05, 2008

Today President Serzh Sarkissian held a working meeting with the Chairman of the Court of Appeals, Hovhannes Manoukian

At the meeting discussed were issues pertaining to the program of comprehensive measures directed at the strengthening of independence of the courts.

It was stated that the main objective of the program is the elevation of the confidence level of the society toward the courts, which should be accomplished through the persistent reduction of corruption risks in the courts and raise of justice efficiency. It was also mentioned that on the road toward fair and unbiased courts, the monitoring role of the non-governmental organizations will be significant. The state in its turn has great responsibilities in securing a real independence of the judicial system.

Among the pending priorities was mentioned a necessity of a dramatic increase of the judges’ wages and other incentives for their work since a large amount of the existing problems rise from their financial insecurity. This is a price that the state should not hesitate to pay to have a fair justice system.

It was mentioned that along with these steps it is necessary to establish effective legal mechanisms for the monitoring the judges’ activities which will allow to reveal and punish those judges who breach the laws and norms of ethics. The importance of introducing an efficient code of conduct and strict standards of disciplinary responsibilities for judges also was stressed.

It was underlined that the penalties for the interference with the court activities should be tougher for everyone, including state officials of different levels.

At the meeting it was decided to develop and present for discussions a number of legal and administrative proposals stemming from the program.

Underlining that the implementation of the planned measures will almost certainly be challenging, President Sarkissian said that fight with these occurrences will be unremitting. There will be difficulties, resentment, and conflict of interests. He noted at the same time that regarding the implementation of this program the authorities will manifest unbending political will. The President of Armenia mentioned also the importance of public awareness regarding every step in the implementation of this program and elucidation of its essence. He underlined that in any undertaking public support is a guarantee of success.

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