On 14 March an analytical report on peoples’ expectations and needs of justice in Armenia was presented. The research was conducted from May-December 2016 by the EU Justice Monitoring Project across the whole territory of Armenia.
The report is based on comparative results of public perception and professional evaluation of the quality of justice and the activity of justice institutions in Armenia, particularly the courts. Attention was also paid to how justice institutions/service providers perceive qualitative features of justice and how they behave when fulfilling their duties and exercising the law.
Viewpoints of judicial service providers and judicial theorists and practitioners were gathered to enhance the analysis of public confidence and improvements to the quality of justice services. Justice monitoring focused on the following areas: independence and accountability; equality, competition and other qualities of a fair trial; predictability of justice; accessibility of justice services; efficiency of justice services; trust and confidence. The results have exposed gaps and shortcomings, such as a lack of trust in the legitimacy of the justice system, a lack of general knowledge among the population about justice processes, corruption, and other concerns over independence, accountability, transparency, accessibility and efficiency of the judiciary. The EU welcomes the intention of the Government to incorporate these results into legal and judicial reforms.
The Head of EU Delegation to Armenia, Ambassador Piotr Świtalski, and the Armenian First Deputy Minister of Justice, Artur Hovhannisyan, attended the presentation.
Ambassador Świtalski praised the research: “I believe that this research can greatly help all stakeholders, starting with the Armenian Government and the Ministry of Justice, which are very busy now preparing reforms to the judiciary in Armenia. For the European Union, judicial reforms are an absolute priority in Armenia. The EU has allocated more than €50 million to help the judiciary sector, the Ministry of Justice, and other related agencies. We believe that Armenia is moving forward and entering into a quite an important phase. The people of Armenia expect deep reforms and a fundamental transformation in the country. This research is a way to satisfy their needs and expectations, and include them in further reforms”.
Hovhannisyan also stressed the importance of the research: “Today is a very important day. First of all, this document is, figuratively, a “home task” for the Ministry of Justice. It should be thoroughly explored to see how it can complement further reform processes. Why is it important? Different viewpoints about various issues are represented. I have managed to explore it a little bit and I can say that this is a thorough an extensive work has been done”.