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On the implementation process of judicial and legal reforms strategy actions

May 25, 2020

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2019-2020 Action Plan deriving from the 2019-2023 Strategy for Judicial and Legal Reforms of the Republic of Armenia (Action Plan) envisages events that were supposed to be done during 2019 and the first quarter of 2020. 

Below we present the actions envisaged to be done during the reporting year 2019 that have not been done so far.  

 

  1. RA Draft Law on  Procedure of Forming and the Activity of the Fact-Finding Commission (Drafts, if necessary) was to be developed in the second half of 2019. The first quarter of 2020 was set as the deadline of the formation of the Commission. 

 

📍RA Draft Law on  Procedure of Forming and the Activity of the Fact-Finding Commission has still not been placed for public discussion.

 

  1. The Draft Law on Making Amendments and Addenda to the Constitutional Law “RA Judicial Code” was to be developed, discussed with the interested bodies and civil society, and presented to the RA Prime Minister Staff in the second half of 2019. The regulations proposed by the Draft are aimed at introducing a new procedure, in line with international standards, of checking the qualifications of candidates for judges. The procedure, inter alia, is to envisage improvement of legislative regulations of checking the qualifications of candidates for judges and ensuring transparency of the process of checking the qualifications of the candidates. The Draft was discussed in 2019 and adopted on March 25, 2020. The adopted RA Law on Making Amendments and Addenda to the Constitutional Law “RA Judicial Code” includes a changed procedure of the assessment commission envisaged by the Action Plan, assessment reasoning and conduction of psychological tests made by leading psychological institutes during the interview stage. 

 

📍The above-mentioned law does not include a provision ensuring the involvement of international experts in the election process of candidates for judges, which is envisaged by the Action Plan. 

 

  1. The Draft Law on Making Amendments and Addenda to the Constitutional Law “RA Judicial Code” was to be developed, discussed with the interested bodies and civil society, and presented to the RA Prime Minister Staff in the second half of 2019.The regulations proposed by the Draft are aimed at the development of legislative basis, in line with international standards, for holding judges administratively liable, which is, in its turn, necessary for assessing the integrity of Supreme Judicial Council members. The Draft was discussed in 2019 and adopted on March 25, 2020.   

 

The list of essential disciplinary violations determined by the Action Plan of the  adopted RA Law on making amendments and addenda to the Constitutional Law “RA Judicial Code” and serving as a ground to terminate the powers of the Judge and Supreme Judicial Council members is not specified. Besides, the grounds for differentiating violations of fundamental human rights and freedoms from a judicial mistake by the judge during his/her professional activity are not specified, either. The aforementioned specification is also required by the Action Plan.  

 

4.The Draft Law on Making Amendments and Addenda to the Constitutional Law “RA Judicial Code” was to be developed, discussed with the interested bodies and civil society, and presented to the RA Prime Minister Staff in the second half of 2019. According to the regulations proposed by the Draft envisage to replace Disciplinary Commission with Ethics and Disciplinary Commission, whose members are elected for a term of 2 years and not 5, and the members of which are not only judges, but also civil society representatives. The Draft was discussed in 2019 and adopted on 25 March 2020.  

 

 

📍The adopted RA Law on making amendments and addenda to the Constitutional Law “RA Judicial Code” deviated from the terms determined by the Action Plan and envisaged a term of 4 years (instead of 2) for the election of members.

  1. To develop legislative changes aimed at increasing judges’ salaries and the supplemental payments established. 

 

The second half of 2019 was set as the timeframe to develop the Draft Law on making amendments to the RA Law “On remuneration for persons holding state positions”. In 2020, it was to be placed for discussion with the interested bodies and civil society, and it was to be approved by the RA Government. 

 

📍The Draft Law on making amendments to the RA Law “On remuneration for persons holding state positions” has not been placed for public discussion.

 

  1. To make changes in the relevant legal acts aimed at increasing the number of judges and their staff.

 

The development of drafts of making changes to relevant legal acts with the purpose of increasing the number of judges and their staff, the discussion of those drafts with interested parties, their public discussion and presentation to the RA Prime Minister’s Staff was envisaged to be done in the second half of 2019

 

📍The draft of changing the number of judges and their staff has not been placed for public discussion.

 

  1. To make amendments to the RA Law “On advocacy” by expanding the circle of persons who have the right to get free of charge legal aid. 

 

The development of the RA Draft Law on making amendments to the RA Law “On advocacy”, as well as its discussion and presentation to the RA Prime Minister’s Staff was envisaged to be done in the second half of 2019.

 

📍The Draft has not been placed for public discussion.

 

  1. To make amendments to the RA Law “On advocacy” by introducing the effective structure of pro-bono legal services. 

 

The development of the RA Draft Law on making amendments to the RA Law “On advocacy”, as well as its discussion and presentation to the RA Prime Minister’s Staff was envisaged to be done in the second half of 2019.

 

📍The Draft has not been placed for public discussion.

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