ArmInfo.Having committed a revolution in the spring of 2018, Nikol Pashinyan and the ruling force did not apply its canons in relation to the Constitutional Court, courts and judges in general, investigative bodies, and even in relation to the education system that forges their cadres. The expert of the Armenian Institute of International and Security Affairs, lawyer Seda Safaryan, expressed a similar opinion to ArmInfo.
"The only change was lifting executive control over the aforementioned judicial authorities. The new government, unlike its predecessors, refused to put any pressure on all these authorities. In all other respects, there have been no positive shifts, and there aren't any now. So we have to admit that apparently, the revolution has not affected our courts. As a result, having received freedom, the judges simply do not exercise their own functions. And only a part of the judges, dissatisfied with the situation in the past, behave adequately today. Which, in my opinion, is absolutely not enough, "the lawyer emphasized.
According to her estimates it would be wrong to say that absolutely nothing has been done in the justice sector. However, even as a result of the ECHR's positive verdicts in cases of citizens of Armenia against the Republic of Armenia, not a single judge was even subjected to disciplinary action. In this light, the latest statements by the Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan in the parliament about significant shifts in the field of justice cause the lawyer's bewilderment. Moreover, Safaryan is convinced that the prime minister's optimism regarding the courts and Armenian justice is obviously not shared by the Armenian society either.
According to the lawyer, democracy and freedom of speech in no way imply permissiveness and the absence of any framework in the right of citizens to express their own opinion. And the current situation in Armenia in this regard, in her opinion, devalues many value systems. And the same situation around the "Case of March 1", which, in her opinion, was ruined by the courts, demonstrated the defeat of the state in an attempt to restore justice in the country.
"Thus, the state is also responsible for this failure. And very soon we will see dozens of new cases in the ECHR against the Republic of Armenia. And then our prime minister will face rather not enviable situation. I am convinced that leaving criminals at freedom guided by fear of being accused of political persecution is clearly not the best way out in the implementation of justice. But the law should work equally for everyone, both for the authorities and for the opposition. And this does not take place in Armenia today, "Safaryan is convinced.
"There are changes in the system of administration of justice, but they are extremely insignificant. And I cannot say that justice has been restored in Armenia or real steps have been taken to reform the judicial and legal fields. My own cases in the courts, about which the prime minister responds optimistically today, do not give me this opportunity. In any case, the best criterion is popular opinion. And if Pashinyan is really worried about the real situation in our courts, then he has every opportunity to get to know it. Not within the walls of parliament, but on the street. The situation in the Armenian courts does not differ from the one that existed 3 years ago and some people, for some reason being in a privileged position, are simply not subject to legal liability, "the lawyer summed up.