Announcement on the Decision Made by the Chamber of Advocates on 29.05.2018

We, the undersigned non-governmental organizations are expressing our concern on the information published on the official webpage of the RA Chamber of Advocates on May 29 of 2018, according to which “On May 29 of 2018, a competition on the selection of a candidate for the council, according to which “By the decision N 224-A of 29.05.2018, adopted by Ara Zohranyan, the President of the Chamber of Advocates, advocate Mariam Zadoyan (license number 1901) was appointed as a member of the council for the selection of the members of the Corruption Prevention Commission”.

Highlighting the importance and legitimacy of the fight against corruption in the Republic of Armenia, as well as the involvement of the RA Chamber of Advocates in the mentioned procedures, we express our concern over the organization process of the competition by the Chamber of Advocates and accordingly on the made decision with the following reasoning .

 

  1. The Deadlines of the Competition

The Chamber of Advocates published the information regarding the completion on May 12 of 2018 and the deadline for the applications was May 24. Such a short period defined by the Chamber of Advocates cannot be considered reasonable and ensure the competition of participation.

  1. The Criteria for the Candidates

Only 2 criteria for the candidates were mentioned in the announcement published by the Chamber of Advocates.

the candidate should be an advocate (the advocate who has been subjected to a disciplinary liability within the last one year and the penalty is not paid, cannot participate in the interview).

 

The candidate should have at least one year of experience in the anti-corruption field (protection implementation within the corruption related crimes, scientific research on the corruption related issues, participation in anti-corruption projects etc.(

The Chamber of Advocates prescribed at least one year of professional experience as a criteria, meanwhile at least 10 year of professional experience is required for the members of the Commission.

It is notable, that the circumstance of being subjected to a disciplinary liability of the advocated and the fact of the penalty amount not being paid are considered as a restriction.

Meanwhile, during the last two years, the disciplinary sanctioning are selectively applied by the Chamber of Advocates against the advocates who are braver and have critical approach.

  1. The Working Group Conducting the Interview

According to the published announcement, the Chief of Staff, Spokesperson, as well as the First Deputy President of the Chamber of Advocates were included in the working group conducting the completion. In a line with the same information, the anti-corruption experience of the candidate was evaluated, the knowledge of the RA Law on “Corruption Prevention Commission” was checked. Meanwhile, the members of the working group conducting the interview are not professionals of the anti-corruption field, do not have respective recognition, which pub their assessment under suspicion.

 

  1. The Transparency of the Competition

From the 7 applicant-candidates for the participation in the competition announced on May 21 of 2018, 6 applicants presented.

Additional information regarding the advocates, who participated in the interview, has not been published by the Chamber of Advocates. Information on the content of the competition has not also been published. An important condition for the competition if the evaluation criteria system, in regard to which no information was presented in the announcement too.

Taking into consideration the above mentioned gaps by the RA Chamber of Advocates, as well as the raised concerns, we urge the RA Chamber of Advocates

  • cancel the results of the competition,
  • ensure the organization of a new, transparent competition with the emphasize on having public trust
  • Present the competition participation reasonable high standards, taking into consideration the demand, that at least 10 year of professional experience is required for the member of the Commission.

 

“Asparez” Journalists’ Club  

“Union of Informed Citizens” NGO

“Peace Dialogue” NGO

“Against Legal Arbitrariness” NGO

“Khoran Ard Intellectual Center” NGO

Public Journalism Club

“National Center of Public Policy Research” NG

“New Generation” humanitarian NGO

“The Power of Law” NGO

“Artsvabuyn Zeytun” NGO

Open Society Foundations Armenia

“Protection of Rights without Border” NGO