“We have Initiated a New Working Style of Public Discussions”. Arsen Mkrtchyan

On 30 October the Report on the “Assessment of Democratic Process in the Republic of Armenia” by the OSCE/ODIHR was presented.

Iravaban.net talked to the First Deputy of the Minister of Justice Arsen Mkrtchyan on the assessments in the report.

The Report mentions that the National Assembly plays a secondary role. According to the report-writers the main role belongs to the Government. In fact the assessments on the activity of the National Assembly were quite sharp in this report. What is Your approach to this?

I don`t think that those were sharp. In general it was mentioned that the executive authorities have an extensive role in legislative procedures. There are many states where the right to legislative initiatives belongs exclusively to the Executive body, there are states where two models exist, and both the Executive and Legislative authorities can come up with initiatives. In terms of statistics on the initiatives, I don`t think that today, on this stage we are in the proportion which was presented in the report. Currently the MPs come up with many legislative initiatives, it`s a different issue whether there is a proportion in terms of becoming laws. According to the last statistics of the National Assembly, the proportion of initiatives by the MPs and the Government differs much from what is presented in the report.

The Report also mentions that currently in the whole legislative process not equal and sufficient consultations are implemented with copartners.

In general public discussions are quite important aspect in terms of law adoption. We initiated a new working style with public discussions. There is a Public Council adjacent to the Minister, and it has engaged many NGOs. We certainly discuss our main initiatives there. We have also planned to discuss the legislative acts which are deeper. In particular we envisage to carry out amendments to the Civil Code, in all the provisions, and currently we already have the conceptual approached presented by independent experts. We`ll start conceptual public discussions to have the opinion of public and target groups. We give much priority to the public discussions.

Referring to the OSCE/ODIHR Report, what has it given to the Ministry of Justice in general?

In fact it became a reason to quicken the processes. In reality what was mentioned in the ODIHR Report, we already had recorded. It became an occasion to continue legislative processes with OSCE mediation to have a more effective future.

Interview by Gevorg Tosunyan


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