Within the period of January 1 to January of 2019, the Protection of Rights without Borders NGO, with the financial support of the Open Society Foundations, have conducted the project on the “Guaranteeing the Independence of the Judiciary in a Line with the Constitution Changes”.

The aim of the Project was to contribute to the effectiveness of the judicial reforms taking place in the Republic of Armenia through domestic legislation and international best experience, as well as through the monitoring of the activities of the self-government bodies if the judiciary.

The Project was implemented in two main stage

During the first stage of the project, a study on legislative filed regulating the activities, functions and the legislative status of the Justice Council in the light of the international standards before the adoption of the Judicial Code in 2018 was conducted by the Organization.

A study on the decisions on subjecting the judges to disciplinary liability made by the Justice Council within 2012-2017 was also conducted, during which the current legislative and the practical problems were raised. Based on the given research, a report on “The Practice of Subjecting the Judges to Disciplinary Liabilities during 2012-2017” was elaborated.

During the first stage of the project, the Organization conducted a monitoring on the composition, activities and functions of the newly formed RA Supreme Judicial Council again in the light of international standards.

Two information notes on the appointment procedures of the judges by the Supreme Judicial Council were elaborated, where the following information was presented:

  1. The arbitrariness related to the appointment procedures of the judge candidate by the Supreme Judicial Council, which hade different manifestation and mainly related to the judge candidates, who did not have previous work experience and were advocates of the private companies.
  2. The illegalities and the exercise of the powers by Supreme Judicial Council, the observations related to the power of appointment procedures of the judges, the legality of the decisions made by the Supreme Judicial Council.

During the second stage, the Organization carried out a study, which aimed at the presenting the formation, powers, the legal and practical compliance of the self-governing body of the RA Judiciary not only with the Republic of Armenia Constitution, but also with the international standards to raise the legislative and practical problems and present recommendations directed towards their solution.

The international standards study included the resolutions, positions and opinions adopted by the Council of Europe relevant bodies, including Ministerial Committee of Council of Europe, Consultative Council of European Judges, Venice Commission and by other bodies, as well as the study of more than 90 documents’ study. The verdicts made by the European Court of Human Rights on the respective sector were studied. The report on the topic “The Activities of the Self-Government Bodies of the Republic of Armenia Judiciary as a Guarantee for the Independence of the Judiciary” was elaborated.

A study on the 188 decisions made and published by the Supreme Judicial Council was conducted within the period of April 9 of 2018 to December 28 of 2018. Each decision was subjected to examination by the relevant expert within the scope of the RA Judicial Code and in a line with the international standards to detect the justification of each decision, as well as to find its compliance to the Republic of Armenia Judicial Code.

At the same time, the Organization experts conducted interviews with the members of the Supreme Judicial Council, advocates, judges and other experts in the field about the activities Supreme Judicial Council.

The Organization also conducted a comparative analysis on the decisions made on disciplinary sanctioning adopted by the Justice Council and on the decisions made by the Supreme Judicial Council.

At the given stage, a study on the appeals filed against the RA Court of Appeal and a monitoring of the judicial sitting were respectively conducted.

The reports and studies elaborated within the scope of the Project are now finished and will be presented soon.