Justice Minister Reports on Changes

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–The chief purpose of the department recently established in the Ministry of Justice is the preparation for establishing a new structure which would secure forcible execution of judgmen’s–Minister of Justice David Haroutiunian told Noyan Tapan.

Haroutiunian pointed out that the Institution of Bailiffs which was operating under the jurisdiction of judicial power did not prove its value–as it was performing the functions of the executive power. The minister thinks that it would be more effective to establish a centralized para-military structure which would be responsible for the execution of judgmen’s. Similar models have proved its value in many countries.

The mechanisms which secure the execution of judgmen’s can’t be perfect–Haroutiunian said. He stressed that the execution of judgmen’s is a serious task and relevant mechanisms are constantly being improved.

Within the framework of the judicial and legal reforms–Haroutiunian pointed to the need for establishing courts of first instance and three appellant courts starting from January 12–1999.

The minister pointed out that in Soviet times–courts were regarded as lower echelons of power and were–in fact–subordinate to executive power. That is why–even in Yerevan courts occupy dilapidated buildings. The minister stressed that these difficulties should be gradually surmounted. He reported that about 20 courts are currently being repaired.

Haroutiunian reported that preparations are currently being made for placing the establishmen’s which are responsible for administering criminal punishmen’s under the authority of the Ministry of Justice–which is one of the terms laid down by the Council of Europe for Armenia’s potential membership of the organization.

As for another term put forward by the Council of Europe–abolition of capital punishment–Haroutiunian pointed out that this is a very humane approach.

Commenting on the financial expenses in connection with the abolition of capital punishment–Haroutiunian stressed that "the opinion that capital punishment is a solution to all problems is a mistake; in this issue we must not be guided by only financial considerations."


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