“The rule of law and justice are the ultimate goals of reforms” - Nikol Pashinyan attends ceremonious event on Prosecutor’s Day
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Acting Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan attended a ceremonious event on the occasion of the 103rd Anniversary of the Office of Prosecutor General (OPG) of the Republic of Armenia and Prosecutor’s Day. Nikol Pashinyan addressed the meeting with greeting remarks and congratulated the OPG Staff on their professional holiday.
“Dear Mr. Davtyan,
First of all, I would like to congratulate all of us on Prosecutor’s Day. I would especially like to emphasize that our law enforcement system, where the OPG has a cross-cutting significance, actually fulfilled its task during this period: it ensured the free expression of the will of the citizens of the Republic of Armenia in the early parliamentary elections.
Now, we can see the international community’s reaction to parliamentary elections. I would like to stress that for the first time in the history of the Republic of Armenia the institution of elections served as a tool for overcoming a crisis. Unfortunately, in the past there have been more crises as a result of elections, and this is the first time that we have used this democratic instrument to overcome an internal political crisis and confrontation.
Of course, 2018 had its own characteristics and in 2018 our elections were of a very high quality, but they were predictable and then there were no questions. If we look at the past records, if we look at the situation in the country before and after the elections, we can see that passions used to flare up after the elections, and this is the first time that passions calmed down following elections.
I cannot but emphasize the role of our judicial-legal system, the role of the Office of Prosecutor General, because on the eve of the elections there were great concerns about safety during the electoral campaign, safety of voting, safety in vote counting, but it has to be stated that all these issues were resolved at the highest level.
I would like to thank all of you for this, because it is obvious that a consistent work was carried out, and thanks to this systemic work the free expression of will of the citizens of the Republic of Armenia was ensured. We were in a much more difficult situation, yes, in the post-war period, after the signing of the statement of November 9, and we must state that during the last 7-8 months our state has experienced unprecedented shocks.
We had borderline situations where the existence of state institutions and the state as a whole was questioned, and the law enforcement agencies were expected to play an instrumental role in ensuring the rule of law, constitutional order, and the existence of our statehood.”
According to the Acting Prime Minister, the competence of the government agencies, and especially the role of the Office of Prosecutor-General become more obvious in crisis situations.
“And indeed it was rightly observed that during that crisis period we saw an adequate reaction, as a result of which we avoided losses, deeper upheavals; we guaranteed the existence of our statehood and state system.
Of course, I believe that the investigation and disclosure of the events that took place in November have not yet been completed and must be continued. This issue is on the agenda of our law enforcement agencies, and I am confident that we will be consistent in this matter.
Much more important and large-scale work is expected in the near future. I think that society and all of us are aware that the circumstances of the 44-day war should be seriously and thoroughly studied, because there are questions that society should know the answers to. Of course, We still need to understand which part of issues should be considered in the judicial and legal system and which part should be discussed in commissions or other formats provided by law, but it is important to state that all the circumstances of the 44-day war must be examined, and where there is a problem of legal assessment. Where there is a problem of political assessment, there should be a political assessment, and our society and all of us, I think, feel this need, and the Prosecutor’s Office has quite a lot of work to do in this direction," Nikol Pashinyan said.
With reference to the past three years’ developments in the judicial-legal system, the Acting Premier stressed that since 2018 the authorities have abandoned the policy of diktat over the judicial and legal system.
“We have to admit that it has led to some turmoil as a matter of fact, because no one expected that. In general, there are retrospective analyses that have the right to exist, and according to these analyses it was not necessary to make such a radical change in relations, but it was necessary to do it gradually. However, I am convinced that if no decisive steps are taken, inertia begins to act faster and faster on the way to the institutional establishment of the judicial-legal system, and as a result there is no change. However, as a result of these three-year processes, we can state that we have finally created a very important foundation and basis for a truly fully institutionalized establishment of the judicial and legal system.
One of the key provisions of our electoral platform referred to law and justice. In general, I believe that the lack of justice has been the biggest problem in our country and we have a responsibility to deal with this issue, but I want to stress that as a result of three years of work we have diagnosed systemic and deep problems, we have seen that contrary to the initial opinion, we have problems not only in courts, but also in the quality of preliminary investigation, in the prosecution system, and it is important for us to face these problems and state that the course of reforms needs to be continued, the final goal of which must be the establishment of law, justice and fairness in Armenia.
I just consider it noteworthy that we received a mandate from the citizens of the Republic of Armenia to enforce the rule of law in the Republic of Armenia. What does this mean? It means that we should be able to reach a situation where the relationships between the citizens of the Republic of Armenia and state institutions are based on and limited by laws and rights, on the other hand, the laws have to be applicable and serve the rationale of the rule of law, because laws are written for people, for society and not vice versa,” the Acting Prime Minister emphasized.
The Acting Premier noticed that at least very serious and profound psychological changes have taken place in the country. He said the content and the results of the early parliamentary elections showed that irreversible changes have taken place in our society, and the public administration system must be fully positioned in tune with these changes. Nikol Pashinyan stated that the country needs law and order, justice, the rule of law, as well as the inevitability of legal responsibility. In this respect, the Prosecutor’s Office is of key importance, and there is every reason to assert that the OPG is in a position to comply with this task in the new political situation.
“Just as much important is the institution of confiscation of illegal property, which has started to be applied in the Republic of Armenia. Here we must be able to follow the path of justice, so that not the logic of revenge, but the logic of the legitimacy works, and in the end justice is established and reinstated; the interests of the state and society are fully restored. After all, this will institutionally confirm that corruption has no prospects in the Republic of Armenia, and there are no grounds, prerequisites or opportunities for the comeback of systemic corruption.
The role of the Prosecutor’s Office is key in all of these functions, and I am pleased that the Prosecutor General mentioned in his remarks that we can see a definite change in public attitudes, and I think the Prosecutor's Office, the law enforcement agencies, and the law-courts should ultimately be seen as public institutions called to protect citizens, protect the state, protect law and order, and are associated with justice and fairness.
Once again I want to thank all of you for your work. Very important work has been done. Of course, neither our, nor mine, nor your work is perfect, and we must state this so that we have an incentive for further progress and an understanding that the continued improvement of the quality of individual and institutional work is a key goal that we must achieve together – key responsibility and commitment to the people, to our martyrs. Our most important duty before them is to create a strong, competitive, just, powerful and developing state. During this period the Prosecutor’s Office has fulfilled its function of protecting the state, and I am convinced that this way we will definitely achieve our goals through joint work,” Nikol Pashinyan concluded.
Prosecutor General Artur Davtyan noted that this holiday for them is not just a confirmation of the existence of the system. “This day is a landmark in the history of our system, for which we have mobilized our capabilities, professional and human potential, energy, bearing in mind a vision of statehood based on the rule of law, internal security and public order.”
The Prosecutor General stressed that many episodes related to the elections are yet to be examined. “However, I am confident that we will pass this stage with dignity, because the bearer of the credo I have noted is the entire system of prosecution with its exceptional stability, deep awareness of the seriousness of the moment, the historical significance of the elections and understanding of the importance of its role. We will spare no effort to meet the public’s expectations concerning the daily improvement of the quality and content of our traditional functions, and especially in the context of the recently adopted exclusive mission to restore social justice in our country, I mean the confiscation of ill-earned assets,” Mr. Davtyan said.
Head of the Department for Organization, Control and Legal Support of the General Prosecutor’s Office Armen Marukhian, Head of the Department for Supervision over the Legality of Pre-Trial Proceedings of the National Security Service of the General Prosecutor’s Office Artur Chakhoyan and Head of the Department for Protection of State Interests of the General Prosecutor’s Office Vahe Rafayelian were awarded the Mkhitar Gosh Medal for valuable contribution to strengthening legality and legal order.
In addition, Nikol Pashinyan presented to the President of the Republic of Armenia a proposal to assign the Deputy Prosecutor General of Armenia, Advisor of Justice of the 1st class to Armen Afandyan, Deputy General Prosecutor of Armenia, Adviser of Justice of the 1st class Gevorg Baghdasaryan and the Deputy General Prosecutor, coordinating the area of functions aimed at the recovery of property of illegal origin, the 1st class counselor of justice Srbuhi Galyan, the class rank of the state counselor of justice of the 3rd class.