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Historical indicator in the fight against corruption; Rustam Badasyan presents 2019 justice sector performance

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Within the scope of the report on implementation of the 2019 Programme of the Government, Minister of Justice Rustam Badasyan presented the activities carried out for the fight against corruption and equality of everyone before the law, justice and human rights protection.

Upon presenting the performed and planned activities within the scope of the
Anti-Corruption Strategy and 2019-2022 Action Plan, the Minister touched upon the activities for the creation of a framework of anti-corruption bodies — the already established Commission for the Prevention of Corruption, the planning for the establishment of the Anti-Corruption Committee and the formation of the
Anti-Corruption Court.

Within the scope of the introduction of effective mechanisms for prevention of corruption, Rustam Badasyan touched upon the introduced new sample form of the declaration for distribution of assets and interests, the activities for development of a new methodology for assessment and identification of corruption risks, which will be aimed at revealing the internal corruption risks of state bodies, as well as presented the activities in relation to the introduction of an institution of revelation of beneficial owners.

 The Minister also touched upon the revelation of corruption crimes and the Law “On civil forfeiture of illegal assets” adopted by the National Assembly, and also presented the results of introduction of the Unified Electronic Platform for 

Whistle-Blowing, stating that 220 reports have been received.

Rustam Badasyan informed that, by the result of 2019, Armenia has improved its positions by 28 places in the Corruption Perception Index, which is exceptional in the history of Armenia.

In early March 2020, Civil Status Acts Registration services — childbirth, recognition of paternity of a child and state registration of marriage, became available at the 3 largest medical institutions providing maternity care in Yerevan.

According to the Minister, the first unified office will also be launched in the upcoming months, where all the services of the Civil Status Acts Registration, the National Archives, the Cadastre, the Agency for State Register of Legal Entities, and social security will be provided in one unified centre; later, activities will be carried out to incorporate community services and the function of the Passport and Visas Department of the Police in one unified office as well.

In October 2019, the Action Plan of the Strategy for Judicial and Legal Reforms, its short-term, mid-term and long-term action plans, as well as the action plans for introduction and development of electronic justice were approved.

The Judicial Code, which was widely discussed and was approved by the Venice Commission, has been adopted.

Amendments have been made to the Civil Procedure Code, whereby the institution of simplified proceedings has been improved. Draft amendments to the Administrative Procedure Code have been developed, whereby the system of notification has been improved.

 In July 2019, amendments were made to the Law “On compulsory enforcement of judicial acts”, as a result whereof a toolkit for detection of assets of a debtor, declaration of assets, and promotion of voluntary enforcement of judicial acts was introduced. The specifications of the electronic platform for bankruptcy cases have been developed, and full digitisation of bankruptcy cases will be introduced in the upcoming months.

In 2019 and during the first two months of 2020, the Minister of Justice of the Republic of Armenia submitted to the Supreme Judicial Council 11 motions for instituting disciplinary proceedings against judges, in the case when, in 2018, only one motion had been submitted to the Supreme Judicial Council.

Within the scope of improvement of the business environment, reforms for financial health and attractiveness and increase of effectiveness of those programmes have been provided for by the draft Law “On bankruptcy” and related draft laws.

A number of actions that are also related to the penitentiary sector have been envisaged within the scope of the Strategy on Human Rights Protection. The measures for the establishment of rehabilitative justice, the reduction of recidivism, and the overcoming of the criminal sub-culture are targeted under the 2019-2023 Action Plan for Implementation of the Strategy on the Penitentiary and Probation Sectors. Measures have been undertaken for guaranteeing the rights of persons deprived of liberty in penitentiary institutions; in particular, a new food supply system has been introduced in already nine penitentiary institutions, and the indicator for use of food is 100% (before making the transition to this system, the indicator was 60-70%). “Penitentiary Medicine Centre” SNCO was established, whereby medical services have been separated from the Penitentiary Service. The salaries of penitentiary officers have been increased by 30%, which serves as an impetus for reduction of corruption risks and increases the attractiveness for getting employed in the Penitentiary Service. The Law on the Fight against the Criminal Sub-Culture has been adopted, and the
e-penitentiary system is in the stage of final launch, which will provide the opportunity to implement all processes electronically.

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