Ara Zohrabyan`s first writing – “wartime letter” to the Ministry of Justice

Ara Zohrabyan started his activities as head of the Chamber of Advocates with a “wartime letter”, as he puts it. He was elected president of the Chamber of Advocates on September 14 2013 and assumed his office on October 4. On the same day two draft laws on increasing financial responsibilities of advocates were put into circulation, which were severely opposed by the advocates` community and to which the Chamber of Advocates with its president declared a “war”. But Ara Zohrabyan`s activities are not limited to this one point. Many changes have been implemented in the course of his office, but certain issues still remain, and reflects on those.

To the question on the conditions of advocates in  the regions Mr Zohrabyan mentions that he has not yet found the key to the improvement of those conditions, but several measures have been implemented in this regard. “A new institute has been established – Regional coordination institute, meaning that advocates in the regions chose a coordinator from among themselves who manages the issues of regional advocates and presents them to the Chamber”.

He goes on “In December 2013 we became a member at the International Union of Advocates (residence in Paris). In November 2013 a Cooperation memorandum was signed between the RA Chamber of Advocates and the Chamber of Paris, in the framework of which 2 advocates will be sent to France for training courses. Cooperation memoranda have also been signed with the Chamber of Advocates of Belarus, Georgia and city of Marseilles.”

As to the draft laws on “Amending and adding to the RA Law on Advocacy” and on “Amending the RA law on State taxes”, Mr Zohrabyan says that he isn`t sure whether that was a coincidence or intention, but those draft laws were circulated on October 4, 2013 – on the day of him assuming his powers. He says: “Unfortunately my first letter seemed to be a wartime letter addressed to the Ministry of Justice”.

And to the question on whether it is possible to say that the whole potential of advocates is engaged in the activities of the Chamber of Advocates Mr Zohrabyan answered no: “As we have many advocates who haven`t engaged in the active life of the Chamber. Thus I think it`s one of the problems of the Chamber, it has to gain that trust by a time passing, and after certain period of time it will work”.

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