Armenia enters important stage of judiciary reforms

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YEREVAN, January 14. /ARKA/. The Armenian government has approved today a set of amendments to the Judicial Code and a number of related laws, and also indicated that they should go through the parliament as soon as possible.

Justice Minister Rustam Badasyan said the amendments envisage the establishment of two new institutions. The first are judges dealing with judicial control over pre-trial procedures and the second are specialized judges considering corruption crimes.

He said the statistics show that judges considering criminal cases also consider such cases, which relate to judicial control of pre-trial proceedings, issuing arrest and search warrants.

‘We believe that it is necessary to separate these specializations in order to improve the effectiveness of the investigation. Based on the anti-corruption strategy, there is also a need for a separate institution to increase the efficiency of consideration of corruption cases,” Badasyan said.

He said the number of judges both in the courts of first instance and the Criminal Appeal Court will be increased to 21 and 3 respectively.

Badasyan said judges for these new institutions will be chosen from the current judges and candidates after checking the latter’s reliability. The training and retraining procedures will be carried out in a more accelerated manner, Badasyan said.

The increased number of judges is expected to reduce the time for considering criminal cases. An attempt is also made to increase public confidence in the judicial system and judicial acts through additional checks. After parliamentary consideration, some of the amendments will come into force gradually.

In a comment on the new amendments Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said the country is entering a very important stage of reforming the judicial and legal system.

He said the parliament is poised to consider several bills on establishment of Anti-Corruption Court, Anti-Corruption Court of Appeal and Patrol Police.

He also noted that new procedures for the selection and appointment of judges will be enforced based on candidates’ due diligence.

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