That prescription has been under searches for centuries. In some countries they succeeded, in others, not. In some countries they even failed using successful models of other countries. It is important to consider the local context before prescribing something. For example, will the introduced drug cause any other side effects? It would be naïve to think there is no corruption in Georgia. Of course, they applied some standard procedures and have success. But they suffer from a side effect now – courts reject property cases in big amounts of money pleas. The reasons is fear f control as believed by European and Georgian experts. They normally do not satisfy demands for big money, as they fear that someone might think they take a bribe for that. So this fear causes some damage to the society.
– Today Armenian constitution became 17 years old. What would you wish it?
– Constitution means to me much more than just legal document or a 17-yeal old youngster. Many people talk about Constitution not functioning, but few know that Constitution can’t act on its own. We all must preserve constitution by following it. It must be the main pillar for all. We must do everything we can to make the Constitution really the highest law.