They are Trying to Establish Distrust towards the Authorities by Distorting the Transitional Justice

The interview of with Haykuhi Harutyunyan, president of the “Protection of Rights without Border” NGO.

–  Ms. Harutyunyan, the Prime Minister announced during the discussion dedicated to the judicial reforms, that it is the time to make some surgical intervention to the judicial system. What do you think, is the situation too much alarming in the system?

– I think, not only the announcements of the Prime Minister facts about the judiciary and the alarming problems of the judiciary. Before and after the revolution, we as the representatives of the civil society talked about the current problems. Even if our assessments were not trustworthy by the previous authorities, the reports of the international community on the judiciary of Armenia should have been sufficient for the current authorities to start the reform in RA Judiciary.

– Through “Surgery Intervention”?

– I would use the word “root” in this case, since the term “surgical” mostly relates to a partial change of the current system. Meanwhile, I think, the whole system needs a review: the governance system needs serious reforms in terms of legislation and human resources policies.

– A quote from the speech of the Prime Minister: “Unfortunately, I can not guarantee that the judiciary will not be subjected to illegal influences by the previous corrupted system, since those two systems are interconnected with human, political and other connections”. Do you share this opinion and what does the Prime Minster mean by saying this?  

– Taking into consideration after what kind of events the Prime Minister delivered a speech about the judicial reforms or surgery interventions in the judiciary, I think, that it is better to point out the previous judiciary. It can be a result of previous connections. Taking into consideration the circumstance, that the judiciary as a collegial body, did not come up from more strong position for its protection, raises a number of concerns.

– Let’s talk about the transitional justice. The authorities are now implementing one of its promises announced during the revolution. Parliamentary hearing is intended on May 24. What do you think why the talks about the transitional justice mechanisms are belated and what kind of mechanisms should be implemented in Armenia according to your evaluation? People who are against it, say that it will not be effective in Armenia.

– Transitional justice is being implemented in different continents. And from legal perspective, we should have a clear distinction of what is being implemented in different continents. The version that is being used by the oppositions is the transitional justice concept established by the UN, which has been used and applied in the societies, where military conflicts, gross human rights violations took place, which can be in a line with the term of “genocide”. This version is not the context that we imagine for Armenia. And the people, who refer to that model try to distort or to misinterpret the concepts and to form distrust towards the current authorities.