Performance report 2022 of the Ministry of Justice presented to the Prime Minister
YEREVAN, DECEMBER 23, ARTSAKHPRESS. Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan visited the Ministry of Justice to participate in the discussion of the performance report 2022 of the Ministry, ARTSAKHPRESS.was informed from the Office of the Prime Minister. Deputy Prime Minister Tigran Khachatryan, Chief of Staff of the Prime Minister Arayik Harutyunyan, Minister of Finance Tigran Khachatryan, Acting Minister of Justice Grigor Minasyan, Head of the State Supervision Service Romanos Petrosyan, officials of the Prime Minister’s Office, leading staff of the Ministry of Justice and other officials participated in the consultation. Grigor Minasyan and the deputy ministers presented the works performed according to the sectors. First, the reform implementation process in the judicial and legal sphere was addressed. It was reported that the salaries of judges were increased during the reporting period. In the Constitutional Court, the premium was set at the amount of 80 percent of the salary, in the Court of Cassation, the premium was set at the amount of 50 percent of the salary. Separate administrative and anti-corruption chambers were formed in the Court of Cassation. The National Assembly adopted a law by which criminal and civil courts of first instance are formed in the city of Yerevan. A law was also adopted on establishing the anti-corruption court of appeals, which will ensure a three-level specialized investigation of anti-corruption cases. A positive opinion of the Venice Commission was received in terms of providing for the possibility of appeal for the decisions of the Supreme Judicial Council in disciplinary cases. It was noted that during 2022, 41 disciplinary proceedings were initiated against judges, 15 were terminated, and 18 petitions were submitted to the Supreme Judicial Council. 8 disciplinary proceedings are still under investigation, 3 disciplinary proceedings have been initiated based on ECHR decisions. Information was presented on the works on improving the building conditions of the courts. It was noted that civil proceedings are being digitized in the field of e-justice, adoption of new programs will be organized with the help of Grant Thornton company. In Vayots Dzor, the electronic system of pre-trial proceedings has been launched, the personal office platform of the Enforcement Service has been introduced, and the system of the e-penitentiary is being modernized. It is planned that in 2023 the E-Justice platform will be launched, administrative, criminal and anti-corruption trials will be digitized, the case distribution system will be improved. There will also be a Judicial Strategy Monitoring website. A new Enforcement Service system will be introduced, electronic platforms for conciliation and bankruptcy will be developed, e-register and e-draft will be modernized, an anti-corruption monitoring platform will be developed. As a result of the reforms carried out in the Enforcement service sector, in 11 out of 17 banks, the processes of confiscation and unbanning of funds have been optimized – 1 day instead of 7 days, the draft concept for the introduction of the new model of the Enforcment Service is being edited. A new procedure has been introduced, according to which the transsport vehicles wanted by the enforcement officer’s decision cannot pass technical inspection. It was also reported that during the current year the volume of confiscations has already increased by 5 billion AMD, which is 40 percent more than last year. A new Department of Psychological Examinations was created within the scope of the activity of the Expert Center of the Justice Ministry, and a hotline was launched. In the current year, the salary of experts has increased by 92.7%, reaching 700-800 thousand AMD. About 100 draft laws have been developed in the field of criminal justice. Based on a legislative initiative, the unification of investigative bodies was implemented, from January 1, 2024, two investigative bodies will operate: Anti-corruption and Investigative Committees. In the current year, the new Criminal Code came into force, replacing the code adopted almost 20 years ago. In order to build a new penitentiary in the field of penal service, a sketch version was developed, an engineering geological survey was carried out. Capital repairs were carried out in “Abovyan”, “Armavir”, “Sevan” prisons. For the first time, a video surveillance system was implemented in “Armavir” penitentiary. The package on the voluntary certification of correctional officers is also ready. In the “Armavir” penitentiary, the model of the training of an officer will be introduced on a pilot basis, for the first time a convict over the age of 19 will be given the opportunity of general education, and the right of communication of foreigners has been ensured. An electronic monitoring system for the application of house arrest was acquired, the e-probation system was launched, 5 Yerevan and 3 regional offices of the Probation Service were overhauled. It was also informed that the Prison Medicine Center will be transferred to the Ministry of Health. Within the framework of reforms of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the legislative package was adopted and signed by the President. It was noted that the Patrol Service was launched in Lori and Shirak Provinces, the training process for Patrol Service officers in the next 4 Provinces was launched, and admission was announced for the last 4 Provinces. In 2023, in the Ministry of Internal Affairs, it is planned to implement the planned changes in subordinate state bodies. The legislative package and road map aimed at the formation of the Police Guard will also be presented, and the Patrol Service will be implemented in the entire territory of the Republic of Armenia. A water patrol service will also be launched. A private reception will be announced in order to promote the involvement of female patrollers in the patrol service. Within the framework of anti-corruption reforms, the regulations regarding the acceptance of gifts by officials, incompatibility requirements, conflict of interests were specified, and the reporting system was improved. The anti-corruption communication action plan was implemented. In 2023, it is planned to adopt a new anti-corruption strategy, to implement legislative reforms aimed at checking good behavior. Those in charge informed that the package adopted as a result of discussions with the majority of judges in Armenia envisages introduction of a new qualification procedure for judges, a new mechanism for inclusion in the list, by which people with 8 years of professional experience will be able to be included in the list of candidates. In the field of mass media reforms, in 2022, as a result of joint working discussions with sectoral non-governmental organizations, a draft concept on the institutionalization of the mass media self-regulation system was developed by mutual consent, which is in the process of finalization with stakeholders. In order to support the creation of the new arbitration center, a management advisory committee consisting of 27 reputable national and international experts was formed during the reporting period. They will later become members of the center’s arbitration board and arbitrators. The charter of the arbitration center has already been approved by the Advisory Committee, the arbitration rules and other documents are currently being developed. The works carried out during the current year provide for the possibility of online mediation, mandatory mediation was introduced in some family cases, an electronic procedure for the selection and appointment of mediators was established. Within the framework of constitutional reforms, the Council of Constitutional Reforms was formed, 30 public discussions were held in different formats in Yerevan and regions, around 10 sessions of the Council and the commission were held. The professional commission for constitutional reforms was formed, the conceptual pieces on issues related to the form of government, the role and status of the president, and the acts of supranational organizations were prepared, and the majority of parties had a positive position on the parliamentary form of government. The concept of the modern model of Civic Centers was also approved, by which it is planned to create civic centers on the basis of Haypost. Within the framework of reforms in the field of public administration, 126 existing strategic documents were reviewed, assessment of expediency was carried out and a new model of strategic planning was defined, their number was reduced and the hierarchy was clarified. It is planned to review and modernize about 460 state and community services, digitize them, as well as to develop a unified service delivery model. it is also planned to review the remuneration of public servants, develop a new system, implement measures to make the civil service attractive and competitive, structural and functional optimization of the executive power, increase the efficiency of decision-making, and develop new procedures for issuing and executing instructions. Prime Minister Pashinyan emphasized the need for effective implementation of reforms in all the above-mentioned directions, particularly in the judicial and legal sphere. “Establishing a truly independent judicial system will also have a great economic effect,” said the Prime Minister. Nikol Pashinyan instructed to pay special attention to improving the conditions of court buildings. The Prime Minister added that the judicial system should have the necessary infrastructural, substantive and personnel potential and added that the work in this direction should be carried out in close cooperation with the Supreme Judicial Council. The Prime Minister emphasized the implementation of the project of the construction of the justice district, the renovation and modernization works in the penitentiary institutions and added that they should be consistent with the process of combating the criminal subculture, have proper and dignified conditions. Referring to the activities carried out in the field of electronic justice, the Prime Minister noted that they should be promoted within the framework of general digitization reforms. Nikol Pashinyan also spoke about the process of releasing convicts from further serving the sentence, stressing that it should be carried out on the basis of an expert opinion. Referring to the Patrol Service, the Prime Minister instructed to carry out consistent work in the direction of expanding the involvement of women, continuous development of the service, including through certification.