41 years in the system. Roza Sahakyan, the Notary Public of Kentron Notary district has been working in the system for already 41 years, since 1974. She remembers that when she entered the office for the first time, she was unable to hold back the tears. The notary told that in soviet days the graduates of the law faculty were not interested in the profession of the notary public. What has changed in the system today? Why couldn’t the Notary hold back tears when she first entered the office? What is here position about the size of fees for notary services? How is Mrs. Sahakyan in the family? You will find the answers to this and other questions in the ordinary interview of the “Notaries in Armenia” Project.
When did you come to the system?
I have been working as a Notary Public since 1974, first in the Notary office of Spandaryan district, which then was renamed to “Kentron” notary office. That is I am in the system for about 41 years.
41 years in the system is not a short period. Please briefly introduce the notary profession. Why have you chosen this profession and whether it can ensure a prosperous life?
Of course when I was a graduate of the university it was 1974 and speaking frankly no one wanted to work as a notary public in those days. The role of the notary in the public and in the civil relations as a whole was not so was not so authoritative in common. Everyone strived to work in court, in the prosecution. It so happened that I chose the notary system and work in this system until now. I have never regretted. I should note that I receive calls from young notaries every day who are asking for advice. And I am always ready to help them. Notably, the law provides that the notary public can work till the age of 65 years. In my opinion, this limitation should be removed if the notary public had not been subjected to disciplinary sanctions during the last 10 years and was awarded prizes. In this case, I think that the term in office of the notary may be expanded. I say this because I am approaching to this threshold.
Do you want to stay in the system?
Of course I have the experience. If someone opens my door and looks in, I already know whether the man is fraudulent or not.
You said that you give advice to the younger colleagues. Which is your primary and the most important advice?
First of all, when young people come to me for training, I say, your first mission is to admit the people normally and to treat them normally. They should be considered as a parent, brother or sister. Never speak harshly or postpone their work. Always comply with them.
In your practice you saw all the reforms that happen in the system. How would you describe the current stage?
In Soviet times, the notary offices were in a very bad situation, destroyed or dilapidated, no one took any notice of them. When I came here to work, on the very first day I walked into this office, I honestly was so excited and cried because I thought that I had learned so much and now I have to work in this fetor. This is one example. As a whole, I must say that I cannot even find any similarities between the past and the current notary systems, because today the Notary Public has a large role in the public. There is not any sphere in the civil and legal relations where there is no need of the notary. The notary performs the most difficult work. The notary’s work to a certain extent relieves the work of the courts. And finally, a man makes a bargain and he wants to go home and sleep in peace. It is necessary to be attentive and to be devoted to work to avoid mistakes so that a man could go home and sleep in peace thinking and saying that he had made a bargain, for example obtained his property.
Currently legislative reforms are being implemented and in addition the electronic notary system is introduced. How is your approach to this issue?
I said that I cannot even fined edges to compare. Of course today the notary sphere is completely different system. It is possible to retrieve the information about the citizen electronically visiting that database of the police, receive replies to inquiries, enter the website of the register to find out whether the organization really exists, what debts it has etc. In former days there were even cases when the people cheated and it was not possible to prevent the fraudulent actions. Today, the system has changed. The Justice Ministry and the Notary Chamber have had their notable role in these changes. The Chamber works perfectly. The newly elected president of the chamber and the notary commission work well and are doing everything to make our work easier, and our services more accessible by introducing a one window principle.
The prices for the notary services were the discussion theme of the government on 19 February.
I followed the discussions. The issue was about the fact that the testamentary cost is 7,000 AMD, of which 5,000 is payments for services and 2000 AMD, the state due. If a citizen after testamentary transaction changed his mind and comes to take it back, it will cost 12,000 AMD. This is the difference. Prior to this, the Constitutional Court recognized that the application to eliminate the will which we previously approved for 1,000 AMD. The Constitutional Court in one such notary case recognized that the application is a transaction and thus the price is 12,000 AMD. Now, for example, the pensioner is an elderly retired woman and it is difficult for her to give the money. Yes, sometimes I go to concessions, but what is the problem, if 7,000 AMD is the cost for preparation of the will and 12,000 AMD is the cost for elimination, in my opinion, this is not correct..
The Prime Minister also urged to undertake steps to reduce the amount.
I think that as a result of discussion it should be reduced, because people will say that if the elimination is 12,000 AMD, it is better to make a new testament for 7,000 AMD.
Let’s speak about the personal. Please a few words about your family.
I am married and have 7 grandchildren and one great grandchild. One of my granddaughters who is my namesake is a 4th year student at the law faculty of YSU, I think she will chose the profession of notary as well. My husband is a physicist, and my son is a lawyer by profession but he does not work, my daughter is a doctor.
How do you spend your free time?
Frankly, I love music; my grandson plays the piano for me when I come home. In addition I like reading very much especially Tumanyan. Especially after the latest political developments I read the sigh by Tumanyan. It includes ideas that are really actual today.
Interview: Gevorg Tosunyan
Photos: Aleksander Sargsyan
Some photos from Roza Sahakyan’s personal archive
Author of the Idea: Karen Zadoyan