“We have a historic opportunity to build an independent judicial system” – Nikol Pashinyan visits Supreme Judicial Council
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Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan today attended an event dedicated to the activities of Armenia’s Supreme Judicial Council.
Council President Gagik Harutyunyan presented the Annual Report of his organization’s activities, which summarizes not only the work done over the past one year, but also the strategic priorities of the ongoing judicial reform.
With the help of animated video clips, the findings of judicial monitoring, the guidelines and the roadmap for the development of e-justice were introduced. The judiciary’s official website was also presented.
Addressing the meeting, Prime Minister Pashinyan stated, in part:
“Honorable President of the Supreme Judicial Council,
Dear Members of the Supreme Judicial Council,
Dear State officials, dignitaries of diplomatic corps,
Dear guests, journalists,
First of all, let me congratulate the Supreme Judicial Council its year-long activity and record that the existence of an independent judiciary is crucial to the institutional strengthening of democratic changes in Armenia.
That is to say, we are implementing democratic changes in the country, but in order to ensure that the proposed changes are institutionalized, we need to have institutional guarantees, the most important of which is the availability of an independent judicial system.
We have been talking about the independent judiciary since the very first days of independence, but we never managed to build a judicial system that could ensure justice, lawfulness and a system of counterbalances in the country.
I do not want to talk about the past; I wish to address today’s realities and the future, and say that having a judiciary, truly independent of the political power, is an absolute priority for our government, and it has been high on our agenda from the first day.
I want to reiterate that the new government of Armenia wishes to give up the practice of influencing court decisions or interfering in the dealings of the judicial power. This is a crucial indication, and I want all of us to take this seriously.
Should there be such individuals from different layers of public power who may try to act against this logic, then they will act against the government and people of the Republic of Armenia. I would like to make this clear.
And it is very important for Armenia’s judiciary to take advantage of this opportunity. That is why judges in Armenia need to be ready to take on responsibility and act within the framework of the applicable law.
To achieve it, we need the second condition: corruption must be eradicated in the judicial system. We do hope and we clearly state that corrupt officials should not sleep quietly at night in the Republic of Armenia, regardless of whether they are judges or ministers.
I say this for making a final conclusion. Today, we have a historic opportunity to build an independent judicial system. Today, we are not facing any political obstacles on that way, and I hope that the opportunity will be used.
If it turns out that there are no interferences from outside, we will reach that goal very quickly and efficiently, and if it happens that there are hindrances, we will have to first remove them, and only then build the new independent judicial system.
I believe that the current judicial system has the necessary potential to shape a truly independent, equitable, legitimate and credible judicial system in Armenia. And I consider our meeting to be the fact that we will not miss that opportunity in any way. Thank you.”
In conclusion, accompanied by Gagik Harutyunyan, Nikol Pashinyan toured the new building of the Council.
Providing for an independent, impartial, affordable, effective, accountable and transparent judiciary is the core principle at the heart of the activities of the Supreme Judicial Council of the Republic of Armenia.
It was based on the assumption that the judicial power should be viewed not as a system of institutions, but as an authority with its own place and role in the system of State power.