Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan had a working breakfast with the members of the Council of Europe’s high-ranking mission led by Christos Giakoumopoulos, Director General of Human Rights and Rule of Law at the CoE, the Armenian PM’s Office told Armenpress.
The CoE delegation’s visit is taking place with regards to the rooted reforms of judiciary in Armenia aimed at assisting the judicial reforms based on the May 22 agreement reached between the Armenian PM and CoE Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland.
PM Pashinyan attached importance to the delegation’s visit to Armenia and the bilateral cooperation for implementing the judicial reforms in the country. The PM said the rooted changes in the judiciary are a priority process and agenda for the government which should guarantee the existence of fully independent judiciary in Armenia. He said as a result of the recent democratic elections of Armenia the government and Parliament have received the citizens’ complete trust and mandate. “From political perspective, especially after the revolution, a simple question arises: who is representing the judicial power in Armenia, whose power the judicial power is exercising in Armenia. I say this because the Article 2 of the Constitution of Armenia, which is not subject to change, says that the power in Armenia belongs to the people, the people exercise their power through free elections, referenda, as well as through state and local self-government bodies and officials provided for by the Constitution. And here in this list courts are state bodies enshrined by the Constitution. And the problem is that in fact, due to the recent political events, the courts, compared to the government and the Parliament, do not enjoy the people’s trust. This is the reason that court decisions constantly create concerns among the public, people just do not trust our judicial system, and this can become a source of constant crisis”, Nikol Pashinyan said, adding that it’s time for the judiciary as well to enjoy the people’s trust. He expressed confidence that the government will manage to form a reliable judicial system in close cooperation with the international partners.
In his turn Christos Giakoumopoulos reaffirmed the CoE’s full support to Armenia’s judicial reforms agenda. He said the CoE welcomes the Armenian government’s steps aimed at making rooted changes in the judiciary and informed that they arrived in Armenia to discuss the future cooperation steps and actions for the implementation of these reforms. Christos Giakoumopoulos added that the Council of Europe is ready to closely cooperate with the Armenian government by investing its entire expert potential in the process of reforms.
Highlighting the fact that Armenia is a member of the Council of Europe, the PM proposed the CoE not to assist, but to be engaged in the process of judicial reforms.
Both sides stated that the fight against corruption and judicial reforms in Armenia should be in accordance with the Constitution of Armenia, international standards and Armenia’s commitments as a CoE member state.
After the meeting the Armenian PM left for a brief vacation which he will spend in Armenia.