Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan has received a letter from President of the Venice Commission Gianni Buquicchio in which the latter has expressed the willingness to support the decisive reforms in Armenia’s judiciary and the implementation of vetting, reported Spokesperson of the Prime Minister of Armenia Vladimir Karapetyan to Armenpress.
“The Venice Commission has expressed willingness to assist Armenia in implementing reforms in the judiciary and vetting, fully respecting the Constitution of the Republic of Armenia and the accepted international standards,” Karapetyan said.
On May 28 Armenpress published the transcript of the official letter:
“Dear Prime Minister,
I follow up to our constructive meeting in Strasbourg of 11 April 2019, during which we reiterated our interest in close co-operation between Armenia and the Venice Commission. I have learned about your recent call for sweeping reforms, and even a vetting, of the judiciary in Armenia. You deplore that the judiciary does not enjoy the trust of the population and consider that corrupt and incapable judges should resign or be removed. Public trust in the judiciary is certainly a very important feature of a well-functioning democratic country and I am aware that such trust in the judiciary is sadly lacking in Armenia. The Venice Commission has already accepted and supported substantive reforms and even vetting procedures concerning the judiciary in other European countries in a similar situation. I need to underline, however that the Venice Commission has also stated that judicial reform must be devised and carried out by legal means, in compliance with the Constitution and taking into account European standards concerning the rule of law and respect for human rights. Such reforms can accomplish their aim of furthering the rule of law and can contribute to the realization of the democratic aspirations of your country only if such standards are respected. The Venice Commission stands ready to assist you in designing a judicial reform suitable to restore trust in the Armenian judiciary while fully respecting the Armenian constitution and the applicable international standards.