A conference finalizing the “Formulating Evidence Based Advocacy for the Rule of Law and Good Governance” Project was organized on November 16, 2016 in Congress Hotel, Yerevan.
In his opening remarks, Jerzy Marek Nowakowski, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Poland to Armenia presented the activities between Visegrad International Fund and V4 countries, as well as highlighted the partnership with Armenia by implementing such initiatives.
Haykuhi Harutyunyan, President of the “Protection of Rights without Borders” NGO, delivered a speech where she assessed the implementation of the Project as effective, since civil society representatives of Armenia and Georgia used their best knowledge in rule of law and advocacy field during the monitoring conducting process.
The civil society representatives from Armenia and Georgia presented the outcomes of the monitoring “Rule of Law, Citizens’ court watch” and “Good Governance and Evaluation” implemented within the period of July 1, 2016 to October 14, 2016.
Bartosz Pilitowski, the Head of Poland’s judicial supervision foundation, while highlighting the implementation of such projects, shared Poland’s best experience on court watch. He particularly highlighted the involvement of non-professionals’ participation in the process. The Judicial Supervision Foundation of Poland has more than 2000 monitors who are ordinary citizens, do not have any professional qualification and conduct court’s watch activities.
“We are not experts, we are the assistants of citizens, who try to involve people in this process and find out how the court functions according to their perception. All the citizens should be assured that the court treats citizens with respect and justice. The judges should understand in their turn that they function in favor of citizens not the state” – mentioned Bartosz Pilitowski.
Haykuhi Harutyunyan presented the outcomes of the monitoring on “Rule of Law, Citizens’ court watch”. She mentioned that 66 monitoring on court hearing were conducted in the first instance courts of Yerevan, Goris, and Kapan.
“In contrast to the already accepted and effectively implemented fair trail monitoring, this time we used the court monitoring experience, which assumes, that we are not indulged in the process at professional level, but we simple evaluate the accessibility and quality of court’s services as citizens”- added Haykuhi Harutyunyan.
The Armenian and Georgian monitors observed the accessibility to court buildings, building conditions, information on court sitting and reasons for their delay, the attitude of judges towards parties, as well as the transparency and openness of court sittings.
Evgeni Omanadze and Irine Kasradze, monitoring responsible in Georgia presented the court monitoring outcomes.
In Georgia 61 court sittings were observed in the courts of Tbilisi and Kutaisi.
As visual presentation of courts watch by citizens, a video clip on “Rule of Law” made by Organization was presented during the conference.
During the second part of the conference, the process and outcomes of the “Good governance Monitoring and Evaluation” were presented.
Eva Bordos, expert of “Hungarian Association of NGOs for Development and Humanitarian Aid” organization also made a speech during the conference presenting the Hungarian model of advocacy application and its importance.
Tamar Perekishvili, Khatuna Gargazia and Hasmik Harutyunyan presented the monitoring outcomes conducted in Georgia and Armenia.
The respective data on the training was collected through the media publications, as well as through the reports of local and international organizations.
The parties fixed that success from good governance standpoint in Armenia and Georgia is not sufficient.
Anti-corruption strategies were elaborated, but still a lot of work should be implemented for good ensuring outcomes.
Hasmik Harutyunyan mentioned that there are legal grounds in Armenia, which however are not applied in practice. Political stability, lack of violations, restraining and balancing tools are necessary for having best experience in good governance.
In addition, Tamar Perekishvili, Khatuna Gargazia mentioned, that in order to have best experience in good governance in Georgia, first of all anti-monopole legislation should be elaborated in the country.
The project was implemented with the financial support of Visegrad fund.