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22/01/2018

Strategy for Judicial and Legal Reforms In The Republic Of Armenia For 2018-2023 And The Action Plan

GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF ARMENIA

DECISION

No ---- N of ------ 2017

 

ON APPROVING THE 2018-2023 STRATEGY FOR JUDICIAL AND LEGAL REFORMS IN THE REPUBLIC OF ARMENIA AND THE ACTION PLAN DERIVING THEREFROM

 

Guided by Articles 146 and 153 of the Constitution of the Republic of Armenia, the Government of the Republic of Armenia hereby decides:

1.     To approve:

(1)    The 2018-2023 Strategy for Judicial and Legal Reforms of the Republic of Armenia, pursuant to Annex No 1.

(2)    The Action Plan deriving from the 2018-2023 Strategy for Judicial and Legal Reforms of the Republic of Armenia, pursuant to Annex No 2.

2.     This Decision shall enter into force on the day following its official promulgation.

 

PRIME MINISTER
OF THE REPUBLIC OF ARMENIA

K. KARAPETYAN

... December 2017

Yerevan 

 

 

 

Annex No

to Decision of the Government of the Republic of Armenia
No ---- N of ------

 

THE 2018-2023 STRATEGY

FOR JUDICIAL AND LEGAL REFORMS OF THE REPUBLIC OF ARMENIA 

 

 

YEREVAN 2017


 

CONTENT

ABBREVIATIONS. 5

SECTION I.      GENERAL PROVISIONS. 7

SECTION II.     INTRODUCTION. 10

SECTION III.    GENERAL GOAL AND AREAS OF INTERVENTION OF THE STRATEGY. 15

1.     General goal of the Strategy. 15

2.     Areas of intervention of the Strategy. 15

2.1.  Ensuring independence and impartiality of the judiciary. 15

2.2.  Ensuring professionalism of judges and judicial servants 15

2.3.  Ensuring the effectiveness of justice. 16

2.3.1.    Ensuring the effectiveness of the judiciary 16

2.3.2.   Ensuring the effectiveness of the advocacy system.. 16

2.3.3.   Ensuring the effectiveness of the notary system.. 16

2.3.4.   Ensuring the effectiveness of the activities of bankruptcy administrators 16

2.4.  Ensuring the public accountability of the judiciary. 17

2.5.  Ensuring a judiciary free from corruption and patronage, enhancing the effectiveness of investigation of corruption crimes 17

2.6.  Ensuring legal certainty and effective law enforcement 17

2.6.1    Ensuring the effectiveness of criminal justice. 17

2.6.2    Ensuring accessibility of juvenile justice. 17

2.6.3    Upgrading and ensuring purposefulness of the system of criminal punishments 17

2.6.4    Ensuring the effectiveness of administrative and civil justice. 18

2.6.5    Ensuring the effectiveness of the enforcement system.. 18

2.6.6    Ensuring the effectiveness of legal expert examination. 18

2.6.7 Protection of personal data. 18

2.6.8 Strengthening legal safety 19

2.7.  Providing quality justice-related services. 19

2.7.1     Expansion of “e-justice” domain and ensuring effectiveness. 19

2.7.2    Ensuring the effectiveness of the system of public registers 19

SECTION IV.    STRATEGIC GOALS AND GUIDELINES. 20

SECTION V.     COORDINATION, MONITORING OF AND CONTROL OVER IMPLEMENTATION OF THE STRATEGY AND THE ACTION PLAN. 43

ANNEX II.        FOR THE 2018-2023 STRATEGY FOR JUDICIAL AND LEGAL REFORMS OF THE REPUBLIC OF ARMENIA. 46


 

ABBREVIATIONS

AJ

Academy of Justice of the Republic of Armenia

NSS

National Security Service of the Republic of Armenia

MJ

Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Armenia

MLSA

Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs of the Republic of Armenia

PDPA

Personal Data Protection Agency of the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Armenia

SJC

Supreme Judicial Council of the Republic of Armenia

GPO

General Prosecutor's Office of the Republic of Armenia

HEI

Higher Educational Institution

JACES

Judicial Acts Compulsory Enforcement Service of the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Armenia

GAJ

General Assembly of Judges of the Republic of Armenia

TCGAJ

Training Commission of the General Assembly of Judges of the Republic of Armenia

MM

Mass Media

LERPIC

Legal Education and Rehabilitation Program Implementation Centre SNCO

CPT

Committee for the Prevention of Torture

NGO

Non-Governmental Organisation

SIS

Special Investigation Service of the Republic of Armenia

ECtHR

European Court of Human Rights

ECHR

European Convention of Human Rights

NC

Notarial Chamber of the Republic of Armenia

SNCO

State Non-Commercial Organisation

SRC

State Revenue Committee under the Government of the Republic of Armenia

CC

Court of Cassation of the Republic of Armenia

SA

School of Advocates of the Republic of Armenia

CA

Chamber of Advocates of the Republic of Armenia

IC

Investigative Committee of the Republic of Armenia

MF

Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Armenia

 

 

I. GENERAL PROVISIONS

1.     The 2018-2023 Strategy for Judicial and Legal Reforms of the Republic of Armenia (hereinafter referred to as “the Strategy”) has been developed taking into account the need for strategic planning, monitoring, reporting and regular progress evaluation of the judicial and legal sector reforms for securing the progressive development of the sector.

2.     The Strategy, is the continuation of the previous programmes for judicial and legal sector reforms, sets — based on the results of the previous programmes as well as taking account of up-to-date developments in the field of law, the existing issues and development perspectives of the judiciary and legal system of the Republic of Armenia — the general goal, areas of intervention for the judicial and legal sector reforms and strategic goals prescribed by each of these areas of intervention for the upcoming five years, strategic guidelines and final results thereof upon implementation of the Strategy, which the Government strives to achieve for the public.

3.     For the purpose of ensuring effective implementation of the Strategy, certain measures deriving from the strategic goals and guidelines and actions to be carried out under the Action Plan are introduced by stipulating the body responsible for the performance thereof, the performance deadline, the output and its relevant performance quantitative or qualitative indicators, as well by indicating the expected source of financial means necessary for each action.

4.     The main performance indicators of the final outputs of the Strategy are raising the level of public confidence in the judiciary and in the activities or separate aspects of the activities of the establishments in the field of justice, the level of confidence of the professional community (lawyers) in the judiciary and in the activities of the establishments in the field of justice, improved indicators in various relevant evaluation reports on the activities or separate aspects of the activities of the establishments in the field of justice in the Republic of Armenia or raising the rating of the Republic of Armenia.

5.     The selection of the structure of the Strategy and the Action Plan has been made based on the theoretical approaches and best practice available with regard to planning and developing strategies. In accordance therewith the following are normally being prescribed by the strategies: general goal, principles or areas of intervention based thereon, strategic goals, strategic guidelines, measures, actions, outputs and their performance indicators, as well as indicator verification sources.

This structure also complies with the requirements to the structure as established by the Protocol Decision N 42 of 5 October 2017 of the Government of the Republic of Armenia (hereinafter referred to as “the Decision of the Government”) for strategies of a similar level and constitutes a part of a mechanism for monitoring and progress evaluation of the Strategy and the Action Plan, which aims at securing the effectiveness of those processes.

6.     For the purpose of coordinating, monitoring and exercising control over the implementation of the Strategy and the Action Plan deriving therefrom, a Coordinating Council is envisaged to be established with the involvement of the beneficiaries of the field by prescribing relevant functions and rules of procedure thereof. The activities of the Council are also aimed at supporting the processes of reporting, monitoring and progress evaluation as prescribed by the Decision of the Government.

7.     The mechanism for monitoring and progress evaluation, on the one hand, allows for the use of quality assurance mechanism in the process of reforms: planning, performance, evaluation and improvement and on the other hand, it allows for ensuring the predictability, certainty, effectiveness of the results of the Strategy and the Action Plan, transparency of the implementation process, public awareness raising with regard to the reforms and confidence building, as well as the dynamics of the Strategy and the Action Plan.

8.     Based on the results of monitoring and progress evaluation, the Action Plan may, as prescribed by the legislation, be amended — adjusted and reviewed annually.

9.     Financial stability for the Strategy and the Action Plan is ensured through provision of financial means necessary for the implementation of the actions deriving from strategic goals within the framework of available funds of the State Budget of the Republic of Armenia. With regard to effective implementation of the actions, an importance is being attached to financial or technical support provided by the partners, including international and regional organisations, constantly contributing to judicial and legal reforms in the Republic of Armenia.

10.   The reforms in the sector, as envisaged by the Strategy, are to be implemented by establishing or improving the legislation and the regulatory field, introducing or developing effective mechanisms securing their practical enforcement, as well as by institutional development, improvement of infrastructures and improvement of the professional potential in the sector.

11.    The following fundamental principles underlie the Strategy: legal certainty, predictability of the legal system and justice, access to justice and justice effectiveness, independence, impartiality of the judiciary, quality justice, public accountability and principles ensuring transparency.

12.    The development of the Strategy is based on the method of elaboration of evidence-based policy. This allowed for the elaboration of a policy aimed at ensuring the effectiveness of outputs by making use of evidence and information — received from all of the available and accessible research materials, evaluation reports and other sources — related to the field of justice of the Republic of Armenia.

13.    When developing the Strategy the following have been taken into account: the 2014-2025 Strategic Programme of Prospective Development of the Republic of Armenia, the 2017-2020 Programme of the Government of the Republic of Armenia, the 2017-2019 Action Plan deriving from the National Strategy for the Protection of Human Rights, Anti-Corruption Strategy of the Republic of Armenia and the 2015-2018 Action Plan for its implementation, the 2016 and 2017 Programmes for Promoting the Field of Information Technologies, Concept Paper on Legal Safety and the Plan of Measures for its implementation, new approaches adopted as a result of the 2015 constitutional reforms, evaluation reports of the field of justice of the Republic of Armenia by various international organisations (EU Justice monitoring project, Evaluation project of the field of justice through the TAIEX instrument, Court Users Satisfaction Survey by the Council of Europe, etc.), the statistics obtained from the Judicial Department of the Republic of Armenia, recommendations received from judges, advocates and other representatives of legal community with regard to the issues of the field and solutions thereof, as well as other relevant reports, studies and other materials.

 

II. INTRODUCTION

The legal and judicial reforms in the Republic of Armenia, launched by the adoption of the Constitution of the Republic of Armenia in 1995, entered a qualitatively new stage based on the amendments to the Constitution of the Republic of Armenia on 27 November 2005, which were aimed at the improvement of the already existing legal and judicial system, targeting as a priority at the establishment of fair and effective judiciary including the formation of the independent judicial system enjoying the public confidence. In accordance with the Executive Order of the President of the Republic of Armenia of 21 April 2009, the 2009-2011 Strategic Action Plan for Judicial and Legal Reforms and the List of Measures deriving therefrom were approved, and the 2012-2017 Strategic Plan of Legal and Judicial Reforms of the Republic of Armenia (hereinafter referred to as “the Plan”), with the List of Measures and the Schedule of Implementation deriving therefrom, served as a more comprehensive strategic document.

The Plan was aimed at enhancement of the rule of law in Armenia and the legal system complying with the standards for a modern legal state. For implementation of this key goal, the Plan envisaged reforms in several areas of intervention including ensuring a fair and effective judiciary accountable before the public, raising the effectiveness of the civil, administrative, criminal justice and the system of criminal punishments, improvement of the activities of the Prosecutor's Office and the advocacy, restructuring of the system of general legal training and legal education, and improvement of services provided to the citizens. In particular, the following were the outcome of the measures implemented in the mentioned key areas of intervention:

(1)    the composition and functions, the structure and interrelations of self-government bodies of judges were revised by fostering development of the guarantees for self-governance for the judiciary, the internal independence of judges and the maximum participation of judges in their own self-governance;

(2)    the procedures for qualification checks for being included in the list of candidates for judges, contesting the outputs thereof and conducting interviews in the Council of Justice were improved; the Law of the Republic of Armenia “On the Academy of Justice” was adopted;

(3)    the entities competent to initiate disciplinary proceedings against judges and those competent to make decisions concerning the disciplinary actions were differentiated, the legislative guarantees for independence and protection of judges within the initiated disciplinary proceedings were strengthened, the principle of random distribution of cases between judges was established;

(4)    the Law “On Probation” was adopted; as an outcome, a shift from the traditional ideology of imprisonment to the ideology of the restorative justice was made; steps were taken to promote application of alternative measures of restraint, to reduce recidivism;

(5)    with the view of raising the effectiveness of the application of the institute of the early release on parole, a shift from the three-level institutional model of “ Administration of the Punishment Execution Facility — Independent Commission — Court” to the two-level institutional model of “Independent Commission — Court” was made; the functions of the independent commission and the court were specified by excluding performance of similar functions, the list of the representatives to be involved in the composition of the independent commission was specified, the number of independent commissions increased, clear criteria were set which must underlie the opinions of the independent commissions and the decisions of the courts. Moreover, the convicts were entitled to participate in rendering the opinions related thereto and to implement relevant protection, in other words the right of convicts to be heard was ensured; a probation period was set in case of the early release on parole;

(6)    the list of diseases incompatible with serving the punishment and the criteria thereof were specified and brought in line with the 10th revised version of the International Classification of Diseases;

(7)    the Concept Paper on the new Code of the Administrative Offences of the Republic of Armenia was approved. The new draft Criminal Code of the Republic of Armenia was approved by the Government and submitted to the National Assembly. A number of amendments were made to the Civil Code of the Republic of Armenia based on which the code was brought in line with the modern approaches in regulations of the private legal relations. The amendments made to the Civil Procedure Code of the Republic of Armenia led to the thorough revision of the acceptability criteria for a cassation appeal, the requirements to a cassation appeal were specified, the requirements to a judgment were revised, the procedure for postponing the sessions was specified, the relationship for holding circuit court sessions was clearly regulated;

(8)    the framework of the free legal assistance was specified, criteria for provision of the free legal assistance were developed, based on which it will be possible to assess the property status of a person; alternative mechanisms for provision of the free legal assistance were developed;

(9)    in compliance with the international practice, the rules of ethics of arbitrators and the model rules of arbitration proceedings were developed; also, the legal grounds for mediation-conciliation were stipulated by legislation;

(10)  an electronic notary system was established, inter-connected with the systems of State Register of Population and the State Committee of Real Estate Cadastre. The introduction of an electronic notary system resulted in emergence of an opportunity to provide services through “one-stop shop” principle, as a result whereof the quality of services provided has been sufficiently enhanced.

(11)     about 67 services rendered by the state (including services provided by the Agency for State Registration of Legal Entities, State Unified Cadastre of Real Estate, the Agency for Civil Status Acts Registration, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Armenia, the Road Police of the Republic of Armenia and others) have been delegated to operators performing functions of 7 service offices;

The above mentioned positive outputs are part of other outputs of the measures defined by the Plan, the attainment and ensuring of sustainability of which was accompanied by the process of the constitutional reforms for 2015. Among other innovations, the Supreme Judicial Council, as an independent state body guaranteeing the independence of courts and judges, was established under the Constitution amended in 2015, the composition, procedure for its formation and the powers thereof were enshrined, the requirements for judge candidates, the procedure for the election and appointment of judges, mechanisms for ensuring the independence of the judiciary were amended. All this resulted in launching of the process of bringing the main legal acts regulating the field in conformity with the Constitution, including — in the drawing up of the new draft Judicial Code.

The 2018-2023 Strategy for Judicial and Legal Reforms is impacted by the above mentioned realities — as for the part referring to the judiciary the Strategy has adopted the approach of practical feasibility of guarantees enshrined by the new Judicial Code, and among other goals has provided for such goals which may have tangible outputs internally — through building the professional potential and institutional capacities of judges and the self-government bodies of the judiciary. For instance, goals aimed at strengthening the role and participation of judges and the self-government bodies of the judiciary in the process of drawing up the legislation and reforms of the sector, improving their skills and capacities related to budget planning and financial management, improving the practice of public relations and collaboration (PR), developing the means for assessing the quality of judicial services (including, through the tool of Court Users Satisfaction Survey), improving the practice of uniform application of the law, etc.

At the same time, the 2018-2023 Strategy for Judicial and Legal Reforms, as a comprehensive programme ensuring continuity of development of the sector, based on the analysis of the outputs of previous reforms and taking into account the issues still existing in the sector, provides for new solutions or new methods of solution for them. The issues are the following: ensuring full independence of the judiciary, elimination of corrupt practices, effective application of the institute of disciplinary liability of judges, issues of heavy workload of courts, balancing of the number of judges, the number of their staff and the number of cases examined, full application of alternative means of dispute resolution, observing reasonable time limits of examination of cases, expanding accessibility of legal assistance and enhancement of the quality thereof, proportionate and fair application of detention as a measure of restraint, issues of juvenile justice, enhancing the effectiveness of the system of criminal punishments, and of restorative justice, issues of full introduction of electronic justice, enhancement of quality of services provided to citizens, raising the public confidence in the judiciary and other entities in the field of justice, as well as other issues existing in the system.

 

III. GENERAL GOAL AND AREAS OF INTERVENTION OF THE STRATEGY

1.     General goal of the Strategy. General goal of the Strategy shall be ensuring of applicability of the rule of law, consistent establishment of legal safety and enhancement of protection of fundamental human rights and freedoms in the Republic of Armenia, which is possible by way of ensuring legal certainty, establishment of legitimate laws and the mechanisms for effective application thereof, ensuring predictability and accessibility of justice, improvement of availability and quality of the justice-related services, raising legal consciousness of the public, as well as strengthening the independence, impartiality, accountability of the judiciary and development of professional qualities thereof, by way of raising public trust and confidence thereto.

2.     Areas of intervention of the Strategy. Areas of intervention stemming from the general goal of the Strategy and based on principles of the Strategy reflect the vision of improvement of the judiciary and the legal system of the Republic of Armenia, which the Republic of Armenia strives for. These are as follows:

2.1.    Ensuring independence and impartiality of the judiciary. The strategic goals of this area of intervention shall be aimed at continuous development of the independent judiciary counterbalancing other branches of the power, where the judges and the staff thereof shall refrain during their activities from any internal or external intervention hindering the administration of justice, where discrimination is eliminated and equal opportunities for equal treatment, for exercising and protection of rights under equal conditions are guaranteed for everyone.

2.2.    Ensuring professionalism of judges and judicial servants. The strategic goals of this area of intervention shall be aimed at continuous development of judiciary with professional, intelligent and skilled judges, which provides qualitative support to judges, ensures effective and transparent communication between the court and the court users and is staffed with judicial servants with high professional qualities. It is possible by way of implementing ongoing comprehensive programs of professional development and training, based on real needs and complying with the international standards.

2.3.    Ensuring the effectiveness of justice.

2.3.1.   Ensuring the effectiveness of the judiciary. The strategic goals of this area of intervention shall be aimed at the establishment and continuous development of a judiciary where the resources are used and managed in an effective manner, the cases are examined and the decisions are made within reasonable time limits, the judicial procedures and services are simplified and facilitated to the extent possible since a modern electronic system of justice is introduced and innovative solutions are widely used, the time and costs spent for the courts are saved, and the maximum accessibility to the judicial and legal information is ensured.

2.3.2.   Ensuring the effectiveness of the advocacy system. The strategic goals of this area of intervention shall be aimed at development of the chamber of advocates as an institute, raising the effectiveness of the activities of chamber bodies, improvement of rules of conduct and integrity of an advocate, grounds and procedures for disciplinary liability, enhancement of continuous training of advocates.

2.3.3.   Ensuring the effectiveness of the notary system. The strategic goals of this area of intervention shall be aimed at development of notary as an entity contributing to administration of justice and guaranteeing security of persons' property rights, transactions and processes (including in digital environment) and raising the public confidence thereto.

2.3.4.   Ensuring the effectiveness of the activities of bankruptcy administrators. The strategic goals of this area of intervention shall be aimed at strengthening the institute of bankruptcy administrators, development of mechanisms for accountability of bankruptcy administrators and improvement of professionalism thereof.

2.4.  Ensuring the public accountability of the judiciary. The strategic goals of this area of intervention shall be aimed at ensuring accountability of the judiciary, the judges and the judicial servants to the public, in relation to the quality of the activities, proper performance of the functions thereof, hence the effective use of the public funds.

2.5.  Ensuring a judiciary free from corruption and patronage, enhancing the effectiveness of investigation of corruption crimes. The strategic goals of this area of intervention shall be aimed at identification of corruption risks and prevention of corruption in the judicial system, strengthening of integrity and improvement of the current situation by way of arrangement of educational and training courses on anti-corruption and ethics.

2.6.  Ensuring legal certainty and effective law enforcement.

2.6.1.   Ensuring the effectiveness of criminal justice. The strategic goals shall be aimed at establishment and development of effective mechanisms for application of the new Criminal Procedure Code and the new Criminal Code, as well as raising public awareness of the new legal institutes mentioned therein, development of professional knowledge and skills of law enforcement entities. The strategic goals of this area of intervention include also enhancement of effectiveness of the activities of Prosecutor’s Office and inquest bodies, as well as improvement of the system of mutual legal assistance.

2.6.2.   Ensuring accessibility of juvenile justice. The strategic goals of this area of intervention shall be aimed at establishment and development of mechanisms ensuring accessibility of juvenile justice, introduction of mechanisms for the protection of the rights of children which are offenders, victims, witnesses under the legislation and their practical applicability.

2.6.3.   Upgrading and ensuring purposefulness of the system of criminal punishments. The strategic goals of this area of intervention shall be aimed at establishment of mechanisms required for protecting the rights of the persons serving their punishment and those detained and for achieving the goals of the punishment as prescribed by law, introduction of a system of restorative justice, enhancement of effectiveness of targeted activities of the probation service, reduction of recidivism, radical revision and the optimization of the role of the institutional system of criminal penalty execution.

2.6.4.   Ensuring the effectiveness of administrative and civil justice. Strategic goals of this area of intervention shall be aimed at improvement of substantive and procedural legislation in the fields of civil law and administrative law in line with development of public relations and provision of prerequisites for effective implementation of new legislation, which, inter alia, implies proper raising of awareness of the public beneficiaries of the nature and peculiarities of the newly introduced institutions and conducting trainings thereon.

2.6.5.   Ensuring the effectiveness of the enforcement system. Strategic goals of this area of intervention shall be aimed at enforcement of acts subject to compulsory enforcement, through effective and proportional observance, within short time frames, of the established requirements and of the rights of the parties, meanwhile ensuring the combination of the information systems with the improvement of the business environment.

2.6.6.   Ensuring the effectiveness of legal expert examination. Strategic goals of this area of intervention shall be aimed at continuous improvement and development of a legal system that has clear, perceived, definite and specified legal regulations in line with international standards, including predictable laws free of flaws and ambiguities and other normative legal acts.

2.6.7.   Protection of personal data. Strategic goals of this area of intervention shall be aimed at raising awareness of personal data subjects of their right to protection of personal data and of personal data processors — of the personal data processing rules.

2.6.8.  Strengthening legal safety. Strategic goals of this area of intervention shall be aimed at promotion of safeguarding internal stability and protection of the legal system within the framework of this Strategy, strengthening the legal protection (safety, safeguard) of the vitally important interests of entities (individual, State, society).

2.7.  Providing quality justice-related services.

2.7.1.   Expansion of “e-justice” domain and ensuring effectiveness. Strategic goals of this area of intervention shall be aimed at development of a comprehensive and effective e-justice system, development of electronic management tools in courts and other institutions of justice, thus transferring all possible services to electronic domain, combining all electronic databases in the fields of justice and public administration, providing services on-line or through “one-stop shop” principle, reducing and simplifying administration, the time limits and the price for provision of services, as well as the contact between citizens and service providers.

2.7.2.   Ensuring the effectiveness of the system of public registers. Strategic goals of this area of intervention shall be aimed at modernisation of the Civil Status Acts Registration System due to the latest electronic solutions, development of the system of registration of legal persons through establishment of a new institutional system of business registry, as well as modernisation of the system of service centres performing functions of service offices of state bodies, which will contribute to improvement of the quality of services provided to citizens and other beneficiaries, and ensuring facilitation and transparency of procedures, as well as improvement of the business environment.

 

 

IV. STRATEGIC GOALS AND GUIDELINES

 

1.     ENSURING INDEPENDENCE AND IMPARTIALITY OF THE JUDICIARY

Strategic goals 

1.1.   Enhancement of transparency and increasing the effectiveness of the Supreme Judicial Council and the General Assembly of Judges:

Existence of an effective system of self-government bodies of the judiciary is of importance for ensuring independence and autonomy of the judiciary. Taking into consideration the powers and role of those bodies in the organisation and activities of the judiciary, it is obvious that independent, autonomous, transparent and effective operation thereof must not only be guaranteed at the legislative level, but these legislative guarantees should also be applied in practice. Therefore, in parallel with the legal regulations stipulated by the new Judicial Code it is reasonable to take steps for continuous enhancement of transparency of the activities of the Supreme Judicial Council and the General Assembly of Judges in practice, for building the professional potential and the institutional capacities, hence also for increasing the effectiveness of the activities thereof. The following strategic guidelines have been defined to achieve this goal.

No

Strategic guideline

1.1.1.

Ensure the transparency of the activities of the Supreme Judicial Council.

1.1.2.

Build the professional potential and the institutional capacities of the Staff of the Supreme Judicial Council.

1.1.3.

Continuously enhance the effectiveness of the activities of the Supreme Judicial Council.

1.1.4.

Enhance the transparency and effectiveness of the activities of the General Assembly of Judges.

1.2.   Effective application of the model of funding of the judiciary:

The constitutional reforms resulted in improvement of the model of funding of the judiciary, meanwhile vesting to the Supreme Judicial Council the powers to submit its own budget and that of courts to the Government of the Republic of Armenia and to carry out overall supervision over the use of budget resources. The grounds for autonomous participation of the judiciary, including courts, in budget planning, as well as the grounds for reflection in the state budget of the needs of the judiciary requiring necessary and reasonable funding were strengthened by legislation. Thus, it is obviously necessary to take steps aimed at increasing the effectiveness of budget planning and execution processes of the judiciary, use of up-to-date methods therein, as well as for ensuring full and autonomous participation of the judiciary and courts in practice, proceeding from the following guidelines.

No

Strategic guideline

1.2.1.

Introduce up-to-date methods of budget planning of the judiciary and improve the professional potential and skills of entities of the budgetary and financial management sector of the judiciary.

1.2.2.

Enhance the transparency of budget planning and execution processes of the judiciary.

 

1.3.   Strengthening of the participation of the judiciary in the process of drafting laws and other regulatory legal acts concerning the judiciary:

According to the internationally recognised criteria, the judiciary should be engaged in the activities of courts, the process of drafting the legal acts relating to the administration of justice and the status of judges, as well as the decision-making process on the matters having influence on the activities of the judiciary. The new Judicial Code has fully reflected the content of these criteria. Thus, it is reasonably necessary to take certain steps in that direction in order to make it applicable in practice, proceeding from the following guidelines.

No

Strategic guideline

1.3.1.

Improve the practice of engagement of judges in the development of legislative drafts related to the activities of the judiciary and of ensuring informed participation of the given judges in that process.

 

1.4.   Effective application of criteria and procedures enshrined in accordance with new constitutional and legal regulations, as well as international criteria on appointment, promotion of judges, subjecting them to disciplinary liability and automatic termination of powers thereof:

The grounds, criteria and procedures for appointment, promotion of judges, subjecting them to disciplinary liability and automatic termination of powers thereof have undergone substantial reforms under the new Judicial Code. Within this context, it has become important to ensure not only the effective application of the new legal regulations in practice, but also to ensure transparency of and the public accessibility to the mentioned processes, which, among other things, will raise the public confidence. Meanwhile, the confidence implies not only accessibility and transparency but also the ability of perception of those processes for the public. The following guidelines have been defined to contribute to increasing the effectiveness of the mentioned processes and the public confidence.

 No

Strategic guideline

1.4.1.

Enhance the transparency of submission and checking of the applications for being included in the list of candidates for judges.

1.4.2.

Enhance the transparency of organisation and conduct of the qualification checks for being included in the list of candidates for judges, and increase the effectiveness thereof.

1.4.3.

Enhance the transparency of the process of promotion of judges and filling of the vacant positions.

1.4.4.

Increase the effectiveness of disciplinary proceedings conducted against judges and enhance the transparency of the process of subjecting to disciplinary liability.

1.4.5.

Improve the practice of reporting by the judge on intervention in the activities thereof.

 

1.5.   Enhancement of perception of the role of the judiciary among the public and raising the trust and confidence thereto:

The fundamental functional and institutional changes of the judiciary, which were provided in the amended Constitution and reflected in the new Judicial Code, are meant to ensure an independent and autonomous judiciary accountable before the law, and hence to also indirectly raise the public confidence. Meanwhile, the public perceptions of the judiciary are also often accompanied by the wrong understanding of the institutional role and functions of courts and the judiciary, of the formation and activities thereof, or by the lack of knowledge thereon. So, legislative amendments alone are not sufficient — in order to create comprehensive guarantees to bring these amendments to life it is also necessary to take steps to ensure collaboration and effective communication between the judiciary and the public, to overcome the low level of legal consciousness among the various strata of the population and various levels of the state power system.

 No

Strategic guideline

1.5.1.

Enhance the cooperation between the judiciary and the public.

1.5.2.

Enhance the awareness of the public on the role, functions and legal system of the judiciary and raise the level of legal consciousness.

 

 

 

1.6.  Effective observation and application of the rules of conduct and integrity by a judge:

Functions reserved to a judge are directly connected with the values of justice, freedom and the truth, and the rules of conduct thereof are built on the principle of adherence to these values, being considered a precondition for strengthening public confidence in the administration of justice. The new Judicial Code has sufficiently perfected the rules of judicial conduct and enshrined the basis for adopting the rules of integrity, but, in order to observe those rules in practice, certain steps need to be implemented. The following guideline has been defined.

No

Strategic guideline

1.6.1.

Improve the practice of following the rules of conduct and integrity by a judge.

 

1.7.   Effective exercise of the right for hearing of the case by an impartial court:

The rules of judicial conduct oblige the judge to be impartial and refrain from displaying bias or discrimination through his or her words or conduct or creating such impression on a reasonable observer, to recuse himself or herself, where reasonable doubt may be cast on his or her impartiality in the case or matter concerned. Although these rules have been enshrined at the legislative level, effective implementation of the norms enshrined and observance of the content of the latter are important. The following guidelines have been defined for implementing relevant measures.

No

Strategic guideline

1.7.1.

Increase the effectiveness of distribution, redistribution of cases among judges and of the process for formation of panels of judges.

1.7.2.

Improve the practice of application of the institute of conflict of interests within the judiciary.

1.8.  Improving the access to justice:

The right to appeal to court or the accessibility of the court shall be guaranteed not formally, but in practice. The right to appeal to court may be exercised effectively where the circle of persons having the right to receive free legal assistance is expanded to the extent possible, pro-bono and other mechanisms of provision of free legal assistance are introduced and function effectively, the quality of free legal assistance is enhanced. According to the results of some studies, the budgetary allocations for ensuring the effectiveness of exercise of the right to appeal to court in Armenia are insufficient. Moreover, the accessibility of one court per 100 000 residents in Armenia is almost not ensured, which is smaller than the average European standard set[1]. The following guideline has been defined for implementing relevant measures.

No

Strategic guideline

1.8.1.

Extend the circle of beneficiaries of free legal assistance and improve the quality of the legal assistance provided.

1.8.2.

Develop mechanisms of provision of free and accessible legal assistance.

 

1.9.  Enhancement of the predictability of justice:

The uniform application of law is one of the most important principles of the rule of law, and it shall be displayed not only in formal procedural terms, but also in terms of content. Courts must, through administration of justice, ensure the uniform application of law, contribute to the development of law, overcoming of gaps in law, ensuring of legal certainty, thus strengthening the predictability of justice. The following guidelines have been defined in order to take steps in this direction.

No

Strategic guideline

1.9.1.

Enhance the predictability of decisions of the court.

1.9.2.

Improve the practice of application of the European Convention on Human Rights.

1.9.3.

Increase the purposefulness of and development opportunities for the application of the institute of summarising the judicial practice.

1.9.4.

Improve the methodology for drawing up judicial acts and ensure uniformity.

 

1.10. Establishment and strengthening of the system for full execution of decisions of the Constitutional Court:

From the point of view of increasing stability, ensuring protection of the legal system and raising public confidence, special importance is ascribed to predictability of decisions of the Constitutional Court, thus creation and consistent development of the relevant system is reasonably necessary. The following guideline has been defined.

No

Strategic guideline

1.10.1.

Introduce and develop the system for full execution of decisions of the Constitutional Court.

 

2.     ENSURING THE PROFESSIONALISM OF JUDGES AND JUDICIAL SERVANTS

Strategic goals

2.1.   Continuous development of professional qualities and the professionalism of judges and judicial servants:

Continuous training and professional development of judges and judicial servants are important not only in the aspect of formation of independent judiciary and ensuring accessibility of justice, but also in the aspect of strengthening public confidence in the judiciary. It is obvious that the confidence is greater in the judiciary staffed with professional and competent judges and judicial servants. The following guidelines have been defined in order to take steps to achieve this goal.

No

Strategic guideline

2.1.1.

Modernise procedures and programmes for training of judges and judicial servants.

2.1.2.

Increase the effectiveness of trainings of judges and judicial servants.

2.1.3.

Improve the legal grounds for the organisation and activities of the Academy of Justice.

2.1.4.

Develop the potential and institutional capacities of the Academy of Justice.

 

3.     ENSURING THE EFFECTIVENESS OF JUSTICE

3.1.  ENSURING THE EFFECTIVENESS OF THE JUDICIARY

Strategic goals

3.1.1.    Increasing the effectiveness of activities of courts:

Under the new legislation establishment of bankruptcy courts and the Court of Yerevan City makes it necessary to continuously develop relevant prerequisites and conditions for ensuring normal operation of those courts. At the same time, improvement of the system of management of courts and the personnel thereof, as well as introduction in the courts of a modern toolkit for the assessment of activities of courts will significantly increase the effectiveness and transparency of activities of the judiciary. The following guidelines have been defined.

 

No

Strategic guideline

3.1.1.1.

Strengthen the prerequisites for ensuring normal operation of the Court of Yerevan City and bankruptcy courts.

3.1.1.2.

Improve the model of management of court personnel.

3.1.1.3.

Introduce effective tools for the assessment of activities of the court.

3.1.1.4.

Modernise the system of judicial statistics and improve the quality of analysis of statistic data.

 

3.1.2.    Development of mechanisms for examining cases within reasonable time limits:

Examination of the case within reasonable time limit is one of the most important guarantees of ensuring the right of a person to a fair trial, the purpose of which is the protection of all participants of the trial from unnecessary delays of the trial, which may interfere with the effectiveness of justice and the public confidence in the latter. The study of the judicial practice in the Republic of Armenia shows that the requirement of examination of a case within reasonable time limits is not always met — for objective or subjective reasons. Thus, it is required and urgent to take certain steps in order to diminish delays of examination of judicial cases, which will contribute also to ensuring access to justice and raising confidence of citizens in the judiciary. The following guidelines have been defined.

No

Strategic guideline

3.1.2.1.

Disburden the courts through delegation of certain functions.

3.1.2.2.

Introduce methods of effective management of time limits for examination of judicial cases.

 

 

 

3.1.3.    Ensuring applicability of alternative dispute resolution mechanisms:

Legal grounds necessary for the organisation and functioning of the known institutes of alternative dispute resolution — arbitration and conciliation — have been established and respective mechanisms have been introduced in the Republic of Armenia, however those so far have not significantly impacted reduction of the workload of courts in practice. Meanwhile, developments in the contemporary world indicate continuous development and sectoral expansion of these mechanisms — creating an opportunity for the parties to model the procedure for the examination and resolution of their dispute through a mutually agreed expression of will, to avoid potential delays of examination of the case and greater expenses, at the same time significantly reducing the workload of courts. At present, under the conditions of overload of judges, existence of a large number of pending cases during a year, promotion and expansion of practical application of the mentioned institutes of disburdening courts is a matter of urgency and priority. Thus, taking continuous steps in this direction is reasoned, proceeding from the following guidelines.

As for the workload of administrative courts, it mainly depends on the circumstance that addressees of administrative acts rendered by administrative bodies prefer to challenge those not through administrative procedure (by way of superiority), but through judicial procedure — giving preference to the court in terms of confidence. Thus, the primary direction of implementation of reforms in the mentioned sector should be increasing the effectiveness of appealing administrative acts through administrative procedure.

No

Strategic guideline

3.1.3.1

Develop the institute of mediators/conciliators and contribute to its wide application.

3.1.3.2

Develop the institute of commercial arbitration and contribute to its wide application.

3.1.3.3.

Increase the effectiveness of appealing administrative acts through administrative procedure.

 

3.1.4.    Improvement of facility conditions of courts:

Issues of insufficient space for courts or administrative buildings of the seats thereof or improper segregation from the seats of other state bodies, as well as ensuring access of disabled persons to courts still exist in the Republic of Armenia. There are some buildings of courts which lack necessary minimum conditions — courtrooms, opportunities to create open and closed zones, etc. Therefore, it is necessary to carry out respective repair/reconstruction works.

No

Strategic guideline

3.1.4.1.

Renovate buildings of courts.

 

3.2.  ENSURING THE EFFECTIVENESS OF ACTIVITIES OF THE ADVOCACY SYSTEM

Strategic goals 

3.2.1.    Institutional development of the Chamber of Advocates:

Taking into consideration the role of the institute of advocacy in the protection of rights and freedoms of persons through rendering legal assistance thereto, as well as in regard of contributing to the formation of public perceptions of law and justice, taking certain steps aimed at development and effective functioning of this institute is of importance, proceeding from a number of issues existing in the sector. This will also ensure logical integrity of reforms in judicial and legal sector. The following guidelines have been defined.

No

Strategic guideline

3.2.1.1.

Enhance the internal independence of the Board of the Chamber of Advocates.

3.2.1.2.

Improve the procedures for institution, preparation and administration of disciplinary proceedings against an advocate.

3.2.1.3

Improve the rules of conduct and integrity of advocates.

3.2.1.4.

Modernise the procedures and programmes for training of advocates.

3.2.1.5.

Introduce the institute of insurance against advocacy error.

 

3.3.  ENSURING THE EFFECTIVENESS OF ACTIVITIES OF THE NOTARY SYSTEM 

Strategic goals 

3.3.1.    Development of the notary institute:

Continuous development and strengthening of the notary system is imperative of the time — notarial functions are objectively required and in-demand under the current conditions of development of the economy and civil practices, in regard of solution of the issue of disburdening the courts of the Republic of Armenia, as well as in regard of legal stipulation of property rights of citizens and prevention of future violation thereof. The following guideline has been defined.

No

Strategic guideline

3.3.1.1.

Introduce mechanisms of effective implementation of powers of a notary.

 

 

 

3.4.  ENSURING THE EFFECTIVENESS OF ACTIVITIES OF BANKRUPTCY ADMINISTRATORS

Strategic goals

3.4.1.    Development of the institute of bankruptcy administrators:

The institute of bankruptcy is alone of substantial importance for the development of economy of the state, as it, on one hand, is aimed at guaranteeing as large-scale as possible return on investments made to the investor, on the other hand — bringing back debtors having the opportunity of financial recovery into the sphere of normal civil practices. Bankruptcy administrators have a special role in this process, and the necessity for strengthening of the prerequisites and grounds for effective and conscientious execution of the functions thereof requires taking certain steps, proceeding from the following guidelines.

No

Strategic guideline

3.4.1.1.

Build the professional potential and skills of bankruptcy administrators.

3.4.1.2.

Ensure electronic access to information necessary for the implementation of activities of bankruptcy administrators.

3.4.1.3

Increase the accountability of bankruptcy administrators.

3.4.1.4

Improve disciplinary liability proceedings against bankruptcy administrators.

 

4.     ENSURING THE PUBLIC ACCOUNTABILITY OF THE JUDICIARY

Strategic goals

4.1.   Development of procedures for public accountability of the judiciary:

Self-government bodies of the judiciary and courts, as well as other bodies providing public service dispose of public funds as of means of taxpayers. Thus, the requirement of accountability before the public shall be applied in regard of the judiciary — without prejudicing the principle of independence. This can be manifested by representing the activities of the judiciary to the public by means of publishing annual reports on activities thereof and of the courts, which will be available to and accessible for the public.

At the same time, the mechanism for monitoring the activities of the judiciary will provide an opportunity to ensure the quality of reforms in the sector — identify, assess and overcome the undermined legal harmony.

No

Strategic guideline

4.1.1

Improve the mechanisms for public accountability of courts and self-government bodies of the judiciary.

4.1.2.

Introduce a system for internal monitoring of activities of the judiciary.

 

4.2.  Increasing the effectiveness of the process of performance assessment of judges and judicial servants:

The new Judicial Code has specified to a greater extent the goals and grounds of performance assessment of judges, has improved the criteria and procedures of the assessment, as well as has enshrined the ground for performance assessment of judicial servants. Considering the importance of the assessment process for increasing the effectiveness of activities of not only courts, but also judges and judicial servants in regard of promoting their self-improvement, and accepting that the assessment process, regardless of the goals stipulated, contributes also to strengthening of accountability of the judiciary, effective and proper organisation and implementation of this process is reasonably necessary, proceeding from the following guidelines.

 

No

Strategic guideline

4.2.2.

Complete the legal grounds for the organisation of the process of performance assessment of judges and judicial servants and increase the effectiveness of the assessment process.

 

5.     ENSURING A JUDICIARY FREE FROM CORRUPTION AND PATRONAGE, INCREASING THE EFFECTIVENESS OF INVESTIGATION OF CORRUPTION CRIMES

Strategic goals

5.1.   Ensuring the effective implementation of the anti-corruption policy within the judiciary system:

From the perspective of corruption and its social impact, the judiciary is one of the vulnerable sectors. The necessity to develop and implement an equivalent anti-corruption policy has become more imperative now, as there is such demand not only by those seeking justice, for whom the existence of a fair and impartial court is a fundamental right, but also by judges and judicial servants, who regularly receive public criticism.

No

Strategic guideline

5.1.1.

Reduce corruption risks within the judiciary system.

5.1.2.

Raise anti-corruption awareness within the judicial system.

 

5.2.  Increasing the effectiveness of investigation of corruption crimes:

Within the context of effective implementation of the anti-corruption policy importance is ascribed to increasing the effectiveness of investigation of corruption crimes, as under the legal regulations in force the competence of investigation of corruption crimes is reserved to a number of bodies, which creates an artificial obstacle in regard of the effectiveness of investigation and disclosure. At the same time, the range of corruption crimes is defined not by the Criminal Code of the Republic of Armenia, as in a number of countries, but is approved by the order of the Prosecutor General of the Republic of Armenia, and, according to an assessment by certain international organisations, it only partially complies with international criteria. Thus, it is necessary to review the mechanisms for investigation of corruption crimes. The following guidelines have been defined.

No

Strategic guideline

5.2.1.

Develop effective mechanisms for investigation of corruption crimes.

 

6.     ENSURING LEGAL CERTAINTY AND EFFECTIVE LAW ENFORCEMENT

6.1.  ENSURING THE EFFECTIVENESS OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE

Strategic goals

6.1.1.    Improving the quality and effectiveness of criminal justice:

Under the conditions of adoption of the new Criminal Code of the Republic of Armenia and the new Criminal Procedure Code of the Republic of Armenia, it is necessary to introduce relevant mechanisms and prerequisites in order to ensure implementation of the Codes at the level of law enforcement. Improving the practice of applying detention as a measure of restraint and improving the quality of juvenile justice, undertaking measures for fight against torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment are also urgent within the scope of the ongoing reforms in the sector of criminal justice, taking as a basis the following guidelines.

No

Strategic guideline

6.1.1.1.

Develop relevant mechanisms for enforcement of the new Criminal Code and the new Criminal Procedure Code.

6.1.1.2.

Amend the established practice of applying detention as a measure of restraint.

6.1.1.3.

Strengthen the legal grounds for fight against impunity for torture.

 

6.1.2.    Ensuring the effectiveness of activities of the Prosecutor's Office and investigation bodies:

No

Strategic guideline

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6.1.3.   Improving the system of mutual legal assistance:

International treaties regulating the field of legal assistance define in general obligations of the states, the forms of provision of mutual assistance, however international treaties do not regulate the manner of providing legal assistance, the procedures and procedural actions related thereto — leaving regulation thereof to domestic legislation of each state.

The field of legal assistance in criminal matters encompasses a large range of legal relations — including not only organisation of cooperation of competent bodies of the Republic of Armenia with competent bodies of foreign states (courts, respective state administration bodies, investigators, prosecutors), but also cooperation of those bodies in the framework of their competence, using the opportunities for international legal mutual assistance, extradition of persons having committed a crime, transfer of convicts, transfer of proceedings in criminal matters, recognition and execution of judgements rendered by foreign courts, as well as ensuring execution of judgements of the courts of the Republic of Armenia in foreign states. Many issues in this field have not yet been fully regulated at the legislative level.

Respectively, at present the field of mutual legal assistance in criminal matters needs not only continuous improvement, but also drafting, adoption and effective introduction of proper legislative regulations in tune with existing needs and international commitments.

No

Strategic guideline

6.1.3.1.

Increase the effectiveness of mutual legal assistance.

 

6.2.  ENSURING ACCESSIBILITY OF JUVENILE JUSTICE 

Strategic goals 

6.2.1.    Development of effective mechanisms for comprehensive protection of rights and lawful interests of minors:

For the effective protection of rights of minors it is necessary to take steps for improvement of legislation aimed at regulation of participation of a child in trial procedures, as well as for introduction, in the field of justice, of services of rehabilitation and protection of children who appear as offenders, witnesses and victims of crime or violence. 

No

Strategic guideline

6.2.1.1.

Improve the quality of juvenile justice.

 

6.3.  MODERNISATION AND ENSURING PURPOSEFULLNESS OF THE SYSTEM OF CRIMINAL PUNISHMENTS 

Strategic goals 

6.3.1.   Purposeful application of punishment:

It is necessary to create and develop prerequisites ensuring purposefulness of application of punishments in the penitentiary system. In order to improve the situation in the penitentiary system, as well as to make purposeful execution of criminal punishments more effective, target directions, which will positively impact effective implementation of the process of social reintegration of persons having committed crimes, should be identified. The following guideline has been defined.

No 

Strategic guideline 

6.3.1.1.

Improve the effectiveness and purposefulness of the system of criminal punishments.

 

6.3.2.   Increasing the effectiveness of re-socialisation and the system of restorative justice:

Issues of re-socialisation of detained and convicted persons and their social reintegration are still topical in the penitentiary system of the Republic of Armenia. In a number of developed and developing countries criminal restorative justice (as an alternative) ensures a more flexible counteraction to crimes at present. It stems from the principles of restorative justice that reforms being carried out in the field of justice should imply a transition from traditional ideology of imprisonment to the ideology of re-socialisation and restorative justice. Respectively, it is necessary to create and develop such prerequisites in the penitentiary system based on which it will be possible to implement the ideology of restorative justice. 

No

Strategic guideline

6.3.2.1. 

Increase the effectiveness of the system of restorative justice.

 

6.4.  ENSURING THE EFFECTIVENESS OF ADMINISTRATIVE AND CIVIL JUSTICE

Strategic goals 

6.4.1.   Regular improvement of administrative and civil legislation:

Increasing the effectiveness of administrative and civil justice, among other solutions, requires improvement of respective legislative and regulatory field — foreseeing not only legislative solutions of legal issues existing in practice, but also new legal regulations which depend on development of law. In this regard, it is reasonably necessary to take relevant steps aimed at strengthening of the mechanism of monitoring of legislation and regular and continuous improvement of sectoral legislation, proceeding from the following guidelines.

No

Strategic guideline

6.4.1.1.

Develop the mechanism of monitoring of legislation and continuously improve sectoral legislation.

 

 

 

6.5.  ENSURING THE EFFECTIVENESS OF ACTIVITIES OF THE ENFORCEMENT SYSTEM

Strategic goals 

6.5.1.   Increasing the effectiveness of the system of compulsory enforcement of acts:

The confidence in the judiciary is justly associated not only with rendering lawful and reasoned judicial acts, but also with the process of their accurate and timely execution. It is indisputable that the speed of the process of compulsory enforcement of acts, saving expenses and time can be largely ensured through expansion and development of an electronic toolkit. Apart from that the legislation of the Republic of Armenia lacks incentive norms, which will provide an opportunity to raise the indicator of general execution of judicial acts on one hand — without additional efforts of compulsory enforcement officers, and on the other hand — to save state funds. The following guidelines have been defined.

No

Strategic guideline

6.5.1.1.

Develop the application of electronic tools in the Judicial Acts Compulsory Enforcement Service.

6.5.1.2.

Introduce a toolkit for promoting execution of acts by debtors.

 

6.6.  ENSURING THE EFFECTIVENESS OF LEGAL EXPERT EXAMINATION

Strategic goals 

6.6.1.   Development of effective procedures for carrying out legal expert examination in the lawmaking process:

With a view to ensuring legal certainty importance is ascribed to provision of effective procedures for carrying out legal expert examination in the lawmaking process aiming to reveal the vulnerable aspects of a draft legal act. The following strategic guideline has been defined.

No

Strategic guideline

6.6.1.1.

Improve the procedures for legal expert examination of draft normative legal acts and develop the relevant professional potential.

 

6.7.  PERSONAL DATA PROTECTION

Strategic goals 

6.7.1.    Proper awareness of personal data protection:

One of the significant issues in the field of personal data protection is the insufficient level of awareness of the right to personal data protection and of the rules of personal data processing. Thus, one of the challenges in regard of personal data protection is raising the level of awareness and knowledge of the public in the field of personal data protection, continuous development of the sectoral legislation and building the professional capacities necessary for personal data protection.

No

Strategic guideline

6.7.1.1.

Raising public awareness and knowledge (of processors of personal data and personal data subjects) in the field of personal data protection.

 

 

 

7.     ENSURING QUALITY JUSTICE SERVICES

7.1.  EXPANSION OF “E-JUSTICE” DOMAIN AND ENSURING THE EFFICTIVENESS THEREOF

Strategic goals 

7.1.1.    Development of e-justice and participatory democracy tools:

The policy of introduction of electronic systems and continuous development thereof is viewed as one of the key directions of the policy of the Government of the Republic of Armenia. Introduction of unified electronic platforms provides an opportunity to improve the quality of services provided to citizens by state bodies, increase the effectiveness, accountability, transparency of activities of state bodies, as well as to enhance access of the population to the services by reducing also corruption risks. Correspondingly, the legal and judicial sector must develop through continuous introduction and development of e-justice tools. 

No

Strategic guideline

7.1.1.1.

Develop comprehensive system of e-justice in courts.

7.1.1.2.

Develop electronic tools of e-democracy and participatory governance.

 

7.2.  ENSURING THE EFFECTIVENESS OF THE SYSTEM OF PUBLIC REGISTERS

Strategic goals 

7.2.1.    Increasing the effectiveness of the system of civil status acts registration:

Modernising the system of civil status acts registration is priority in the field of civil status acts registration, due to which administration will be simplified, the quality of services provided will be improved.

No

Strategic guideline

7.2.1.1.

Create a system of civil status acts registration that is in tune with contemporary requirements.

 

7.2.2.    Increasing the effectiveness of the register agency for registration of legal persons:

Full-fledged launch of “one-stop shop” principle in the process of state registration of legal persons, provision of services electronically, on-line, simplification of administration are of great importance for continuous development of and support to business environment, which in its turn will create a healthy and competitive environment for economic operators. 

No 

Strategic guideline 

7.2.2.1.

Enhance support to business environment and maximum accessibility of services.

 

V.     COORDINATION, MONITORING OF AND CONTROL OVER IMPLEMENTATION OF THE STRATEGY AND THE ACTION PLAN

1.     A Coordinating Council (Council) — composed of 11 members — shall be formed in order to ensure full and effective implementation of the Strategy and the Action Plan.

2.     The Council shall comprise the Minister of Justice of the Republic of Armenia (Chairperson of the Council), the Deputy Minister of Justice, the Deputy Prosecutor General of the Republic of Armenia, the member of the Supreme Judicial Council, the Head of the Staff of the SJC, the Vice-Chairperson of the Standing Committee on Legal Affairs of the National Assembly, the Rector of the Academy of Justice, the Chairperson of the Chamber of Advocates, two representatives representing law departments of HEI jointly — from among academic and teaching staff.

3.     The Council shall be a permanently operating inter-agency body implementing the functions of monitoring of and control over the progress of implementation of the Strategy and the Action Plan. The Council shall be deemed formed where over half of the members thereof are appointed.

4.     The Council shall carry out its activities through sessions. The session of the Council shall have quorum where it is attended by over a half of the members of the Council, and decisions shall be adopted by majority of votes of the members attending the session unless otherwise prescribed by the rules of procedure of the Council.

5.     The Council shall adopt its rules of procedure within one month following its formation.

6.     Secretariat of the Council, the management of and control over which is carried out by the Council, shall be established in order to provide administrative, expert and technical assistance to the members of the Council.

7.     The Council shall establish working groups that are responsible for coordination and implementation of the measures and actions arising from the goals of a specific area of intervention defined by the Strategy.

8.     The responsible bodies defined under the Action Plan shall be obliged to provide the Secretariat of the Council with necessary information and data on the process and outputs of implementation of the actions that they are responsible for, according to the format defined by the Council.

9.     The Council shall, once every six months, submit to the Government a report on its activities, and at the end of the year — an annual summary review, as a result of the discussion of which the future steps shall be defined based on proposals and conclusions, including revision of the Action Plan and planning for changes, if necessary. The format of the report and review, the requirements for the content, as well as the methodology of presentation shall be defined by the Council taking into account the requirements prescribed by the decision of the Government.

10.   The Strategy and the Action Plan shall be posted on the official website of the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Armenia in the form of separate sections in order to ensure more transparency in the process. Semi-annual reports and annual reviews of the Council shall also be posted on the website.

11.    The Council may, as prescribed by legislation, initiate processes of accountability of the bodies responsible for implementation of separate goals of the Strategy.


 


Annex No 2

to Decision of the Government of the Republic of Armenia

No ----N of ------

ACTION PLAN

FOR THE 2018-2023 STRATEGY FOR JUDICIAL AND LEGAL REFORMS OF THE REPUBLIC OF ARMENIA

1. AREA OF INTERVENTION: ENSURING INDEPENDENCE AND IMPARTIALITY OF THE JUDICIARY

1.1.   Strategic goal. Improving transparency and enhancing effectiveness of the activities of the Supreme Judicial Council and the General Assembly of Judges 

1.1.1.     Strategic guideline. Ensure the transparency of the activities of the Supreme Judicial Council

Outputs and performance indicator

1.     Accessibility, integrity, quality and availability of information on the activities of the Supreme Judicial Council have improved; (results of the Court Users' Satisfaction Survey:[2] starting point: 2018 — 0, target: 2021 — increase).

2.     Open-door sittings of the SJC have become accessible to the public; (number of views of the broadcasting on an annual basis: starting point: 2018 — 0, target: 2021 — increase).

3.     Transparency of the SJC activities has improved; (results of the Court Users' Satisfaction Survey: starting point: 2018 — 0, target: 2021 — increase).

No

Measure

Action

Measure implementation deadline

Source of funding

Responsible body and co-implementers

1.1.1.1.

Improved accessibility and availability of information on the activities of the Supreme Judicial Council to the public

1.     Draw up accurately the list of accessible information on the activities of the Supreme Judicial Council based on the study of the best practice.

2018 3rd quarter

Current funding

 

2.     Ensure accessibility of the relevant information on the SJC activities, regular update and completeness thereof by developing the official website of the judiciary.

2018 4th quarter

Current funding

SJC

3.     Introduce a mechanism for feedback and clarification of professional information on the SJC activities by answering to and clarifying the frequently asked questions.

2018 4th quarter

Current funding

SJC staff

4.     Make the open-door sittings of the Supreme Judicial Council accessible to the public by providing an opportunity to watch them on-line or otherwise without restrictions

2019 2nd quarter

State Budget or other funds not prohibited by law

 

 

Verifiable criterion for action performance

1.     The best practice and relevant standards concerning the transparency of the SJC activities are studied, the results of study are submitted to the SJC for consideration and the outcome thereof is recorded. Taking into consideration the results, the decision of the SJC on the list of relevant information is adopted and posted on the website of the judiciary.

2.     Relevant information on the SJC activities is posted on the official website of the judiciary. Rules for regular update and ensuring the completeness of the relevant information are developed and adopted for the SJC staff (within the framework of the rules for the maintenance of the website).

3.     Adding software feature to the SJC website envisages feedback to the citizens through frequently asked questions and clarification of professional information therefor. Results of operation of this mechanism for feedback to the citizens for six months are summarised and discussed, and further steps for improvement are undertaken (protocol thereon).

4.     The software feature for watching the live broadcasting of the open-door sittings of the SJC is installed and running. The results of operation of the software are summarised on an annual basis and discussed, and further steps for improvement are undertaken (protocol thereon).

1.1.2.    Strategic guideline. Build the professional potential and the institutional capacities of the staff of the Supreme Judicial Council

Outputs and performance indicator

1.     Level of effectiveness of the activities of the SJC staff pursuant to the sphere of competence has been raised; (results of internal monitoring; results of the Court Users' Satisfaction Survey; starting point: 2018 — 0, target: 2021 — increase).

2.     Relevant capacities of the employees of the SJC staff have improved; (results of training assessment; results of assessment of the activities of employees through relevant mechanisms and methodology).

3.     Job descriptions of the positions of the SJC staff and list of positions have been improved in accordance with advanced standards, providing an opportunity of effective performance of the SJC functions; (protocol on summarisation of the results of study of the best practice).

4.     The Supreme Judicial Council has been provided with premises and necessary logistics.

No

 

Measure

Action

Measure implementation deadline

Source of funding

Responsible body and co-implementers

1.1.2.1.

Improved organisational and legal grounds for and developed professional capacities of the SJC staff

1.     Develop job descriptions and list of positions for the SJC staff, based on the study of best practice, taking into consideration the necessity to ensure effective performance of functions of the SJC and the staff.

2018 2nd quarter

Current funding

SJC

2.     Study and identify the training needs of the SJC staff.

2018 3nd quarter

Current funding

SJC staff

3.     Develop training programmes based on the identified needs (indicating in each programme the number of courses, number of topics, format of training, circle and number of participants) by including components for improvement of skills related to strategic planning, drawing up statements, human resource management, efficient use of statistical analysis and data, components for improvement of other skills necessary for proper performance of functions of the SJC staff prescribed by the Judicial Code.

2018 4th quarter

Current funding or other funds not prohibited by law

 

4.     Conduct trainings of employees of the SJC staff and assess the effectiveness of the training, as well as undertake steps, where necessary.

2019 2nd quarter

State Budget or other funds not prohibited by law

 

Verifiable criterion for action performance

1.     Best practice and standards for job descriptions of the positions of the SJC staff are studied, results are submitted to the SJC for consideration and the outcome thereof is recorded. Taking into consideration the results, the decision of the SJC on approving the job descriptions of the positions of the SJC staff is adopted.

2.     Training needs of the SJC staff are assessed based on the relevant methodology. The results of assessment are submitted to the SJC for consideration and the outcome thereof is recorded. Taking into consideration the results, training programmes are developed and approved by the SJC staff. Trainings under the complete programme developed according to identified needs of all relevant employees of the staff of the Supreme Judicial Council are conducted.

3.     At the end of the training, testing of the participants to the course by means of relevant questionnaires is conducted and further steps for improvement are undertaken based on the results (protocol thereon).

1.1.2.2.

Premises and logistics are provided to the Supreme Judicial Council 

1.     Carry out needs assessment of the Supreme Judicial Council for premises and logistics.

2018 1st quarter

State Budget

SJC

2.     Reflect the identified needs in the SJC budget request or in the relevant financial documents in order to make an allocation.

 

 

 

             

 

Verifiable criterion for action performance

1.     Decision(s) on providing relevant premises and necessary property to the SJC is adopted, necessary legal formulations are made (Government decision/ contract). The SJC is provided with premises and necessary logistics.

1.1.3.    Strategic guideline. Continuously enhance the effectiveness of the activities of the Supreme Judicial Council

Outputs and performance indicator

1.     Effective mechanism for internal monitoring of the SJC activities has been put into operation; (number of raised issues and steps undertaken in relation thereto on an annual basis).

2.     Effectiveness of the SJC activities has improved as a result of resolution of issues raised in accordance with separate fields; (number and content of the measures undertaken in relation to the issue raised).

3.     The capacities and skills of a non-judge member of the SJC to act as a judge have improved; (substantiated decisions on subjecting to disciplinary liability or rejecting, where available).

No

Measure

Action

Measure implementation deadline

Source of funding

Responsible body and co-implementers

1.1.3.1.

Effective mechanism for internal monitoring of the activities of the Supreme Judicial Council is introduced

1.     Develop and introduce a mechanism for internal monitoring and identification of issues related to the activities of the Supreme Judicial Council based on the study of best practice.

2020 1st quarter

Current funding or other funds not prohibited by law

SJC 

2.     Study the identified issues in the course of activities of the Supreme Judicial Council and undertake measures based thereon.

2020 starting from the 2nd quarter

Current funding

 

Verifiable criterion for action performance

1.     The best practice and standards for the mechanism for internal monitoring of the SJC activities are studied, results are submitted to the SJC for consideration and the outcome thereof is recorded. Taking into consideration the outcome, the mechanism for internal monitoring of the SJC activities is developed and introduced. Procedure and methodology for monitoring are approved. Monitoring results are summarised in the Self-Assessment Report and further steps are undertaken (protocol thereon; envisaging action by the Action Plan for the next year or the next Strategy, etc.).

1.1.3.2.

Improved skills and capacities of the non-judge member of the SJC to act as a judge in the cases of disciplinary proceedings  

1.     Teach or conduct training of non-judge members of the SJC in compliance with the practice of Armenia with regard to disciplinary proceedings and the best practice of at least two other countries.

2018 4nd quarter

Current funding

SJC 

Verifiable criterion for action performance

1.     A training course for non-judge members of the SJC is organised: the study of the practice of Armenia and at least two developed countries with regard to cases of disciplinary proceedings is discussed and provided; the results are discussed and recorded in the sitting of the SJC.

1.1.4.    Strategic guideline. Enhance the transparency and effectiveness of the activities of the General Assembly of Judges

Outputs and performance indicator

1.     Accessibility and availability of information on activities of the General Assembly of Judges (GAJ) and commissions thereof have improved; (results of the Court Users' Satisfaction Survey: starting point: 2018 — 0, target: 2021 — increase).

2.     Skills and capacities of the members of the GAJ commissions necessary in accordance with the assessed needs have improved. Needs Assessment Report: Starting point: 2018 — 0, target: 2021 — the number of the members having completed the training).

4.     Effectiveness of the GAJ activities has improved; (results of internal monitoring: results of the Court Users' Satisfaction Survey: starting point: 2018 — 0, target: 2021 — increase).

No

Measure

Action

Measure implementation deadline

Source of funding

Responsible body and co-implementers

1.1.4.1.

Improved accessibility to the information on the activities of the General Assembly of Judges and commissions thereof

1.     Ensure the accessibility to the relevant information on the activities of the General Assembly of Judges and commissions thereof by developing the website of the judiciary.

2018 4th quarter

Current funding

SJC staff

2.     Introduce, where necessary, a mechanism for feedback to citizens and clarification therefor of the professional information on the activities of the General Assembly of Judges or commission thereof by clarifying frequently asked questions.

2018 4th quarter

Current funding

 

Verifiable criterion for action performance

1.     Relevant information on the GAJ and commissions thereof is posted on the official website of the judiciary. 

2.     Where necessary, adding the software feature to the official website of the judiciary provides an opportunity for feedback to the citizens through frequently asked questions and clarifying the professional information. The results of operation of the mechanism for feedback to citizens are summarised and discussed, and further steps for improvement are undertaken (protocol thereon).

 

No

Measure

Action

Measure implementation deadline

Source of funding

Responsible body and co-implementers

1.1.4.2.

 Built professional capacities of the members of commissions of the General Assembly

1.     Study and identify the training needs of the commissions of the General Assembly.

2019 2nd quarter

Current funding

GAJ

2.     Conduct, where necessary, trainings based on the needs identified and assess the effectiveness of the training and undertake steps for improvement.

2019 3nd quarter

 

 

Verifiable criterion for action performance

1.     Training needs of the commissions of the General Assembly are assessed based on the relevant methodology. Based on the assessment results, where necessary, training programmes are developed and trainings of the members of commissions are conducted. Training results are summarised and further steps for improvement are undertaken based on the results. The results are recorded.

1.2.   Strategic goal. Efficient application of the model of financing for the judiciary

1.2.1.    Strategic guideline. Introduce up-to-date methods for budget planning of the judiciary and build the professional potential and skills of entities of the budgetary and financial management field of the judiciary.

Outputs and measurable indicator

1.     Up-to-date methods for budget planning and needs assessment of the judiciary are introduced and effectively applied: (budget structure and substantiations for the years following the introduction).

2.     Content of the budget request and the substantiation thereof, methodology for reflecting the needs of the judiciary therein have improved.

3.     Number of partial rejection of budgetary requests submitted by the judiciary and of changes therein proposed by the Government has reduced.

4.     Predictability and quality of financial assessment of the strategic planning of judicial and legal reforms have improved.

5.     Skills and capacities of the relevant employees of the staff of the Supreme Judicial Council and of structural and separated subdivisions thereof related to the needs assessment, budget planning of the judiciary, preparing budget requests, budget performance and submission of statements have improved. Number of employees having completed training, starting point: 2018 — 0, target: 2021 — increase.

6.     Content and professional input of the judiciary in the budget planning, management and performance has been ensured in practice (results of internal monitoring).

No

Measure

Action

Measure implementation deadline

Source of funding

Responsible body and co-implementers

1.2.1.1.

Widely used and up-to-date methods for budget planning and preparing budget requests, as well as needs assessment of the judiciary are introduced.

1.     Develop and introduce — based on the study of best practice — one of up-to-date methods for budget planning and preparing budget requests of the judiciary or their combined versions (including Zero-based Budgeting Model, Program-based Budgeting Model, Performance-based Budgeting Model, Operating and Functional Budget) taking into account the peculiarities of the budgetary system of the Republic of Armenia.

2019 1st quarter

State Budget or other funds not prohibited by law

SJC

SJC staff

Verifiable criterion for action performance

1.     Best practice and standards concerning up-to-date methods for budget planning of the judiciary are studied, the results are submitted to the SJC for consideration and the outcome thereof is recorded. Taking into consideration the results, relevant method(s) for budget planning are introduced (relevant decision) and are applied in the process of planning the budget for the following year (and further years).

 

Improved capacities of the SJC staff and structural and separated subdivisions thereof (staff of courts) related to the budget planning, application of the up-to-date methods, budget performance

1.     Study and identify the training needs of persons engaged in the planning, management and performance of the budget of the judiciary.

2019 2nd quarter

Current funding

SJC

SJC staff

2.     Develop — based on the needs identified — training programmes (indicating in the each programme the number of courses, number of topics, format of training, circle and number of participants) by including components of improvement of capacities related to the application of up-to-date methods for budget planning, needs assessment with regard to the expenses of the judiciary, preparing budget requests, budget performance and submission of statements, as well as improvement of other capacities in accordance with the needs assessment.

2019 3nd quarter

State Budget or other funds not prohibited by law

 

3.     Conduct trainings of relevant employees based on the developed programme, assess the efficiency of the training and undertake steps for improvement.

2019 4nd quarter

(ongoing)

State Budget or other funds not prohibited by law

 

Verifiable criterion for action performance

1.     Training needs of all relevant employees of the structural and separated subdivisions of the SJC staff are assessed according to certain methodology. Assessment results are submitted to the SJC for consideration and are recorded. Taking into consideration the results, trainings of all relevant employees are conducted in compliance with the complete programme of budget planning and management.

2.     Training results are summarised and further steps for improvement are undertaken based on the results (protocol thereon).

1.2.2.   Strategic guideline. Improve transparency of planning and performance processes of the budget of the judiciary

Outputs and performance indicator

1.     Accessibility and availability for the public of the relevant information on budget planning and performance of the judiciary have improved; (results of the Court Users' Satisfaction Survey: starting point: 2020 — 0, target: 2023 — increase).

2.     Transparency of planning and performance process of the budget of the judiciary has improved; (results of the Court Users' Satisfaction Survey: starting point: 2020 — 0, target: 2023 — increase).

No

Measure

Action

Measure implementation deadline

Source of funding

Responsible body and co-implementers

1.2.2.1.

Transparent planning and performance processes of the budget of the judiciary and accessible information

1.     Ensure — by developing the official website of the judiciary — public accessibility to the relevant information on the planning and performance processes of the budget of the judiciary and a mechanism for feedback by answering to frequently asked questions requiring professional clarifications.

2020 2nd quarter

Current funding or other funds not prohibited by law

SJC

                         

 

 

 

2.     Study and introduce, where necessary, up-to-date methods of monitoring and supervision of the planning and performance processes of the budget of the judiciary.

2021 2nd quarter

 

 

Verifiable criterion for action performance

1.     The relevant information on the budget planning, management and performance, as well as relevant statements are posted on the official website of the judiciary. Methodology for regular update and ensuring the adequacy of quality and content of that information is adopted.

2.     Best practice and standards concerning the up-to-date methods of monitoring and supervision of the planning and performance processes of the budget of the judiciary are studied, the results are submitted to the SJC for consideration and the outcome thereof is recorded. Taking into consideration the results, further steps for introduction of up-to-date methods of monitoring and supervision of the budget planning and performance are undertaken (a protocol thereon).  

1.3.   Strategic goal. Enhancement of participation of the judiciary in drafting laws and other regulatory legal acts concerning the judiciary

1.3.1.    Strategic guideline. Improve the practice of engagement of judges in the development of legislative drafts concerning the activities of the judiciary and of ensuring informed participation of the judges concerned in that process

Outputs and performance indicator

1.     Effective system of analysis of the relevant legislation and summarisation of the results has been introduced and put into operation; (results of the survey of judges with regard to the operation of the system).

2.     The number of legislative proposals submitted by the judiciary to the competent bodies has increased (starting point: 2020 — 0, target: 2023 — increase, results of summarisation of proposals).

3.     The practice of developing collective opinion of the SJC with regard to the regulatory legal acts concerning the judiciary has improved, the number of judges having contributed to the development of the opinion or having been informed of the process has increased (target: 2020 — 0, target: 2023 — increase, surveys of judges and data on the operation of the internal electronic platform).

4.     Participation of the judiciary in the process of drafting laws and other regulatory legal acts concerning the judiciary has improved: the number of drafts submitted for opinion has increased (relevant statistics).

No

Measure

Action

Measure implementation deadline

Source of funding

Responsible body and co-implementers

1.3.1.1.

The mechanism for monitoring of the relevant legislation and submission of proposals by the judiciary is introduced

1.     Develop and introduce — based on the study of best practice — to the staff of the Supreme Judicial Council a system of monitoring and data collection for the purpose of analysis of the results of application of the legislation concerning the field and submission of relevant proposals to the competent bodies.

2020 1st quarter

State Budget

other funds not prohibited by law

SJC

2.     Develop and adopt a methodology for implementation of monitoring and for submission of the proposals, made as a result of it, to the competent bodies and consideration thereof.

2020 2nd quarter

State Budget

other funds not prohibited by law

 

Verifiable criterion for action performance

1.     The best practice and standards concerning the system of analysis of the relevant legislation and summarisation of the results are studied, the results are submitted to the SJC for consideration and the outcome thereof is recorded. Taking into consideration the results, the system of relevant monitoring in the SJC staff and data collection is introduced and put into operation. The methodology for operation of the system and regular summarisation of the results is developed.

2.     The best practice concerning the methodology for submission of proposals to the competent bodies for consideration is studied; the results are submitted to the SJC for consideration and the outcome thereof is recorded. Taking into consideration the results, the relevant methodology is adopted.

1.3.1.2.

The mechanism for ensuring the full participation of judges in the development of the SJC opinion on the relevant regulatory legal acts is introduced

1.     Develop and introduce — based on the study of the best practice — the mechanism for full participation of judges in the development of the SJC opinion by also ensuring the visibility of all opinions submitted through internal electronic network for everyone, accessibility and transparency of the process of collection thereof and formation of the final opinion. 

2019 2nd quarter

State Budget or other funds not prohibited by law

SJC

Verifiable criterion for action performance

1.     The best practice and standards concerning the effective mechanisms for participation of judges in the development of the opinion of the Supreme Judicial Council are studied, results are submitted to the SJC for consideration and the outcome thereof is recorded. Taking into consideration the results, an internal electronic network is introduced in the SJC staff — a platform through which the information on the drafts submitted for opinion and the package thereof is immediately sent to all judges by setting a certain time limit for comments. The network ensures internal on-line visibility of opinions and comments of each judge for everyone, ensures transparency of the process of formation of the final opinion and visibility and accessibility of the final opinion for all judges.

 

 

 

1.4.   Strategic goal. Efficient application of standards and procedures enshrined pursuant to the new constitutional and legal regulations, as well as international standards concerning the appointment, promotion of judges, subjecting them to disciplinary liability and terminating their powers

1.4.1.    Strategic guideline. Improve the transparency of the process of submission and checking of the applications for being included in the list of candidates for judges

Outputs and performance indicator

1.     Accessibility and availability of the information on the process of submission and checking of the applications for being included in the list of candidates for judges have improved; (results of the Court Users'/Public Satisfaction Survey: starting point: 2019 — 0, target: 2021 — increase).

No

Measure

Action

Measure implementation deadline

Source of funding

Responsible body and co-implementers

1.4.1.1.

Improved accessibility to the information on the process of submission and checking of the applications for being included in the list of candidates for judges

1.     Ensure — by developing the official website of the judiciary — the completeness and accessibility of the necessary information on the process of submission and checking of the applications for being included in the list of candidates for judges, as well as the mechanism for feedback to citizens by clarifying the frequently asked questions.

2019 2nd quarter

Current funding

SJC staff

Verifiable criterion for action performance

1.     The necessary information on the process of submission and checking of the applications for being included in the list of candidates for judges is posted on the official website of the judiciary. The SJC staff adopted rules for quality of that information and regular update and completeness of the content thereof (within the framework of the general rules of information management on the website).

2.     The software feature of feedback to citizens is customised and in place. The data thereon are summarised on an annual basis and discussed, and, where necessary, further steps for improvement are undertaken (protocol thereon).

1.4.2.    Strategic guideline. Improve the transparency of the process of organisation and conduct of the qualification checks for being included in the list of candidates for judges, and enhance the effectiveness thereof

Outputs and performance indicator

1.     Accessibility and availability of the information on the process of organisation and conduct of the qualification checks for being included in the list of candidates for judges have improved; (results of the Court Users'/Public Satisfaction Survey: starting point: 2019 — 0, target: 2021 — increase).

2.     Public awareness has improved and the level of confidence towards the process of appointment of judges has been raised (the number of views of the video on an annual basis: results of Courts Users'/Public Satisfaction Survey: starting point: 2019 — 0, target: 2021 — increase).

3.     The acts and procedures necessary for organisation and conduct of qualification checks in compliance with the advanced standards are adopted and applied.

4.     The skills necessary for the exercise of powers during the organisation and conduct of qualification checks of the SJC and relevant employees of the staff has improved.

No

Measure

Action

Measure implementation deadline

Source of funding

Responsible body and co-implementers

1.4.2.1.

Improved accessibility for the public of the information on the process of organisation and conduct of qualification checks

1.     Ensure the accessibility of the relevant information on the process of organisation and conduct of the qualification checks by developing the official website of the judiciary or otherwise and ensure feedback to the citizens and clarification of the professional information for them.

2019 3rd quarter

Current funding

Supreme Judicial Council

MJ

2.     Make and widely share video(s) where the judge already included in the list of candidates for judges or newly-appointed judge introduces the entire process of appointment of judges in the manner available to the public (he or she also introduces the questions decreasing public confidence and answers thereto).

2020 1st quarter

(ongoing)

State Budget or other funds not prohibited by law

 

Verifiable criterion for action performance

1.     Relevant information on the process of organisation and conduct of qualification checks is posted on the official website of the judiciary. Procedure and methodology for regularly updating and completing the said information are adopted.

2.     The software feature of feedback to citizens is customised and put into operation. The data thereon are summarised on an annual basis and discussed, and, where necessary, further steps for improvement are undertaken (protocol thereon).

3.     At least one video on the process of appointment of a judge is made, approved by the SJC and guaranteed for sharing in the public and is shared.

1.4.2.2.

Acts and procedures adopted for organisation and conduct of qualification checks

1.     Develop and adopt — based on the study of best practice — acts and procedures necessary for organisation and conduct of qualification checks, including those concerning the written examinations, minimum requirements for the content, procedure for organisation, conduct and assessment of written examinations and interviews.

2019 1st quarter

State Budget or other funds not prohibited by law

SJC

MJ

Verifiable criterion for action performance

1.     Best practice and standards concerning the form and content of the qualification checks, conduct of examinations and interviews are studied, results are submitted to the SJC for consideration and the outcome thereof is recorded. Taking into consideration the results, the form of a written qualification examination, minimum requirements for the content, the procedure for organisation, conduct and assessment of the written examination and interview are adopted by the SJC.

1.4.2.3.

Improved professional capacities and skills of the Supreme Judicial Council and employees of the SJC staff in the process of effective organisation and conduct of qualification examinations

1.     Study and identify the training needs of the SJC and the staff thereof in the organisation and conduct of qualification examinations of judges in compliance with new legal regulations.

2019 2nd quarter

State Budget or other funds not prohibited by law

SJC

MJ

2.     Develop, where necessary, programmes for training courses based on the identified needs (determining in each programme the number of courses, number of topics, format of training, circle and number of participants) and conduct trainings and assess the effectiveness of the training.

 

 

 

Verifiable criterion for action performance

1.     Training courses for relevant employees of the staff of the Supreme Judicial Council and, where necessary, SJC members are conducted. At the end of the training of the relevant employees of the SJC staff, testing of the participants of the course has been conducted by means of relevant questionnaires and further steps for development are undertaken based on the results.

1.4.3.   Strategic guideline. Improve the transparency of the process of promotion of judges and filling the vacant positions thereby

Outputs and performance indicator

1.     Accessibility and availability of complete information on the process of promotion of judges and filling the vacant positions thereby have improved; level of public confidence towards that process has been raised: (results of the Court Users' Satisfaction Survey: starting point: 2019 — 0, target: 2021 — increase).

2.     The level of public awareness of the process of promotion of judges and filling the vacant positions thereby has been raised (number of views of the video on an annual basis: starting point: 2019, target: 2021 — increase).

No

Measure

Action

Measure implementation deadline

Source of funding

Responsible body and co-implementers

1.4.3.1.

Improved accessibility and availability of the information on the process of promotion of judges and filling the vacant positions thereby

1.     Ensure — by developing the official website of the judiciary — the accessibility of the necessary complete information on the process of promotion and filling the vacant positions, ensuring feedback to the citizens by clarifying the professional information through frequently asked questions. 

2019 4th quarter

Current funding

SJC

MJ

2.     Prepare and widely share video(s) where the judge (or any other person) by way of promotion or already appointed by filling the vacant position introduces the said process in the manner available to the public.

2020 1st quarter

State Budget or other funds not prohibited by law

 

Verifiable criterion for action performance

1.     Relevant information on the process of promotion of judges and filling the vacant positions thereby is posted on the official website of the judiciary. Rules ensuring the regular update and completeness of the relevant information are developed and adopted (within the framework of the rules for the website maintenance).

2.     Adding software feature envisages feedback to the citizens and clarification of the professional information through frequently asked questions.

3.     At least one video on the process of promotion of judges and filling the vacant positions thereby is made, approved by the SJC and guaranteed for sharing in the public and is shared.

1.4.4. Strategic guideline. Increase the effectiveness of disciplinary proceedings against judges and improve the transparency of the process of subjecting to disciplinary liability

Output and performance indicator

1.     Accessibility and availability of complete relevant information on subjecting a judge to disciplinary liability has been improved; (results of court users’ survey; starting point: 2019 — 0, target: 2021 — increase).

2.     Effective mechanism for summarising results of disciplinary proceedings and publishing statistics has been introduced and operates. (Internal monitoring surveys (self-assessment) and (results of court users’ satisfaction survey; starting point: 2019 — 0, target: 2021 — increase). Number of topics included in training programs for judges based on the summarised results.

3.     Public awareness of the process of subjecting a judge to disciplinary liability has been raised (annual video views; starting point: 2019, target: 2021 — increase).

4.     Public confidence in fairness and effectiveness of the process of subjecting a judge to disciplinary liability has been improved (results of court users’ satisfaction survey; starting point: 2018 — 0, target: 2021 — increase).

No

Measure

Action

Measure implementation deadline

Source of funding

Responsible body and co-implementers

1.4.4.1.

Improved accessibility and availability of information on the process of subjecting a judge to disciplinary liability 

1.     Ensure accessibility of relevant information on process of disciplinary liability, including on initiating /conducting proceedings or on results thereof by developing official website of the judiciary or by other means, and ensure feedback from citizens through the mechanism of professional clarification of frequently asked questions.

2019 3rd quarter

Current funding

SJC

MJ

2.     Develop and introduce procedure for summarising results of completed disciplinary proceedings and for publishing statistics based on study of the best practice.

2020 1st quarter

Current funding

 

3.     Based on the summarised results, suggest, where necessary, relevant training topics to be included in training programs for judges.

2020 2nd quarter

(ongoing)

Current funding

 

4.     Prepare video(s) for presenting to public in simple terms the entire process of subjecting a judge to disciplinary liability and widely disseminate it.

2020 1st quarter

State budget or other funds not prohibited by law

 

Verifiable criterion for action performance

1.     Relevant information on the process of subjecting a judge to disciplinary liability is posted on the official website of the judiciary. Procedure and methodology for updating and completing the said information are adopted.

2.     Program functioning software provides for feedback from citizens and professional clarification of information through frequently asked questions. The program is introduced and operates. Action results are summarised on annual basis and discussed, and where necessary, further steps towards improvement are undertaken (protocol thereon).

3.     Relevant training topics are suggested to Academy of Justice for them to be included in training programs for judges on the basis of results of disciplinary proceedings summarised on annual basis.

4.     Best practice and criteria concerning mechanism for summarising results of proceedings on judge's disciplinary liability and publishing statistics are studied, results are submitted to SJC for consideration and the outcome thereof is recorded. Based on the results, the mechanism for publication of statistics with the help of electronic software is introduced and operates. Program implementation results are summarised on annual basis and discussed, where necessary, further steps towards improvement are undertaken (protocol thereon).

5.     At least one video on the process of subjecting a judge to disciplinary liability is prepared, approved by SJC, guaranteed for dissemination among public and have been disseminated.

1.4.5. Strategic guideline. Improve the practice of reporting by the judge on intervention in the activities thereof

Output and performance indicator

1.     The number of cases of intervention in the activities of a judge has been reduced; (statistics; starting point: 2019 — 0, target: 2021 — decrease).

2.     An effective procedure for submitting and summarising regular reports and statistics on such cases has been introduced and is applied.

2.     Practice of disclosure, prevention and elimination of cases of intervention in the activities of a judge has been improved; (SJC statistics on such cases on annual basis).

3.     Public confidence in judge's independence and application of prohibitions to intervention in the activities thereof in practice has been raised; (results of court users’ satisfaction survey: starting point: 2019 — 0, target: 2021 — increase).

               

 

No

Measure

Action

Measure implementation deadline

Source of funding

Responsible body and co-implementers

1.4.5.1.

Mechanisms to promote reporting by a judge on any intervention in the activities thereof are introduced 

1.     Develop, based on study of best practice, and introduce, in view of effectiveness of results, mechanisms contributing to reporting by the judge on intervention in the activities thereof.

2019 1st quarter

Current funding or other funds not prohibited by law

SJC

Verifiable criterion for action performance

1.     Best practice and means for promoting reporting on intervention in the activities of a judge are studied, results are submitted to SJC for consideration and the outcome thereof is recorded. Taking into account the results, further steps towards introducing thereof are undertaken (protocol thereon).

1.4.5.2.

Improved transparency of process of consideration by Supreme Judicial Council of cases of intervention in the activities of a judge

1.     Develop and introduce procedure for submitting regular reports on cases of intervention in the activities of a judge and ensure accessibility of information by posting it on the official website or otherwise making it accessible for public.

2019 3rd quarter

Current funding

Other funds not prohibited by law

SJC

Verifiable criterion for action performance

1.     Procedure for submitting regular reports and statistics on the result of consideration by SJC of cases of intervention in administration of justice is developed and introduced. Further steps towards improvement of content and quality of reports and statistics based on the results of application thereof are undertaken (protocol thereon).

1.5.  Strategic goal. Enhancing perception of the role of the judiciary among the public and raising the trust and confidence thereto

1.5.1.    Strategic guideline. Improve the cooperation between the judiciary and the public

Output and performance indicator

1.     The number of positive mass media commentaries on and coverage of activities of SJC and the judiciary has increased; quality and content of coverage of activities of the judiciary have been improved; (results of mass media statistics analysis; starting point: 2019 — 0, target: 2021 — increase).

2.     Cooperation between the judiciary and the public has been improved; (results of mass media and judiciary satisfaction surveys; starting point: 2019 — 0, target: 2021 — increase).

3.     Skills and capacities of SJC staff employees responsible for cooperation with mass media have been improved.

4.     Public awareness of reforms and progress in the sector has been raised. (number of views for electronic mass media coverage about judiciary; (results of court users’ satisfaction survey: starting point: 2019 — 0, target: 2021 — increase).

No

Measure

Action

Measure implementation deadline

Responsible body and co-implementers

Source of funding

1.5.1.1.

Improved cooperation between mass media and judiciary 

Based on the best practice:

1.     develop and adopt rules on cooperation between mass media and the judiciary;

2018 4th quarter

Current funding 

SJC

MJ 

2.     develop a guide for effective work with mass media (taking into account relevant international criteria), materials concerning development of relations with the judiciary and public and applying the new information technology in that regard.

2019 1st quarter

Current funding or other funds not prohibited by law

 

3.     Conduct trainings of SJC staff relevant employees based on developed rules and materials and assess effectiveness of training and undertake steps where necessary.

2019 2nd quarter

State budget or other funds not prohibited by law

 

4.     Study the best practice and introduce practice of works with mass media on highlighting the important role of the judiciary and a judge and thematic coverage of reforms in the sector and other progressive developments, in cooperation with mass media.

2020 2nd quarter

Current funding or other funds not prohibited by law

 

Verifiable criterion for action performance

1.     Best practice and criteria with regard to cooperation with mass media are studied, results are submitted to SJC for consideration and the outcome thereof is recorded. SJC has adopted a decision on rules for cooperation with mass media taking into account the mentioned results, and the decision is posted on the official website of SJC.

2.     Best practice and criteria concerning effective work with mass media are studied, results are submitted to SJC for consideration and the outcome thereof is recorded. At least one guide or an auxiliary material on best practice concerning development of public relations and using new information technologies in that regard are developed taking into account the results.

3.     Training programs for relevant employees of SJC based on the developed rules and materials are prepared and approved by SJC staff. Trainings for all relevant employees from SJC staff in compliance with comprehensive program are conducted. At the end of the training, testing of the participants of the course has been carried out and further steps towards improvement based on the results are undertaken (protocol thereon).

4.     Programmes on works with mass media concerning targeted and thematic coverage of organisation and activities of judiciary are developed and approved. On the basis of the results, mass media is suggested to regularly cover activities of the judiciary according to those topics. Assessment of effectiveness of coverage is performed and further steps towards improvement based thereon are undertaken (protocol thereon).

1.5.2.   Strategic guideline. Enhance public awareness of the role, functions and legal system of the judiciary and raise the level of the legal consciousness

Output and performance indicator

1.     The level of legal consciousness of the public on the role, functions and legal system of the judiciary has been raised; (results of court users’ satisfaction survey: starting point: 2019 — 0, target: 2023 — increase).

2.     Public awareness of judicial and legal reforms has been improved; (results of court users’ satisfaction survey: starting point: 2019 — 0, target: 2023 — increase).

No

Measure

Action

Measure implementation deadline

Source of funding

Responsible body and co-implementers

1.5.2.1.

Effective public awareness of the role and functions of the judiciary and judicial and legal sector reforms

1.     Prepare and disseminate social videos presenting in a simple and understandable manner fundamental human rights and judicial remedies therefore, functions of the judiciary, structure and functions of the legal system, etc.

2019 4th quarter

State budget

other funds not prohibited by law

SJC

MJ

2.     Where necessary, prepare films concerning issues in judicial and legal sector and contribute to the raise in the level of the legal consciousness thereby.

2022 2nd quarter

Other funds not prohibited by law

 

3.     Prepare a series of legal TV programs presenting judicial cases with violation of procedural or substantive law, as well as presenting criminal cases with judgement of acquittal, etc.

2020 1st quarter

State budget or other funds not prohibited by law

 

4.     Implement programs for public awareness of judicial and legal reforms and the progress with this regard by presenting, in a simple manner, issues and settlement thereof through mass media (including separate series of TV programmes) or by preparing videos.

ongoing, starting from the 2nd quarter of 2020

State budget or other funds not prohibited by law

 

Verifiable criterion for action performance

1.     Content, order and topics of social videos are developed and submitted to SJC for consideration and approval. Videos, the number of which has been determined based on results of discussions, are prepared and guaranteed by SJC for dissemination among public and have been disseminated. Result effectiveness assessment surveys are conducted and steps towards improvement based thereon are undertaken (protocol thereon).

2.     Topics of a series of legal TV programs are developed and approved and broadcast via television/radio or online. Result effectiveness assessment surveys are conducted and steps towards improvement based thereon are undertaken (protocol thereon — further strategy planning, etc.).

3.     Relevant films are prepared and screened.

4.     Materials for informing about judicial and legal sector reforms are prepared, the format, topics, order thereof are determined and a relevant program is developed and approved.

               

 

1.6.  Strategic goal. Effective compliance with and application of the rules of conduct and integrity by judges

1.6.1.    Strategic guideline. Improve the practice of observing the rules of conduct and integrity by the judge

Output and performance indicator

1.     The number of cases of violation of rules of conduct by judges or judicial officers to whom rules of conduct apply has been reduced (relevant statistics; starting point: 2019 — 0, target: 2023 — decrease).

2.     Awareness of judges and judicial officers on rules of conduct of judges and interpretations of application thereof has been raised and capacity thereof to properly apply the given rules has been improved (the number of trainings and results of effectiveness assessment of trainings).

3.     The practice of observing the rules of conduct has been improved (the number of applications to/consultations by a relevant consultative body with regard to interpretations and clarifications).

4.     The level of public awareness of rules of conduct of judges has been raised (public surveys: 2019 — 0, target: 2023 — increase).

5.     Rules of integrity of judges in line with best practice and criteria have been adopted.

6.     Judges' and judicial officers' knowledge and awareness of rules of integrity have been improved.

No

Measure

Action

Measure implementation deadline

Source of funding

Responsible body and co-implementers

1.6.1.1.

Improved practice of compliance with rules of conduct by a judge

1.     Develop and adopt interpretations of rules of conduct of a judge based on the study of best practice and in compliance with provisions of the Judicial Code.

2019 3rd quarter

State budget or other funds not prohibited by law

SJC

AJ

2.     Develop thematic training programs (with specified number, format of the courses, participants thereof and number of participants) based on the rules of conduct and interpretations thereof and conduct trainings for judges and others based thereon and assess effectiveness thereof.

2019 4th quarter

(ongoing)

State budget or other funds not prohibited by law

 

Verifiable criterion for action performance

1.     The best practice with regard to rules of conduct of judges is studied, the results are submitted to the SJC for consideration and the outcome thereof is recorded. Interpretations of rules of conduct of judges are adopted taking into account the results. Effectiveness assessment is conducted based on the monitoring of the results of application thereof and further steps towards improvement are undertaken (protocol thereon).

2.     Training programs concerning rules of conduct of judges and application of the interpretations thereof are developed and trainings for judges and judicial officers in compliance with comprehensive program are conducted. At the end of the training, testing of the participants of the course has been carried out by means of relevant questionnaires and further steps for improvement have been undertaken based on the results (protocol thereon).

1.6.1.2.

Improved public awareness of rules of conduct of a judge

 

1.     Develop guides or other materials for public awareness concerning rules of conduct of judges based on the study of best practice and post them in designated place in courts for public information.

2020 2nd quarter

State budget or other funds not prohibited by law

SJC

2.     Upon necessity, prepare social video(s) on rules of conduct of judges and disseminate them among public.

2020 3rd quarter

 

 

               

 

Verifiable criterion for action performance

1.     At least one guide or other material for public awareness of rules of conduct of judges is developed and copies thereof are posted in visible and accessible place in courts. Public awareness video, upon necessity, is prepared and guaranteed by SJC for dissemination among public. Results of effectiveness of raising public awareness are summarised (by surveys) and further steps towards improvement based thereon are undertaken (protocol thereon).

1.6.1.3.

Effective mechanisms for observing the rules of integrity by judges are introduced.

1.     Ensure adoption of rules of integrity in line with international standards by General Assembly of Judges.

2019 4th quarter

 State budget or other funds not prohibited by law

GAJ

AJ

2.     Include rules of integrity in training programs for judges and judicial officers and organise trainings.

2020 1st quarter

 

 

Verifiable criterion for action performance

1.     Best practice and criteria concerning rules of integrity of judges are studied, results are submitted to General Assembly of Judges for consideration and outcome thereof is recorded. Taking into account the results, rules of integrity of a judge are adopted by the decision of GAJ.

2.     Rules of integrity of a judge are included in training programs. Trainings in compliance with relevant comprehensive training program (including specified number, format of the courses, participants thereof and number of participants) are conducted. At the end of the training, testing of the participants of the course has been carried out by means of relevant questionnaires and the measures for improvement have been undertaken based on the results (protocol thereon).

1.7.  Strategic goal. Effective exercise of right to hearing the case by an impartial court

1.7.1.    Strategic guideline. Raise the effectiveness of distribution, redistribution of cases among judges and of the process for formation of panels of judges

Output and performance indicator

1.     Public confidence in impartiality of a court has been improved (results of court users' satisfaction survey; starting point: 2018 — 0, target: 2021 — increase).

2.     Legal grounds for distribution and redistribution of cases have been improved and integrated.

3.     Effectiveness of process of random distribution of cases has been raised. (stability of uninterrupted operation, reduction of number of irregularities on annual basis).

No

Measure

Action

Measure implementation deadline

Source of funding

Responsible body and co-implementers

1.7.1.1.

Improved procedures for distribution and redistribution of cases

1.     Develop and adopt procedures for distribution and redistribution of cases by SJC based on the study of best practice and in accordance with provisions of the Judicial Code.

2018 4th quarter

State budget or other funds not prohibited by law

SJC

2.     Study and identify gaps and deficiencies of software for automated distribution of cases and rectify them.

2019 1st quarter

 

 

Verifiable criterion for action performance

1.     Best practice and criteria concerning distribution and redistribution of cases are studied, results are submitted to SJC for consideration and outcome thereof is recorded. Taking into account the results, procedures for distribution and redistribution of cases are adopted by the decision of SJC.

2.     Deficiencies of software for automated distribution of cases are identified, technical solutions for rectification and program modernisation are provided, program is modernised and operates uninterruptedly.

1.7.2.  Strategic guideline. Improve the practice of applying the institute of conflict of interests within the judiciary

Output and performance indicator

1.     Possibility of examination of a case by an impartial judge and public confidence therein has been increased.

2.     Practice of observing the rules of self-recusal by a judge has been improved.

3.     Knowledge of judges on identification of grounds for self-recusal and undertaking of measures for prevention thereof have been improved.

No

Measure

Action

Measure implementation deadline

Source of funding

Responsible body and co-implementers

1.7.2.1.

Improved practice of applying the institute of self-recusal of a judge

1.     Based on the study of best practice develop and introduce, upon necessity, solutions for ensuring application of rules of self-recusal of a judge in practice.

2019 3rd quarter

State budget or other funds not prohibited by law

SJC

AJ

2.     Envisage separate topic on self-recusal and best practice concerning application thereof within the framework of trainings on rules of conduct and implement trainings

2019 4th quarter

 

 

Verifiable criterion for action performance

1.     Best practice and means concerning application of rule of self-recusal of a judge are studied, results are submitted to SJC for consideration and outcome thereof is recorded. Taking into account the results, further steps towards introducing said mechanisms and recommendations on the improvement of the practice have been undertaken (protocol thereon).

2.     Trainings for judges and judicial officers on application of rule of self-recusal of a judge in compliance with the comprehensive programme (including specified number of courses, number of topics, training format, participants thereof and number of participants) are implemented. At the end of the training, testing of the participants of the course has been carried out by means of relevant questionnaires and the measures for improvement have been undertaken based on the results (protocol thereon).

1.8.  Strategic goal. Improving access to justice

1.8.1.   Strategic guideline. Expand the circle of beneficiaries of free legal assistance and improve the quality of the legal assistance provided

Output and performance indicator

1.     The circle of beneficiaries of free legal assistance has been expanded (legislative amendment).

2.     The number of persons using free legal services has increased (statistics: starting point 2018 — 0, target 2021 — increase).

3.     The professionalism of public defenders has improved (results of trainings — number of cases with positive outcome with participation of the public defender).

4.     The quality of free legal assistance has improved.

No

Measure

Action

Measure implementation deadline

Source of funding

Responsible body and co-implementers

1.8.1.1.

The circle of persons receiving free legal assistance has been expanded.

1.     Develop a package of legislative amendments for the purpose of expanding the circle of beneficiaries of free legal assistance, and submit it to the National Assembly.  

2018 4th quarter  

Current funding 

MJ

CA 

Verifiable criterion for action performance

1.     The legislative package of making amendments to the Law of the Republic of Armenia “On advocacy” has been developed and submitted to the National Assembly. The relevant act on the legislative amendment has been adopted. The scope of provision of free legal assistance has been expanded.

1.8.1.2.

Developed professional skills and capacities of public defenders  

1.     Study and identify the training needs of public defenders.  

2019 3rd quarter

State Budget or other funds not prohibited by law 

CA

SA 

2.     Develop, based on the identified needs, thematic programmes for trainings (determining in each programme the number of courses, number of topics, format of training, circle and number of participants) and conduct trainings.

2019 4th quarter

 

 

3.     Study legal and financial aspects of social guarantees for public defenders and deliver an opinion on taking steps aimed at the improvement thereof.

 

 

 

Verifiable criterion for action performance

1.     Trainings for public defenders have been conducted in compliance with the comprehensive training programme. At the end of the training, the testing of the participants of the course has been carried out by means of relevant questionnaires and further steps aimed at improvement have been taken based on the results.

1.8.2.   Strategic guideline. Develop mechanisms for provision of free and accessible legal assistance 

Output and performance indicator

1.     The effective mechanism of pro bono legal services has been introduced and put into operation. The number of judicial cases with the application of pro bono legal services has increased (statistics: starting point 2019 — 0, target 2021 — increase).

2.     The mechanism for provision of accessible legal services has been introduced.

3.     The number of persons using accessible legal services has increased (statistics: starting point 2020 — 0, target 2021 — increase).

4.     The services of legal clinics have been improved and the number of persons using them has increased (statistics: starting point 2018 — 0, target 2021 — increase).

1.8.2.1.

Mechanisms for provision of free and accessible legal assistance have been introduced. 

Based on the study of best practice:

1.      develop and, where necessary, introduce incentive mechanisms for persons providing pro bono legal services;

2019 4th quarter  

Current funding 

MJ

 

CA 

2.     introduce legal and institutional mechanisms necessary for the provision of accessible legal assistance;

2020 1st quarter

Current funding

 

3.    introduce incentive measures aimed at using the services provided by legal clinics adjunct to law departments.

2020 4th quarter

Current funding

 

Verifiable criterion for action performance

1.     Best practice with regard to pro bono legal services has been studied. Based on the summary of the results, incentive mechanisms for persons providing pro bono legal services have been introduced and applied. Based on the results of assessment of the effectiveness of the application thereof, steps aimed at improvement have been taken (protocol thereon).

2.     Best practice with regard to the provision of accessible legal services has been studied and the necessary legal and institutional mechanisms have been developed and introduced based on the results thereof. Based on the assessment of the effectiveness of the operation of the system, steps aimed at improvement have been taken (protocol thereon).

3.     Best practice with regard to incentive measures for using the services of legal clinics has been studied. Based on the results, the relevant steps have been taken (protocol thereon).

1.9.    Strategic goal. Improving the predictability of justice

1.9.1.    Strategic guideline. Improve the predictability of decisions of courts

Output and performance indicator

1.     The practice of uniform application of the decisions of the Court of Cassation has been improved. (Court Users’/Professionals' Satisfaction Survey; starting point 2019 — 0, target 2021 — increase).

2.     The predictability of decisions of courts has increased, which will contribute to the predictability of justice and increase in public confidence (results of Court Users’/Professionals' Satisfaction Survey; starting point 2019 — 0, target 2021 — increase).

No

Measure

Action

Measure implementation deadline

Source of funding

Responsible body and co-implementers

1.9.1.1

The mechanism for monitoring the decisions of the Court of Cassation and for submitting, based on the results thereof, recommendations on the improvement of legislation has been introduced.

1.     Implement monitoring of the decisions of the Court of Cassation within the legislative framework of regulation, and establish relevant institutional mechanisms, which will monitor, analyse the trends and, as a result, will ensure the incorporation of legal positions contained in similar decisions into the relevant legislative acts regulating the field.

2019 3rd quarter

State Budget or other funds not prohibited by law

SJC

 

CC

2.     Study the best practice with regard to mechanisms for ensuring the uniform application of law and submit recommendations, as well as take steps accordingly.

2021 2nd quarter

Current funding

 

Verifiable criterion for action performance

1.     The mechanism for monitoring the decisions of the Court of Cassation has been introduced and put into operation. Based on the regular summary of the results, steps aimed at further improvement have been taken (protocol thereon).

2.     The best practice with regard to mechanisms for ensuring the uniform application of law has been studied and the results have been submitted for consideration of the SJC and the outcome thereof has been recorded. The relevant steps have been taken, taking into consideration the results (protocol thereon).

1.9.1.2.

Upgraded search engine for the courts decisions has been introduced.

1.     Develop software solutions, based on the study of best practice and new technologies, for “datalex.am” or “arlis.am” websites, ensuring opportunities for smart search of court decisions and of application and interpretation of legal norms contained therein, facilitating and ensuring the detection of all the judicial acts on the application and interpretation of the same norm, as well as ensuring the opportunity for the study thereof.

2019 3rd quarter

State Budget or other funds not prohibited by law

MJ

SJC

2.     Where necessary, implement professional, public awareness-raising programmes and programmes of instruction with regard to the operation of the specified programme.

2019 3rd quarter

Other funds not prohibited by law

 

3.     Study the best practice with regard to the classification of the decisions of the Court of Cassation according to the order of priority of awareness raising, and submit recommendations on taking further steps.

2019 4th quarter

Current funding

 

Verifiable criterion for action performance

1.     Best practice with regard to smart search engines for the court decisions has been studied, and the results have been considered and recorded. Taking into consideration the results, a software solution has been developed for “datalex.am” or “arlis.am” websites, which ensures the detection of all the judicial acts on the application and interpretation of the same legislative norm, by providing the opportunity for the relevant smart searches. The programme has been introduced and put into operation; based on the results of the operation, steps aimed at further improvement have been taken (protocol thereon).

2.     Awareness-raising programmes and programmes of instruction with regard to smart search engine have been carried out among public and professional circles.

3.     Best practice with regard to the classification of the decisions of the Court of Cassation according to awareness among public and professional circles has been studied; the results have been submitted for consideration of the SJC and the outcome thereof has been recorded. The expediency of the classification of the decisions of the Court of Cassation has been determined and further steps have been taken, taking into consideration the results (protocol thereon).

1.9.2.   Strategic guideline. Improve the practice of application of the European Convention on Human Rights

Output and performance indicator

1.     The application of the case-law of the ECtHR by the courts of the Republic of Armenia has been improved. Cases of application by the courts of the Republic of Armenia of ECHR standards during the examination of cases and when rendering judicial acts have increased. 

2.     The effectiveness of elimination of violations recorded by ECtHR judgments with regard to the Republic of Armenia, as well as prevention of similar violations has increased.

3.     Availability and accessibility of documents and materials with regard to ECHR standards have been improved, the level of awareness and professional skills of the beneficiaries of the field with regard to ECHR standards and application thereof have increased.

4.     The mechanism for application of the right to submit a request to the ECtHR in order to receive advisory opinions prescribed by Protocol No. 16 to the ECHR has been introduced and put effectively into operation.

No

Measure

Action

Measure implementation deadline

Source of funding

Responsible body and co-implementers

1.9.2.1

Improved practice of application of the case-law of the European Court of Human Rights

1.     Strengthen co-operation between the representation of the Republic of Armenia in the European Court of Human Rights and the Judicial Department of the Republic of Armenia, develop the capacities thereof.

2018-2023 (regularly)

State Budget or other funds not prohibited by law

MJ

SJC staff

2.     Carry out continuous assessment, summary and analysis of needs through co-operation.

 

 

AJ

3.     Recommend targeted measures as a result of the analyses carried out.

 

 

 

Verifiable criterion for action performance

1.     Analysis with regard to the needs of the field has been carried out, targeted measures have been clarified and recommended, mechanisms for the improvement of the practice of application of the case-law of the ECtHR have been introduced.

1.9.2.2

Improved practice of the enforcement of ECtHR judgements with regard to the Republic of Armenia

1.     Designate contact persons with regard to ECtHR issues in executive, legislative, judicial and other interested bodies.

2019 3rd quarter (regularly)

State Budget or other funds not prohibited by law

MJ

2.     Build a co-operation platform for contact persons with regard to ECtHR issues for the purpose of organising the process of the solution of the existing issues more quickly and effectively.

 

 

 

3.     Conduct continuous analysis and summary of systemic issues recorded by ECtHR judgments with regard to the Republic of Armenia, recommend targeted measures.

 

 

 

4.     Carry out public awareness-raising activities related to the process of the execution of ECtHR judgments with regard to the Republic of Armenia.

 

 

 

Verifiable criterion for action performance

1.     Targeted measures have been clarified and summarised in the action plans (reports) submitted to the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, public awareness-raising activities have been carried out. 

2.     The relevant documents and materials with regard to ECHR standards have been translated and put into circulation, training courses for the beneficiaries of the field have been conducted, knowledge and skills have been improved and applied in practice. Based on the results of assessment of the effectiveness of trainings, steps aimed at improvement have been taken.

1.9.2.3

The mechanism for application of the right to submit a request to the ECtHR in order to receive advisory opinions prescribed by Protocol No. 16 to the ECHR has been introduced.

1.     Enshrine in legislation the competence of submitting a request to the ECtHR in order to receive advisory opinion.

Within one year following the entry into force of Protocol No. 16

State Budget or other funds not prohibited by law

MJ

2.     Develop procedures regulating the process of submitting a request to the ECtHR.

 

 

 

Verifiable criterion for action performance

1.     The mechanism for application of the right to submit a request to the ECtHR in order to receive advisory opinion prescribed by Protocol No. 16 to the ECHR has been introduced. The necessary legislative and procedural grounds have been developed and adopted. The mechanism has been put into operation. Based on assessment of the effectiveness of the operation thereof, steps aimed at the improvement have been taken.  

1.9.3.   Strategic guideline. Review the purposefulness of application of the institute for summarising the judicial practice and opportunities for further development

Output and performance indicator

1.     Steps have been taken based on the opportunity for further development of the institute for summarising the judicial practice.

No

Measure

Action

Measure implementation deadline

Source of funding

Responsible body and co-implementers

1.9.3.1

The purposefulness of summarising the judicial practice has been determined. 

1.     Study the peculiarities of application of the institute for summarising the judicial practice in various countries and the perspectives for the possible development thereof.

2019 2nd quarter

Current funding or other funds not prohibited by law

SJC

CC

2.     Submit, based on the study, recommendations on further application of the institute concerned in the Republic of Armenia.

 

 

 

Verifiable criterion for action performance

1.     The peculiarities of application of the institute for summarising the judicial practice in various countries and the perspectives for the possible development thereof have been studied and the relevant recommendations have been submitted for consideration of the SJC and the outcome thereof has been recorded. Based on the recommendations, the decision on further development of application of the institute for summarising the judicial practice has been adopted and the relevant steps have been taken (protocol thereon).  

1.9.4. Strategic guideline. Improve the methodology and uniformity of drawing up judicial acts

Output and performance indicator

1.     Time spent on drawing up judicial acts has been reduced, which has contributed to the reduction of time spent on the examination of general cases of each judge (surveys among judges, starting point: 2019 — 0, target: 2021 — reduction).

2.     The speed and effectiveness of the process of examination of general cases by judges has increased (surveys among judges, starting point: 2019 — 0, target: 2021 — increase).

3.     The uniformity of the structure of the judicial acts has been ensured (based on the year preceding the assessment of the judicial acts).

No

Measure

Action

Measure implementation deadline

Source of funding

Responsible body and co-implementers

1.9.4.1

Optimised structure (format) of judicial acts 

1.     Submit, based on the study of the best practice (within the scope of the format of ECHR case-law decisions) and the structure, peculiarities and deficiencies of judicial acts rendered according to the court instances of the Republic of Armenia and fields, recommendations on the improvement of the structure of judicial acts.

2019 2nd quarter

State Budget or other funds not prohibited by law

SJC

MJ

2.     After determining the structure (format) of the judicial act, develop, where necessary, guidelines aimed at providing assistance to judges for drawing up judicial acts in an optimal format. The guideline must clarify content and technical peculiarities of drawing up judicial acts, at the same time defining the compulsory relevance and applicability of circumstances underlying the conclusions and reasonings of the courts, as well as of the international legal acts and the legal acts of the Republic of Armenia.

2019 3rd quarter

 

 

 

3.     Where necessary, conduct — for the purpose of becoming familiar with the international practice of drawing up judicial acts — discussions, trainings and seminars related to drawing up of judicial acts by judges.

2020 1st quarter

 

 

Verifiable criterion for action performance

1.     Best practice with regard to the optimal format of judicial acts and the judicial practice of the Republic of Armenia have been studied, the relevant recommendations have been submitted for consideration of the SJC and the outcome thereof has been recorded. Taking into consideration the recommendations, an optimal format for judicial acts has been selected and the requirements for the structure have been improved and unified.

2.     Where necessary, the relevant guideline has been developed and, where necessary, awareness-raising programmes and programmes of instruction have been implemented based thereon, according to the approved number, format of the courses of the programme, as well as by defining the number and circle of participants.  

1.10.   Strategic goal. Establishing and consolidating of the system for full execution of decisions of the Constitutional Court 

1.10.1.  Strategic guideline. Introduce and develop a system for full execution of decisions of the Constitutional Court

Output and performance indicator

1.     The system for full execution of decisions of the Constitutional Court has been introduced and put into operation. (number of executed decisions: starting point — 2020, target: 2023 — increase).

2.     The stability of the legal system has been enhanced.

3.     Public confidence in the judicial and legal system has been improved.

No

Measure

Action

Measure implementation deadline

Source of funding

Responsible body and co-implementers

1.10.1.1.

Upgraded system for full execution of decisions of the Constitutional Court

1.     Study and develop the legal grounds for the establishment of the system for execution of decisions of the Constitutional Court, ensuring:

2020 1st quarter

State Budget or other funds not prohibited by law

MJ

(a) rapid overcoming of the consequences of termination of legal norms declared as contradicting the Constitution and guaranteeing legal regulation adequate to the Constitution;

 

 

 

(b) rapid overcoming of legal uncertainty and gaps in legal regulation;

 

 

 

(c) full realisation of the legal positions of the Constitutional Court in law enforcement practice and statutory policy;

 

 

 

(d) guaranteeing the continuity of revealing, assessing and restoring the undermined constitutional balance by constitutional monitoring.

 

 

 

Verifiable criterion for action performance

1.     Legal grounds for the establishment of the system for execution of decisions of the Constitutional Court have been developed, the acts on the necessary legislative amendments have been adopted. The system has been introduced and put into operation. The annual results of the operation have been analysed and the further steps aimed at improvement have been taken (protocol thereon).

                 

 

 

 

2. AREA OF ITERVENTION.

ENSURING THE PROFESSIONALISM OF

JUDGES AND JUDICIAL SERVANTS

2.1.  Strategic goal. Continuous development of professional qualities and the professionalism of judges and judicial servants

2.1.1.    Strategic guideline. Modernise procedures and programmes for training of judges and judicial servants

Output and performance indicator

1.     The assessment tool of training needs of judges and judicial servants has been introduced and implemented in line with the best practice.

2.     The number of programmes, drawn up on the basis of needs identified as a result of implementation of training needs assessment tool, has increased.

3.     The procedures for training of judges and judicial servants, the content and structure of training programmes have been brought into conformity with international standards.

4.     The quality and methodology of teaching and methodical materials of training have been improved (satisfaction surveys of course participants).

5.     The skills and capacities of judges and judicial servants as of training sectors as well as the effectiveness of the training process has been improved (test results of training course participants, results of performance assessment of judges and judicial servants as of certain standards, survey of court users in respect of quality of judicial acts and judicial procedures: starting point: 2019-0, target: 2021 — increase).

No

Measure

Action

Measure implementation deadline

Source of funding

Responsible body and co-implementers

2.1.1.1.

Developed procedures for continuous training of judges and judicial servants

1.     Improve or develop and adopt procedures for training of judges and judicial servants, based on the study of the best practice.

2019 3rd quarter

 Current funding or other funds not prohibited by law

TC GAJ

AJ

Verifiable criterion for action performance

1.     The study of the best practice on the procedures for training of judges and judicial servants is carried out, the results are summarised and the relevant procedures based thereon are developed and adopted. Further improvement steps are taken on the basis of assessment of effectiveness of the implementation thereof (planning of actions for the next year or planning of measures under next Strategy, a protocol thereon).

2.1.1.2.

Modernised programmes for continuous training of judges and judicial servants

1.     Develop and introduce a tool for identification and assessment of the needs of judges and judicial servants, based on the study of the best practice.

2019 2nd quarter

Current funding

TC GAJ

 

AJ

2.     Assess on a regular basis, by means of the assessment tool, the training needs of judges and judicial servants, as well as submit relevant recommendations on involving a relevant course in training programmes.

2019 3rd quarter

Current funding

 

3.     Involve the following areas of intervention in the compulsory training programmes for judges: legal writing, skills of effective case management in the stage of case preparation, methods of time management for the examination of judicial cases, professionalism in judicial tactics and technique, command of English language and information technologies, skills for conducting court examination, methods of evidence evaluation and capacities of case analysis, management skills for court managers (chairperson, chief of staff), ethics, awareness-raising topics with regard to fight against corruption.

2019 1st quarter

State Budget or other funds not prohibited by law

 

4.     Review, on an annual basis, and modernise, if necessary, the training programmes based on the study of the best practice relating to the format, structure and content of training programmes

2019 4th quarter

(ongoing)

Current funding

 

Verifiable criterion for action performance

1.     The best practice on assessment tools of training needs of judges and judicial servants is studied, the results are summarised and the tool is developed and implemented. Further improvement steps are taken on the basis of effectiveness assessment of implementation of the tool (a protocol thereon).

2.     The training programmes for judges and judicial servants are reviewed and improved on the basis of identified training needs. Further improvement steps are taken on the basis of effectiveness assessment of modernised training programmes (a protocol thereon). The relevant directions of capacity and skill development in line with the current requirements are involved in compulsory training programmes for judges and judicial servants, the programmes are approved and put into action.

3.     The best practice on the format, structure and content of training programmes for judges and judicial servants is studied, as well as the structure, content and format of training programmes are modernised with consideration of the results.

2.1.1.3.

Modernised training materials and improved methodology

1.     Plan and develop as of certain priority and on an annual basis, teaching and methodical training materials, based on the study of the best practice.

2019 4th quarter

(ongoing)

State Budget and other funds not prohibited by law

AJ

2.     Introduce a regular update requirement of teaching and methodical materials for those teaching in Academy while approving the course syllabus.

2020 1st quarter

(ongoing)

Current funding

 

3.     Improve training methodology (Socratic method and other methods developing interactive, creative and analytical thinking) based on the study of the best practice, as well as introduce for teachers a requirement for implementation of such methods while approving the course syllabus.

2020 1st quarter

(ongoing)

Current funding

 

4.     Involve in the trainings of judges, where possible, foreign judges or judges and other lawyers with best foreign experience.

 

 

 

Verifiable criterion for action performance

1.     The international practice on training materials and methodology is studied. The requirements for implementation of methods of regular update of teaching and methodical materials and interactive methods are defined and observed based on the results.

2.     Pre-planned trainings on certain procedural topics have been conducted by foreign judges or judges and other lawyers with best foreign experience.

2.1.2.   Strategic guideline. Increase the effectiveness of training of judges and judicial servants

Output and performance indicator

1.     Assessment system of training results has been established and put into action, which contributes to the assessment of training effectiveness and undertaking of improvement steps.

2.     The effectiveness of trainings has improved (test results of training course participants, results of the performance assessment of judges and judicial servants as of certain standards, surveys of court users and professionals in respect of the quality of judicial acts and judicial procedures: starting point: 2019-0, target: 2021 — increase).

No

Measure

Action

Measure implementation deadline

Source of funding

Responsible body and co-implementers

2.1.2.1.

Assessment system of training effectiveness has been introduced

1.     Develop and introduce a format and methodology of summarisation of training results in respect of assessing the effectiveness, based on the study of the best practice.

2020 1st quarter

Current funding or other funds not prohibited by law

AJ

Verifiable criterion for action performance

1.     Based on the best practice the relevant format and methodology (including online questionnaires, tests, etc.) of summarisation of training results has been introduced and put into action.

2.1.3.   Strategic guideline. Improve the legal grounds for the organisation and operation of the Academy of Justice

 

Output and performance indicator

1.     The effectiveness of activities of the Academy of Justice has been improved. 

N

Measure

Action

Measure implementation deadline

Source of funding

Responsible body and co-implementers

2.1.3.1.

Improved legislation for the organisation and operation of the Academy of Justice

1.     Study the legislation on the activities of the Academy of Justice, including the Law of the Republic of Armenia “On the Academy of Justice” and develop a package of legislative amendments by reviewing the arrangements of mechanisms of counterbalances or mutual assistance in the course of developing individual programmes of probation period and assessing the results, as well as by eliminating the deficiencies of the law and other norms hindering the effectiveness of the activities of the Academy.

2019 1st quarter

Current funding

AJ

MJ

Verifiable criterion for action performance

1.     The act envisaging amendments is developed and submitted to the National Assembly. 

2.1.4.   Strategic guideline. Develop the potential and institutional capacities of the Academy of Justice

Output and performance indicator

1.     The institutional capacities of the Academy of Justice have been improved, which has contributed to the increase of effectiveness of the activities of the Academy. 

2.     The professional capacities and skills of the personnel of the Academy of Justice have been improved.  

N

Measure

Action

Measure implementation deadline

Source of funding

Responsible body and co-implementers

2.1.4.1.

Modernised institutional management of the Academy of Justice

1.     Study the legal and organisational grounds for the management of the Academy and improve them upon necessity.

2021 3rd quarter

Other funds not prohibited by law

AJ

2.     Conduct training programmes for the development of skills and capacities of the Academy management personnel, as of their functions, as well as programmes for the improvement of budget planning and management skills and capacities, assess the effectiveness thereof and take further improvement steps.

2021 4th quarter

 

 

Verifiable criterion for action performance

1.     The legal and organisational grounds for the management of the Academy are studied, the issues are identified. Improvement steps are taken (a protocol thereon) based on the results.

2.     The trainings of relevant employees of the Academy personnel, as of their functions, are carried out in line with the comprehensive programme. The results are estimated and the improvement steps are taken based thereon (a protocol thereon).

 

 

 

3. AREA OF INTERVENTION.

ENSURING THE EFFECTIVENESS OF JUSTICE

3.1. ENSURING THE EFFECTIVENESS OF THE JUDICIARY

3.1.1.  Strategic goal. Increasing the effectiveness of activities of courts

3.1.1.1.  Strategic guideline. Enhance the prerequisites for ensuring normal operation of the Court of the City of Yerevan and bankruptcy courts.

Output and performance indicator

1.     Prerequisites for ensuring normal operation of bankruptcy court and the Court of the City of Yerevan are enhanced.

2.     The effectiveness of operation of the Court of the City of Yerevan and bankruptcy courts is improved.

N

Measure

Action         

Measure implementation deadline

Source of funding

Responsible body and co-implementers

3.1.1.1.1.

Procedures for normal operation of bankruptcy courts and the Court of the City of Yerevan are introduced

1.     Study the situation and, where necessary, develop and introduce procedures necessary for ensuring normal operation of bankruptcy courts and the Court of the City of Yerevan.

2019 2nd quarter

(ongoing)

State Budget or other funds not prohibited by law

MJ

SJC

Verifiable criterion for action performance

1.     The existing situation of operation of bankruptcy courts and the Court of the City of Yerevan is studied and, where necessary, relevant steps are taken on the basis thereof. The results are recorded.

3.1.1.2.   Strategic guideline. Improve the model of management of court personnel

Output and performance indicator

1.     The model of management of court personnel is improved; the functions and relations of subordination of judicial servants are clarified, thus contributing to improvement of the quality of work and effective time management thereof.

2.     The quality of legal, administrative and technical assistance provided to judges is improved (surveys of judges).

N

Measure

Action

Measure implementation deadline

Source of funding

Responsible body and co-implementers

3.1.1.2.1.

Improved model of management of court personnel

1.     Study the existing model of management of court personnel, including the existing legal arrangements of functions and competencies, responsibility, subordination, as well as identify the gaps and shortcomings.

2019 1st quarter

Current funding or other funds not prohibited by law

SJC personnel

2.     Based on the study of the best practice, submit recommendations on improving the existing legal arrangements and enhancing the practice, as well as take relevant steps.

2019 1st quarter

 

 

Verifiable criterion for action performance

1.     The existing legal arrangements of management of court personnel are studied; shortcomings are identified and recorded.

2.     The best practice and the criteria of personnel management are studied and on the basis thereof recommendations on improving the existing legal arrangements and enhancing the practice are submitted to the personnel of the SJC for consideration. The improvement steps are taken on the basis of the results (a protocol thereon).

3.1.1.3.   Strategic guideline. Introduce effective tools for the assessment of activities of the court.

Output and performance indicator

1.     Tools for assessing the operation of court and raising effectiveness of management are created and are operational (implications of such tools on an annual basis).

2.     Effectiveness of operation of court is improved (results of internal monitoring; surveys of court users).

No

Measure

Action

Measure implementation deadline

Source of funding

Responsible body and co-implementers

3.1.1.3.1.

Tools for assessing the operation of court are introduced

Based on the study of best practice (CEPEJ, National Centre for State Courts, American Bar Association, etc.) and new technologies, develop and introduce:

 

State Budget or other funds not prohibited by law

SJC personnel

MJ

1.     tools/methods (including electronic) for measuring the quantity of court cases and the workload of judges;

2020 2nd quarter

 

 

2.     tools and software for identification of reasons for delays (backlog of cases as a result thereof) in examination of judicial cases;

 

 

 

3.     tools for assessing the effectiveness of operation of courts.

 

 

 

Verifiable criterion for action performance

1.     International standards and practice relating to the tools for assessing the operation of courts is studied. Particularly, the criteria of CEPEJ, National Centre for State Courts, American Bar Association are analysed and the results of the study are submitted for consideration by the personnel of the Supreme Judicial Council. On the basis of the results, the tools are developed and the software thereof is implemented. The tools are introduced and are operational. On the basis of assessment of effectiveness of the operation thereof, further improvement steps are taken (a protocol thereon).

3.1.1.4.        Strategic guideline. Modernise the system of judicial statistics and improve the quality of analysis of statistical data.

Output and performance indicator

1.     Modernise the system of judicial statistics in line with best criteria.

2.     Improve the practice of analysis, summary and disclosure of data.

3.     Improve access to complete, accurate and quality information (surveys of court users, starting point 2019 — 0, target — 2021 — increase).

4.     The objectives of using quality information of judicial statistics are diversified; they are used as a basis for settlement of wide range issues in relevant sector, including for development of strategic documents.

5.     Capacities and skills of relevant employees of the personnel of SJC in maintaining, analysing and summarising statistics are improved.

No

Measure

Activity

Measure implementation deadline

Source of funding

Responsible body and co-implementers

3.1.1.4.1.

Modernised system of judicial statistics and developed professional capacities of relevant personnel

1.     Study the best practice of judicial statistics (including CEPEJ guidelines and criteria) and new technologies, as well as develop on the basis thereof, where necessary, relevant procedures or methodology for modernisation of judicial statistics system of the Republic of Armenia.

2019 3rd quarter

State Budget or other funds not prohibited by law

SJC personnel

MJ

2.     Introduce technical solutions for carrying out smart research and analysis of statistical data.

2019 4th quarter

 

 

3.     Identify necessary training needs of relevant employees of the personnel of SJC required for proper analysis, management of statistical data and performance of other functions related to maintaining statistics with due quality.

2020 1st quarter

 

 

4.     Conduct trainings for relevant employees under the programme developed on the basis of identified needs (indicating in the programme the number of courses, the number of topics, the format of training, the scope and the number of participants).

2020 2nd quarter

 

 

Verifiable criterion for action performance

1.     Best practice and new technologies of judicial statistics are studied. On the basis thereof, where necessary, the legal and organisational grounds of statistical system of the Republic of Armenia are improved, the system is modernised, the software is implemented, the system is operational.

2.     The trainings for all relevant employees maintaining statistics are conducted under comprehensive developed programme, skills and capacities are improved. On the basis of assessment of effectiveness of training, further improvement steps are taken (a protocol thereon).

3.1.2. Strategic goal. Development of mechanisms for examining cases within reasonable time limits.

3.1.2.1. Strategic guideline. Reduce workload of courts through delegation of certain functions

Output and performance indicator

1.     The workload of courts under certain cases is reduced, thus contributing to reduction of overall workload of judges (statistics: surveys among judges).

2.     The practice of applying new institutes of Civil Procedure Code aimed at reducing the time limits of case examination and ensuring effective examination is improved.

3.     Skills and capacities of judges, assistants to judges with regard to performance of functions of the stage of case preparation are improved, which contributes to observing reasonable time limits of case examination.

No

Measure

Action

Measure implementation deadline

Source of funding

Responsible body and co-implementers

3.1.2.1.1.

Certain limited judicial functions are delegated

1.     Study the practice of performance of the function delegated to notaries public and submit recommendations on further expansion.

2018 4st quarter

Current funding or other funds not prohibited by law

MJ

AJ

2.     Study the best practice of delegation of certain limited functions of judges to assistants of judges, the scope, the nature of delegated functions, and determine, based on the results, the appropriateness and introduce effective procedure where necessary.

2019 1st quarter

Current funding

 

3.     Conduct, where necessary, training programmes on development of skills and capacities of relevant specialists.

2019 3rd quarter

State Budget or other funds not prohibited by law

 

Verifiable criterion for action performance

1.     The study on the practice of performance of certain functions delegated to notaries public is conducted. Recommendations on further improvement steps are submitted and relevant steps are taken (a protocol thereon).

2.     The best practice in respect of the institute of delegation of limited judicial functions is studied, the results are summarised and discussed. Further steps are taken on the basis of the results (a protocol thereon).

3.1.2.1.2.

Prerequisites for effective implementation of the institutes of Civil Procedure Code are introduced

1.     Take steps aimed at raising the effectiveness of the stage of preliminary court session, as well as based on the study of the best practice and where necessary, develop guidelines, interpretations of relevant arrangements of the code, detailed session rules, and organise trainings.

2019 1st quarter

State Budget or other funds not prohibited by law

MJ

SJC

2.     Where necessary, take steps aimed at effective use of the procedures of simplified and remote proceedings, different ways of judicial notice and other mechanisms aimed at reduction of time limits of case examination, including through trainings, development of guidelines, preparation of interpretations of the code.

2019 1st quarter

 

 

Verifiable criterion for action performance

1.     Prerequisites are created for effective case examination, including effective management of preparatory stage, effective application of the rules for verification and assessment of evidence, effective application of the norms of civil procedure aimed at simplified procedures and effectiveness.

3.1.2.2.  Strategic guideline. Introduce methods of effective management of time limits for examination of judicial cases.

Output and performance indicator

1.     The average duration of case examination is reduced (statistics: starting point 2018 — 0, target 2021 — decrease).

2.     Guideline time limits are defined, as of the nature of the case, by the SJC and are operational.

3.     Predictability of time limits of case examination is improved (surveys of court users).

4.     The confidence of citizens towards courts is improved (surveys of court users: starting point 2018 — 0, target 2021 — increase).

No

Measure

Action

Measure implementation deadline

Source of funding

Responsible body and co-implementers

3.1.2.2.1.

Guideline time limits for case examination are introduced and are operational

1.     Based on the study of the best practice (CEPEJ guideline, American Bar Association Timeframe) develop and introduce methods of effective management of time limits for examination of judicial cases, including develop guideline time limits for the average duration of case examination.

within one year

2019 1st quarter

State Budget or other funds not prohibited by law

SJC

MJ

CA

GPO

2.     Implement complex measures aimed at observing the defined guideline time limits, based on best practice — CEPEJ, ABA guidelines, etc.

2019 Starting from the 3rd quarter

 

 

Verifiable criterion for action performance

1.     The best practice on the methods of effective management of time limits for examination of judicial cases in courts is studied (CEPEJ guideline, ABA Timeframe, etc.), the results are submitted to the SJC, on the basis whereof, in co-operation with all beneficiaries of the sector, average duration of case examination are developed and approved by the SJC.

2.     Complex measures proposed in the guidelines on effective management of and observing the guideline time limits are studied and implemented, where appropriate.

3.1.3.    Strategic goal. Ensuring applicability of alternative dispute settlement mechanisms.

3.1.3.1.   Strategic guideline Develop the institute of mediators-conciliators and contribute to wide implementation thereof

Output and performance indicator

1.     Improve the practice of implementation the institute of mediation.

2.     The level of public and professional awareness on the institute of mediation and the advantages thereof is improved, thus raising public confidence towards this measure of dispute settlement.

3.     The number of cases disposed via mediation is increased.

4.     The workload of courts is reduced.

No

Measure

Action

Measure implementation deadline

Source of funding

Responsible body and co-implementers

3.1.3.1.1.

Develop the institute of mediators-conciliators and widely implement it for dispute settlement, including in case of settlement of economic (commercial) disputes.

1.     Study the international practice in the areas of competency of mediators-conciliators, including CEPEJ criteria.

2019 1st quarter

Current funding

MJ

SROM [Self-Regulated Organisation of Mediators-Conciliators] (upon agreement)

2.     Where necessary, prepare a draft on making amendments and supplements to the relevant legal act.

2019 1st quarter

Current funding

 

3.     Where necessary, develop relevant manuals and organise training of operating judges for clarifying the functions and the role of mediators in the field of dispute settlement.

2019 3rd quarter

State Budget or other funds not prohibited by law

 

4.     Where necessary, organise conferences, scientific and educational events, practical courses, moot court competitions aimed at introducing the concept of mediation to professional and non-professional community and increasing the role thereof.

2019 4th quarter

 

 

Verifiable criterion for action performance

1.     The international practice in the areas of competency of mediators-conciliators, including CEPEJ criteria are studied, the results are summarised. Relevant steps are taken on the basis thereof (a protocol thereon).

2.     Where necessary, relevant manuals are developed, the trainings are conducted, the results are summarised. Relevant steps are taken on the basis thereof (a protocol thereon).

3.     Relevant number of scientific and educational measures aimed at introducing the concept of mediation to professional and non-professional community and increasing the role thereof are organised, the results are summarised, improvement steps are taken.

3.1.3.2.  Strategic guideline. Develop the institute of commercial arbitration and contribute to the wide implementation thereof

Output and performance indicator

1.     The practice of implementation of the institute of commercial arbitration is improved, public confidence towards this measure of dispute settlement is enhanced (starting point 2020 — 0, target 2023 — increase).

2.     The number of cases disposed via arbitration is increased. (starting point 2020 — 0, target 2023 — increase).

3.     The workload of courts for certain cases is reduced (statistics: starting point 2020 — 0, target 2023 — increase).

No

Measure

Action

Measure implementation deadline

Source of funding

Responsible body and co-implementers

3.3.2.1.

Improved practice of implementation of commercial arbitration

Study the best practice and submit recommendations on appropriateness of the following solutions aimed at development of commercial arbitration in Armenia:

2019 4th quarter

Current funding

MJ

1.     envisaging a possibility for compelling arbitration to the parties at the discretion of a judge under certain cases;

 

 

 

2.     envisaging a possibility of binding arbitration upon joint agreement of the parties;

 

 

 

3.     envisaging a possibility for introducing the institute of non-binding arbitration; implementing a pilot programme in order to find out the possibility of further introduction;

 

 

 

4.     envisaging the composition of arbitrators in several courts.

 

 

 

Verifiable criterion for action performance

1.     The best practice of development of the institute of arbitration is studied, relevant recommendations are developed on the basis of the results and, where necessary, further steps are taken (a protocol thereon).

3.1.3.3.  Strategic guideline. Raise the effectiveness of appealing against the administrative acts through administrative procedure.

Output and performance indicator

1.     The number of appeals against administrative acts through administrative procedure is reduced.

2.     Public confidence towards the mechanism of appealing against the administrative acts through administrative procedure is raised.

No

Measure

Action

Measure implementation deadline

Responsible body and co-implementers

Source of funding

3.1.3.3.1

After exhaustion of the measure of appealing against through administrative procedure, a possibility for appealing against certain types of administrative acts through judicial procedure, as well as improved procedure of administrative appeal, high-quality and reasoned administrative acts

1.     Develop draft laws of the Republic of Armenia “On making amendments and supplements to the Law of the Republic of Armenia “On Fundamentals of Administrative Action and Administrative Proceedings””, “On making amendments to the Code of the Republic of Armenia on Administrative Offences” and submit them to the National Assembly.

2018 2nd quarter

Current funding

MJ

Verifiable criterion for action performance

1.     The draft laws of the Republic of Armenia “On making amendments and supplements to the Law of the Republic of Armenia “On Fundamentals of Administrative Action and Administrative Proceedings””, “On making amendments to the Code of the Republic of Armenia on Administrative Offences” are developed and submitted to the National Assembly.

3.1.4. Strategic goal. Improvement of facility conditions of courts.

3.1.4.1. Strategic guideline. Renovate the court buildings

Output and performance indicator

1. Facility conditions of courts are improved, including the possibility of access of disabled persons to court building is ensured.

No

Measure

Action

Measure implementation deadline

Source of funding

Responsible body and co-implementers

3.1.4.1.1.

Facility needs of courts are identified, justified recommendations on renovation are submitted

1.     Study and clarify the list of courts, the buildings whereof need to be repaired, and prepare a financial cost estimate and relevant justifications.

2020 3rd quarter

State Budget or other funds not prohibited by law

SJC personnel

2.     Study the issue of physical and other type of access to court buildings by disabled persons and make recommendations upon preliminary budget estimates and take relevant steps.

 

 

 

Verifiable criterion for action performance

1.     The repair/reconstruction needs for court buildings are identified and submitted upon financial estimate to the SJC for consideration. On the basis of the results, steps of reflecting these needs in the budget are taken.

3.2.  ENSURING THE EFFECTIVENESS OF THE ADVOCACY SYSTEM

3.2.1. Strategic goal: Institutional development of the Chamber of Advocates

3.2.1.1    Strategic guideline. Enhance the internal independence of the Board of the Chamber of Advocates

Output and performance indicator

1.     The internal independence of the Board of the Chamber of Advocates has been enhanced.  

N

Measure

Action

Measure Implementation Deadline

Source of funding

Responsible body and co-implementers

3.2.1.1.1

Restriction has been prescribed for an acting member of the Board of Advocates to work at the School of Advocates or the Chamber of Advocates 

1.     Develop a draft Law of the Republic of Armenia “On making amendments and supplements to the Law of the Republic of Armenia “On Advocacy”” laying down that a member of the Board of the Chamber of Advocates shall be prohibited, during the whole term of exercise of his or her powers, to assume a post at the Chamber of Advocates or at the School of Advocates except for teaching at the School of Advocates. 

2018 3rd quarter  

Current funding  

MJ 

Verifiable criterion for action performance

1.      The draft Law of the Republic of Armenia “On making amendments and supplements to the Law of the Republic of Armenia “On Advocacy”” has been submitted to the National Assembly.

3.2.1.1.2.

Procedure for the improved election of members of the Board of the Chamber of Advocates  

1.     Develop a draft Law of the Republic of Armenia “On making amendments and supplements to the Law of the Republic of Armenia “On Advocacy”” ensuring involvement in the Board of the Chamber of at least two members elected by minority of votes of advocates (single transferable vote). 

2018 3rd quarter  

Current funding 

MJ 

3.2.1.2.    Strategic guideline. Improve the procedures for initiating, preparing and conducting disciplinary proceedings against an advocate

Output and performance indicator

1.     Effective mechanisms for conducting disciplinary proceedings against an advocate have been introduced and put into operation. 

N

Measure

Action

Measure implementation deadline

Source of funding

Responsible body and co-implementers

3.2.1.2.1.

Improved procedures for preparing, initiating and examining disciplinary proceedings against an advocate

1.     Develop a draft Law of the Republic of Armenia “On making amendments and supplements to the Law of the Republic of Armenia “On Advocacy”” and submit it to the National Assembly.

2018 3rd quarter 

Current funding

MJ

Verifiable criterion for action performance

1.      The draft Law of the Republic of Armenia “On making amendments and supplements to the Law of the Republic of Armenia “On Advocacy”” has been submitted to the Government of the Republic of Armenia for consideration.

3.2.1.3.        Strategic guideline. Review the rules of conduct and integrity of advocates

Output and performance indicator

1.     The rules of conduct and integrity of advocates developed in line with the best practice are effective. 

N

Measure

Action

Measure implementation deadline

Source of funding

Responsible body and co-implementers

3.2.1.3.1. 

The improved Code of conduct of advocates has been adopted

1.     Develop a draft Law of the Republic of Armenia “On making amendments and supplements to the Law of the Republic of Armenia “On Advocacy”” enshrining in legislation the minimum criteria concerning the rules of conduct and integrity of advocates.

2018 3rd quarter

Current funding

MJ

CA (upon consent)

2.     Develop a new Code of Conduct for Advocates and submit it for approval.

2018 4th quarter

 

 

Verifiable criterion for action performance

1.     The draft Law of the Republic of Armenia “On making amendments and supplements to the Law of the Republic of Armenia “On Advocacy”” has been submitted to the Government of the Republic of Armenia for consideration.

2.     The new Code of Conduct for Advocates has been developed and adopted.

3.2.1.4.    Strategic guideline. Modernise procedures and programmes for training of advocates

Output and performance indicator

1.     Assessment tool in line with best practice for identifying training needs of advocates has been introduced and is applied.

2.     The number of the programmes developed on the basis of needs identified through training needs assessment tool has increased (starting point: 2020 — 0, target: 2022 — increase).

3.     The procedures for training of advocates, the contents and structure of training programmes have been brought in line with the international standards.

N

Measure

Action

Measure implementation deadline

Responsible body and co-implementers

Source of funding

3.2.1.4.1.

Improved procedures for continuous training of advocates

1.     Based on the study of best practice, improve or develop and adopt procedures for training of advocates.

2019 4th quarter

Current funding or other funds not prohibited by law

CA (upon consent)

SA (upon consent)

Verifiable criterion for action performance

1.     Study of best practice with regard to training procedures of advocates has been carried out, the results have been summarised, and based thereon, relevant procedures have been developed and adopted. Based on assessment of the effectiveness of application thereof, steps for further improvement have been taken (planning of measures in the Action Plan for the next year or the next Strategy; protocol thereon).

3.2.1.4.2.

Modernised programmes for continuous training of advocates

1.     Based on the study of best practice, develop and introduce a tool for assessing training needs of advocates.

2020 1st quarter

(ongoing)

Other funds not prohibited by law

CA (upon consent)

SA (upon consent)

2.     Periodically assess training needs, inter alia, by organising discussions with advocates and submit relevant proposals with regard to including a relevant course in training programmes.

 

 

 

3.     Based on the study of best practice with regard to the format, structure and contents of training programmes, annually review and, where necessary, modernise training programmes

 

 

 

Verifiable criterion for action performance

1.     Best practice with regard to tools for assessing training needs of advocates has been studied, the results have been summarised and the tool has been developed and is applied. Based on the assessment of the effectiveness of the application of the tool, steps for further improvement have been taken (protocol thereon).

2.     Based on the identified training needs, programmes for training of advocates have been reviewed and improved. Based on the assessment of the effectiveness of modernised training programmes, steps for further improvement have been taken (protocol thereon). Programmes for mandatory training of judges and judicial servants include relevant directions towards development of capacities and skills in line with the current requirements; the programmes have been approved and applied.

3.     Best practice with regard to the format, structure and contents of training programmes for advocates has been studied, and based on the results, structure, contents and format of training programmes have been modernised.

                   

 

3.2.1.5.        Strategic guideline. Introduce the institute for insurance against advocacy error

Output and performance indicator

1.     Protection for users of advocacy services and possibility of compensation for damages have been enhanced which will promote strengthening of the belief for legal security at the individual level within society.

2.     The institute of advocacy has developed and the quality of advocacy services has improved.

N

Measure

Action

Measure implementation deadline

Responsible body and co-implementers

Source of funding

3.2.1.5.1.

Effective mechanism for insurance against advocacy error

1.     Based on the study of best practice, develop legal and organisational procedures for introducing the institute for insurance against advocacy error, criteria of compensation for damages, types of damages, etc..

2020 4th quarter 

Current funding or other funds not prohibited by law

MJ

CA

2.     Based on the study results, draft a package of legislative amendments and submit it to the National Assembly.

 

 

 

3.     Where necessary, carry out awareness raising activities.

2021 2nd quarter

 

 

Verifiable criterion for action performance 

1.     Best practice with regard to legal and organisational procedures for introducing the institute for insurance against advocacy error, including best practice on the criteria on compensation for damages has been studied. Based on the results, the relevant package of legislative amendments has been developed, public discussions have been organised. The draft law has been submitted to the National Assembly.

3.3.  ENSURING THE EFFECTIVENESS OF THE NOTARY SYSTEM.

3.3.1. Strategic goal. Development of the notary institute

3.3.1.1.   Strategic guideline. Introduce mechanisms for effective exercise of powers of a notary

Output and performance indicator

1.     Effectiveness of the operation of the notary system has improved.

2.     Workload of courts for certain cases has decreased.

3.     Services provided to citizens have improved, certain processes have been accelerated and simplified.

4.     Citizens' confidence in notary has increased.

N

Measure

Action

Measure implementation deadline

Source of funding

Responsible body and co-implementers

 

The scope of evidence on confirmation of facts having legal significance has expanded 

1.     Draft a package of legislative amendments to the Law of the Republic of Armenia “On notary” and in the Criminal Code of the Republic of Armenia, according to which:

2018 4th quarter  

Current funding  

MJ  

(a)    testimonies of a witness shall be included in the list of evidence submitted for confirmation of facts having legal significance;

 

 

 

(b)    criminal liability shall be provided for a witness for giving a notary false testimony.

 

 

 

2.     Submit the package of legislative amendments to the Government of the Republic of Armenia.

 

 

 

Verifiable criterion for action performance

1.     The legislative package providing for amendments in the Law of the Republic of Armenia “On notary” and in the Criminal Code of the Republic of Armenia has been drafted and submitted to the Government.

3.3.1.2.2. 

The institute for issuance of a writ of execution for electronically concluded transactions has expanded and operates 

1.     Develop relevant secondary acts by prescribing sample forms of contracts subject to electronic verification and submit them for approval. 

2018 3rd quarter 

Current funding

 MJ  

2.     Raise awareness among the participants of civil practices with regard to the verification of transactions carried out by model contracts and the effectiveness thereof.

 

 

 

Verifiable criterion for action performance

1.     The packages of legislative amendments have been prepared and submitted for approval.

2.     Steps aimed at raising awareness of citizens with regard to verification of transactions carried out by model contracts and the effectiveness thereof have been taken /protocol thereon/.

 

Improved skills and capacities of notaries  

1.   Organise regular notary trainings aimed at the exercise of new powers (establishment of legal facts, issuance of a writ of execution, provision of high-quality consultation for the purpose of administration of preventive justice, etc.).  

2019 1st quarter

ongoing 

State Budget or other funds not prohibited by law 

MJ

NC

Verifiable criterion for action performance

1.     Programmes for the training course on development of relevant capacities of notaries have been approved. In each programme, the number of courses, number of topics, format of training, scope and number of participants is determined. Trainings aimed at development of relevant capacities of notaries have been carried out.

3.4.  ENSURING THE EFFECTIVENESS OF ACTIVITIES OF BANKRUPTCY ADMINISTRATORS

3.4.1. Strategic goal. Development of the institute of bankruptcy administrators

3.4.1.1.   Strategic guideline. Develop the professional potential and skills of bankruptcy administrators

Output and performance indicator

1.     Methodology of identifying training needs of bankruptcy administrators and choosing topics has been introduced and applied.

2.     The professional skills and capacities of bankruptcy administrators have been improved.

3.     The effectiveness of activities of bankruptcy administrators has increased.

N

Measure

Action

Measure implementation deadline

Source of funding

Responsible body and co-implementers

3.4.1.1.1.

An effective tool for identifying training needs of bankruptcy administrators and developing training topics has been introduced

1.     Based on the study of best practice, develop and introduce a methodology for choosing training topics having an influence on activities of bankruptcy administrators.

2018 4th quarter

Current funding or other funds not prohibited by law

MJ

Verifiable criterion for action performance

1.     International experience with regard to the methodology of identifying training needs of bankruptcy administrators and choosing topics has been studied, and the result has been recorded. Based on the results, the relevant methodology has been developed and is applied. The relevant training topics have been approved based on that methodology.

3.4.1.2.  Strategic guideline. Ensure electronic access to information necessary for the implementation of activities of bankruptcy administrators

Output and performance indicator

1.     Process of acquiring relevant information by bankruptcy administrators has been simplified, and accessibility to information has been improved.

N

Measure

Action

 

Measure implementation deadline

Source of funding

Responsible body and co-implementers

3.4.1.2.1.

Accessibility of bankruptcy administrators to relevant databases of state authorities

1.     Study the scope of information under the control of state authorities, which is necessary for ensuring activities of bankruptcy administrators.

2019 1st quarter

State Budget or other funds not prohibited by law

MJ

2.     Develop and introduce an electronic programme ensuring access of bankruptcy administrators to relevant databases.

 

 

 

Verifiable criterion for action performance

1.     The scope of information under the control of state authorities and necessary for ensuring activities of bankruptcy administrators has been studied and the result has been recorded. Based on the results, proposal on the development of the relevant electronic programme has been prepared and discussed.

2.     The electronic programme ensuring access of bankruptcy administrators to relevant databases has been developed and introduced. Results of the operation of the programme have been discussed on annual basis and steps aimed at further improvement have been taken (protocol thereon).

3.4.1.3.  Strategic guideline. Raise accountability of bankruptcy administrators

Output and performance indicator

1.     Activities of bankruptcy administrators have become transparent. 

2.     The indicator for satisfaction of creditor claims has increased.

N

Measure

Action

Measure implementation deadline

Source of funding

Responsible body and co-implementers

3.4.1.3.1.

Effective mechanism for accountability of bankruptcy administrators

1.     Based on the study of best practice, develop and introduce an institute for accountability of bankruptcy administrators as a monitoring body and prescribe the form of report.

2018 4th quarter

Current funding or other funds not prohibited by law

MJ

Verifiable criterion for action performance

1.     Best practice with regard to monitoring body of bankruptcy administrators and relevant reports of bankruptcy administrators has been studied, the results have been recorded. Based on the results, the package of recommendations with regard to establishing a monitoring body of bankruptcy administrators and the form of report has been prepared and approved.

3.4.1.4.  Strategic guideline. Improve disciplinary liability proceedings against bankruptcy administrators

Output and performance indicator

1.     The number of appeals brought against activities of bankruptcy administrators has decreased.

N

Measure

Action

Measure implementation deadline

Source of funding

Responsible body and co-implementers

3.4.1.4.1.

Viable mechanism for disciplinary liability of bankruptcy administrators

1.     Based on the study of best practice, develop and introduce a mechanism for disciplinary liability of bankruptcy administrators.

2019 1st quarter

Current funding or other funds not prohibited by law

MJ

Verifiable criterion for action performance

1.      Best practice with regard to the mechanism for disciplinary liability of bankruptcy administrators has been studied, the results have been recorded. Based on the results, the relevant mechanism has been introduced and put into operation.  

4. AREA OF INTERVENTION.

ENSURING THE PUBLIC ACCOUNTABILITY OF THE JUDICIARY

4.1.  Strategic goal. Development of procedures for accountability and transparency of the judiciary

4.1.1.    Strategic guideline. Improve the mechanisms for public accountability of courts and self-government bodies of the judiciary

Output and performance indicator

1.     Transparency and public accountability of the activities of the SJC and the General Assembly of Judges have been improved (results of surveys of court users: starting point: 2019-0, target: 2021 — increase).

2.     Public awareness has been strengthened: accessibility of the judicial and legal information has been improved (results of surveys of court users: starting point: 2019-0, target: 2021 — increase).

3.     Public confidence has been improved with regard to accountability of the judiciary to the public (results of surveys of court users: starting point: 2019-0, target: 2021 — increase).

 

No

Measure

Action

Measure implementation deadline

Source of funding

Responsible body and co-implementers

4.1.1.1.

The mechanism for submission of publicly accessible, full and quality-based reports on the activities of courts and judicial self-government bodies is introduced

Based on the study of the best practice:

2019 3rd quarter

Current funding

SJC

1.     develop and introduce a mechanism for submission by the SJC and the General Assembly of Judges of reports on the activities thereof to the public.

 

Other funds not prohibited by law 

 

2.     Improve the structure and content, the format and periodicity of submission of reports on the activities of courts and judicial self-government bodies.

 

Current funding

 

3.     Ensure the accessibility and availability of the mentioned reports and establish a mechanism for feedback with citizens by means of clarifying frequently asked questions.

 

Current funding

 

Verifiable criterion for action performance

1.     The best practice on the mechanisms for public accountability of the self-government bodies of the judiciary is studied and upon necessity a procedure for publication of reports on the activities of the SJC and the General Assembly of Judges to the public is introduced. The effectiveness of the procedure is assessed and steps for improvement are taken (a protocol thereon).

2.     The best practice on the requirements set for the structure and content of the reports on the activities of a court is studied, the results are summarised and submitted to the SJC for consideration. The format and content of the reports by the courts on the activities thereof are improved, with consideration of the results.

4.1.1.2.

Developed judicial and legal information systems

Based on the study of the best practice and information technologies, to modernise:

 

State Budget or other funds not prohibited law.

SJC

MJ

1.     the legal information website “www.arlis.am”;

2020 2nd quarter

 

 

2.     the information and search system “Datalex”;

2019 4th quarter

 

 

3.     the official website of the judiciary “court.am” and to ensure the accessibility and availability of information according to sectors, the mechanism for feedback.

2018 4th quarter

 

 

4.1.2.   Strategic guideline. Introduce a system for internal monitoring of activities of the judiciary

Output and performance indicator

1.     An effective system for monitoring the activities of the judiciary has been introduced and operates.

2.     The process of constant improvement and development of the sector has been strengthened.

3.     Monitoring of the activities of the judiciary and full diagnosis and disclosure of real issues have been ensured, which contributes to the planning and implementation of reforms based on evidence.

No.

Measure

Action

Measure implementation deadline

Source of funding

Responsible body and co-implementers

4.1.2.1.

The system for internal monitoring of activities of the judiciary is introduced 

1.     Develop and introduce a mechanism for internal monitoring of activities of the judiciary (including the widespread use of electronic tools), based on the study of the best practice and new technologies.

2021 3rd quarter  

State Budget or other funds not prohibited by law 

SJC

MJ 

2.     Plan for each year the sectors subject to monitoring, take steps to address the issues raised on the basis of the monitoring results, including the inclusion of certain actions in the action plans for the next year, planning of the actions of the next Strategy, etc.

 

 

 

3.     At least once in every three years, carry out external monitoring of activities of the judiciary by using the already created tools — the methodology and toolkit developed within the framework of the programmes “Justice monitoring” and “Satisfaction Surveys of Court Users” — and take steps for improvement based on the results thereof.

 

 

 

Verifiable criterion for action performance

1.     Measures necessary for introducing the monitoring system are implemented, the system is introduced and operates. Steps for further improvement are taken, based on the summary of the annual results of the launch (a protocol thereon).

2.     Specific sectors of monitoring are clarified for each year, monitoring is carried out and issues are revealed. The steps in that direction are taken (a protocol thereon).

3.     External monitoring is carried out, results are summarised and further steps are taken, with consideration of the results (a protocol thereon).

4.2.  Strategic goal. Increasing the effectiveness of the process of performance assessment of judges and judicial servants

4.2.1. Strategic guideline. Complete the legal grounds for the organisation of the process of performance assessment of judges and judicial servants and increase the effectiveness of the assessment process

Output and performance indicator

1.     The perception by a judge of the necessity of continuous self-improvement and the necessity of improving the quality and effectiveness of his/her work, thus his/her accountability, has been strengthened (surveys among judges).

2.     The effectiveness of the process of performance assessment of judges has been improved (satisfaction surveys of judges).

3.     The skills and capacities of the assessor have been improved, which contributes to the organisation of a quality-based and objective process of assessment.

4.     The perception by judicial servants of the necessity of improving the quality of their duties and work, and the accountability thereof have been strengthened (surveys among judicial servants).

No.

Measure

Action

Measure implementation deadline

Source of funding

Responsible body and co-implementers

4.2.1.1.

Improved procedures for performance assessment of judges

Based on the best practice on the performance assessment of judges:

 

 

SJC

1.     develop and adopt procedure and methodology for performance assessment of judges;

2019 1st quarter

Current funding or other funds not prohibited by law

 

2.     develop guidelines for the assessment process, other materials of consultative nature on methods of verifying the assessment criteria

2019 3rd quarter

 

 

Verifiable criterion for action performance

1.     The best practice on the performance assessment of judges is studied, the results are summarised and submitted to the SJC for consideration. The procedure for and methodology of the performance assessment of judges are adopted and operate, with consideration of the results and in accordance with the Judicial Code.

4.2.1.3.

Improved skills and capacities of the members of the Supreme Judicial Council for the application of the new assessment procedure and assessment criteria for judges

1.     Organise upon necessity trainings for the members and the Staff of the Supreme Judicial Council for developing skills for the application of the new assessment procedures and assessment criteria.

2019 1st quarter

State Budget or other funds not prohibited by law

SJC

Verifiable criterion for action performance

1.     Upon necessity, trainings of all the members and relevant employees of the Staff of the SJC on the new procedure and process of the performance assessment of judges are carried out.

4.2.1.4.

Improved mechanisms for the performance assessment of judicial servants

1.     Based on the best practice, develop and introduce the procedure, methodology and description form for the performance assessment of judicial servants, taking into account the nature of functions of judicial servants.

2019 3rd quarter

Current funding

SJC

Verifiable criterion for action performance

1.     The best practice is studied, the results are summarised and submitted to the SJC for consideration. The procedure for and methodology of the assessment of judicial servants are improved and adopted, with consideration of the results.

5. AREA OF INTERVENTION.

ENSURING A JUDICIARY FREE FROM CORRUPTION AND PATRONAGE, INCREASING THE EFFECTIVENESS OF INVESTIGATION OF CORRUPTION CRIMES

5.1.  Strategic goal. Ensuring the effective implementation of the anti-corruption policy within the judiciary system

5.1.1.      Strategic guideline. Reduce corruption risks within the judiciary system

No.

Measure

Action

Measure implementation deadline

Source of funding

Responsible body and co-implementers

Output and performance indicator

1.     Corruption risks within the judicial system have been reduced (monitoring: starting point: 2019-0, target: 2021 — decrease).

5.1.1.1.

Effective programmes for reducing and preventing corruption risks are implemented 

1.     Study the corruption risks within the judicial system based on the analysis of the results of the previous monitoring of the activities of the judicial system.

2019 4th quarter

Current funding

MJ

2.     Develop a programme aimed at reducing and preventing these risks by involving the public in developing that programme.

 

 

 

Verifiable criterion for action performance

1.     The results of the previously carried out monitoring of the judicial system are analyzed, the corruption risks within the judicial system are revealed and a relevant programme is developed based thereon, the participation of the public in its development is ensured. The programme is approved and operates. 

5.1.2.   Strategic guideline. Raise anti-corruption awareness within the judicial system

Output and performance indicator

1.     Awareness in the fields of fight against corruption and integrity has been raised among judges (surveys among judges: starting point: 2018-0, target: 2021 — increase). 

No.

Measure

Action

Measure implementation deadline

Source of funding

Responsible body and co-implementers

5.1.2.1.

Effective anti-corruption programmes for continuous training are implemented within the judicial system 

1.     Mandatorily include the anti-corruption component and the component of integrity in the training programmes for judges.

2018-2023

Ongoing 

State budget or other funds not prohibited by law 

MJ

SJC

AJ

2.     Continuously carry out trainings on anti-corruption and integrity for judges in line with legislative developments.

 

 

 

Verifiable criterion for action performance

1.     The anti-corruption component and the component of integrity are included in the training programmes for judges.

2.     Each year 1/5 of judges are trained on anti-corruption and integrity.

5.2.  Strategic goal. Increasing the effectiveness of investigation of corruption crimes 

5.2.1. Strategic guideline. Develop effective mechanisms for investigation of corruption crimes

Output and performance indicator

1.     The power of carrying out investigation of corruption crimes has been delegated to one body.

2.     The effectiveness of investigation of corruption crimes has been improved (number of cases investigated). 

3.     Investigation bodies and the Prosecutor's Office carry out investigation of and control over corruption crimes on the basis of a uniform methodology.

No.

Measure

Action

Measure implementation deadline

Source of funding

Responsible body and co-implementers

5.2.1.1.

A substantiated recommendation to delegate the power of carrying out investigation of corruption crimes to one body

1.     Based on the study of the best practice, prepare a package of recommendations, if appropriate, to delegate the powers of carrying out investigation of corruption crimes to one body and discuss with the beneficiaries of the field, including civil society representatives.

2020 4th quarter

State Budget

Other funds not prohibited by law

MJ

GPO

SIS

IC

NSS

SRC

2.     If necessary, develop a relevant package of legislative amendments and submit it for approval.

 

 

 

Verifiable criterion for action performance

1.     The best practice on delegating the powers of carrying out investigation of corruption crimes to one body is studied, the results are summarised in the form of a relevant package of recommendations and are discussed with the interested state bodies and civil society representatives. In case of approval of the package, the legislative package on delegating the investigation of corruption crimes to one body is developed and submitted to the National Assembly.

5.2.1.2.

The range of corruption crimes is defined by law.

1.     Based on the study of the best practice, develop a methodology for defining the range of corruption crimes and based on it define by law the range of corruption crimes.

2019 4th quarter

Current funding or other funds not prohibited by law

MJ

GPO

SIS

IC

NSS

SRC

Verifiable criterion for action performance

1.     The methodology for defining the range of corruption crimes is developed based on the study of the best practice. The draft Law defining the range of corruption crimes is developed and submitted to the National Assembly, with consideration of that methodology.

5.2.1.3

A uniform methodology for carrying out investigation of corruption crimes, as well as exercising control over them operates 

1.     Based on the study of the best practice, develop and adopt a uniform methodology for carrying out investigation of corruption crimes, as well as exercising control over them.

2020 4th quarter 

State budget or other funds not prohibited by law 

MJ

GPO

SIS

IC

NSS

SRC 

Verifiable criterion for action performance

1.     The best practice on the uniform methodology for carrying out investigation of corruption crimes and exercising control over them is studied. The uniform methodology for carrying out investigation of corruption crimes and exercising control over them is developed and operates, with consideration of the results.

6. AREA OF INTERVENTION. ENSURING LEGAL CERTAINTY AND EFFECTIVE LAW ENFORCEMENT

6.1.  ENSURING THE EFFECTIVENESS OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE

6.1.1.  Strategic goal. Improving the quality and effectiveness of criminal justice

6.1.1.1.   Strategic guideline. Develop relevant mechanisms for enforcement of the new Criminal Code and the new Criminal Procedure Code

Output and performance indicator

1.     The knowledge and skills on professional frameworks on the new Criminal Code and the new Criminal Procedure Code have been improved and public awareness has been raised (data on summarising the training results: substantiated acts: performance assessment results).

No.

Measure

Action

Measure implementation deadline

Source of funding

Responsible body and co-implementers

6.1.1.1.1.

Prerequisites for effective application of the new Criminal Code and the new Criminal Procedure Code are introduced.

1.     Upon necessity develop interpretations of the new Criminal Code and the new Criminal Procedure Code, standardised templates used in practice and create other prerequisites for the application of new legal institutes.

2019 4th quarter

State budget or other funds not prohibited by law

MJ

GPO

SIS

IC

NSS

2.     Upon necessity, carry out public and professional awareness raising by means of round tables, seminars, mass media or other means.

 

 

 

3.     Include the innovations of the Codes into the training programmes for judges, prosecutors and investigators.

 

 

 

Verifiable criterion for action performance

1.     The interpretations of the new Criminal Code and the new Criminal Procedure Code are developed and published, the relevant practical documents are developed and are now available to law enforcement bodies.

2.     Topics on the institutes of the new Criminal Code and the new Criminal Procedure Code are included in the training programmes for judges, prosecutors and investigators. Public awareness raising is carried out.

6.1.1.2.   Strategic guideline. Amend the established practice of applying detention as a measure of restraint

Output and performance indicator

1.     Effective tools for determining the lawfulness of applying detention as a measure of restraint are introduced and applied.

2.     Cases of applying detention as a measure of restraint have been reduced (statistics: starting point: 2018-0, target: 2020 — decrease).

3.     The substantiation and quality of the decisions and motions on applying detention have been improved (reduction of the number of ECHR judgments on that ground: starting point: 2018-0, target: 2021 — decrease).

4.     Knowledge, skills and capacities of advocates, judges, prosecutors, investigators on the best practice of application of detention, ECHR case-law and criteria have been improved.

5.     The number of complaints submitted to ECHR against Armenia on ground of unreasonable application of detention has decreased (ECHR statistics).

No.

Measure

Action

Measure implementation deadline

Source of funding

Responsible body and co-implementers

6.1.2.1.1.

An effective tool for assessing the lawfulness of applying detention as a measure of restraint is introduced

1.     Based on the study of the best practice, develop and introduce a risk assessment tool, which will enable to assess more accurately and effectively the lawfulness of applying detention in a specific case.

2018 4th quarter

State budget or other funds not prohibited by law 

MJ

GPO

SIS

IC

AJ

CA

2.     Develop a comprehensive guideline, which should include matters with regard to person, facts and evidence, by giving positive or negative answer to which it will be possible to determine the matter of choosing detention by applying more objective criteria.

2018 4th quarter

 

3.     Carry out awareness-raising activities and trainings on application of the given tools.

2019 2nd quarter

 

 

Verifiable criterion for action performance

1.     The best practice on the tools substantiating application of detention (including risk assessment method used in USA) is studied. Risk assessment tool is developed and introduced based on the results and is applied. Steps for improvement are taken (a protocol thereon) based on the assessment of the effectiveness of the application.

2.     Trainings on the application of the tool are carried out.

6.1.2.1.2.

Improved knowledge and skills of judges, prosecutors, investigation bodies and advocates in the field of applying detention

1.     Develop guidelines, interpretations and, in accordance with the role of entities applying detention, other auxiliary materials, based on ECHR case-law and international criteria.

2019 2nd quarter

State budget or other funds not prohibited by law

AJ

SA

2.     Prepare training programmes for judges, prosecutors, investigators and advocates (by determining number of courses, number of topics, training format, the scope of participants and the number thereof in each programme) and implement separate or joint trainings to develop skills and capacities concerning drawing up, substantiation of decisions, evaluation of evidence and other skills and capacities.

2019 3rd quarter

(ongoing)

 

 

Verifiable criterion for action performance

1.     Guidelines, manuals and interpretations concerning the best practice of applying detention, ECHR case-law and criteria are developed, published and distributed among professionals and the public.

2.     Separate or joint trainings for judges, prosecutors, investigators and advocates in accordance with comprehensive training programme are carried out. At the end of the training, testing of the participants of the course is carried out through relevant questionnaires and steps for improvement are taken based on the results.

6.1.1.3.   Strategic guideline. Strengthen the legal grounds for fight against impunity for torture

Output and performance indicator

1.     Effective examination of cases of torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment and the effectiveness of fight against impunity have been improved. 

No.

Measure

Action

Measure implementation deadline

Source of funding

Responsible body and co-implementers

6.1.1.3.1.

Stringent legislation on fight against impunity for torture

Based on the study of the best practice, upon necessity:

1.     develop legislative amendment package strengthening legislative grounds providing for prohibition on exempting persons having committed torture from criminal liability or punishment on the ground of expiry of the statute of limitations and submit it to the National Assembly;

2018 4th quarter 

Current funding or other funds not prohibited by law 

MJ 

2.     develop relative legislative amendment package strengthening legislative grounds providing for prohibition on application of amnesty towards persons having committed torture, as well as other measures resulting in impunity for the given act and submit it to the National Assembly;

 

 

 

3.     develop relative legislative amendment package on introducing the institute of audio-visual recording of interrogations and submit it to the National Assembly.

 

 

 

Verifiable criterion for action performance

1.     The relative best practice and criteria are studied and results are submitted to the Ministry of Justice for consideration, the result thereof is recorded. Relevant legislative amendment package is developed and submitted to the National Assembly, with consideration of the results.

6.1.2.   Strategic goal. Ensuring the effectiveness of activities of the Prosecutor's Office and investigation bodies

6.1.2.1.   Strategic guideline.

                     

 

No.

Measure

Action

Measure implementation deadline

Responsible body and co-implementers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6.1.3.   Strategic goal. Improving the system of mutual legal assistance

6.1.3.1.   Strategic guideline. Increase the effectiveness of mutual legal assistance

Output and performance indicator

1.     Law of the Republic of Armenia “On legal assistance in criminal cases” has been adopted by the National Assembly of the Republic of Armenia and is in force.

2.     Level of knowledge of judges, prosecutors, investigators and advocates in the field of mutual legal assistance, as well as awareness of domestic legislation and international practice in the given field has been improved, thus increasing the quality and effectiveness of mutual legal assistance.

3.     Application of electronic tools has contributed to facilitating and increasing the effectiveness of cooperation in the field of mutual legal assistance.

No.

Measure

Action

Measure implementation deadline

Source of funding

Responsible body and co-implementers

6.1.4.1.1

Improved legislation in the field of mutual legal assistance in criminal cases 

1.     Develop a draft Law “On legal assistance in criminal cases” in line with international obligations undertaken by the Republic of Armenia. 

2018 3rd quarter 

Current funding or other funds not prohibited by law 

MJ 

2.     Submit the draft Law of the Republic of Armenia “On legal assistance in criminal cases” to the National Assembly.

 

 

 

Verifiable criterion for action performance

1.     The draft Law of the Republic of Armenia “On legal assistance in criminal cases” is developed, public discussions are carried out. The Draft is submitted to the National Assembly. 

6.1.4.1.2

Improved skills and capacities of judges, prosecutors, investigation bodies and advocates 

1.     Taking as a basis the Law of the Republic of Armenia “On legal assistance in criminal cases” prepare training programmes for judges, prosecutors, investigators and advocates and carry out separate or joint trainings. 

2021 3rd quarter 

State Budget

Other funds not prohibited by law 

MJ

AJ

SA

Verifiable criterion for action performance

1.     Relevant trainings are carried out.

6.1.4.1.3.

Effective processes for legal assistance in civil, criminal and family matters, extradition, transfer of convicts, transfer of proceedings 

1.     Create a tool for electronic management and provision of statistics by relevant software. 

2020 3rd quarter 

State budget or other funds not prohibited by law 

MJ  

2.     Introduce and test the programme.

 

 

3.     Organise vocational education and trainings on the application of the programme.

 

 

 

Verifiable criterion for action performance

1.     The tool for electronic management and provision of statistics of mutual legal assistance is introduced and applied. Trainings of the relevant staff are carried out: the results are summarised (a protocol thereon).

6.2.  ENSURING ACCESSIBILITY OF JUVENILE JUSTICE

6.2.1.   Strategic goal. Development of effective mechanisms of comprehensive protection of rights and lawful interests of minors

6.2.1.1.   Strategic guideline. Improve the quality of juvenile justice

The output and performance indicator

1.     Legislation for ensuring the protection of rights of and accessibility of justice for children appearing as offenders, victims and witnesses, regulation of participation of a child in judicial procedures complies with international legal standards.

2.     The concept paper on the services of rehabilitation and protection of children appearing as offenders, witness and victims of crime and violence in the field of justice applies. 

3.     The quality of juvenile justice has improved. 

N

Measure

Action

Measure implementation deadline

Source of funding

 

Responsible body and co-implementers

6.2.1.1.1.

Improved legislation in the field of protection of the rights of children appearing as offenders, victims and witnesses 

1.     Analyse the legislation for ensuring the protection of rights of and accessibility of justice for children appearing as offenders, victims and witnesses in criminal, civil and family cases, regulation of participation of a child in judicial procedures, as well as submit proposals for improvement thereof. 

2020 4th quarter

Current funding or other funds not prohibited by law 

MJ

LERPIC

MLSA

NGOs (upon consent)

2.     Draft — upon the proposal and where necessary — the relevant package of legislative amendments and submit it to the National Assembly.

 

 

 

Verifiable criterion for action performance

1.     The practice and standards related to ensuring the protection of rights of and accessibility of justice for children appearing as offenders, victims and witnesses, regulation of participation of a child in judicial procedures are studied, relevant legislative drafts are elaborated and submitted to the National Assembly.

6.2.1.1.2.

The concept paper on services of rehabilitation and protection of children appearing as offenders, witnesses and victims of crimes and violence is drafted and applies. 

1.     Based on the study of advanced practice, draft and adopt a concept paper on services of rehabilitation and protection of children appearing as offenders, witnesses and victims of crime and violence in the field of justice. 

2022 4th quarter

Current funding or other funds not prohibited by law

MJ

LERPIC

MLSA

NGOs (upon consent) 

Verifiable criterion for action performance

1.     For the purpose of drafting the concept paper on services of rehabilitation and protection of children appearing as offenders, witnesses and victims of crime and violence, current tasks in the field of justice are revealed and analysed, the advanced practice and standards are studied, the concept paper is drafted and adopted. 

6.3.  UPGRADING AND ENSURING PURPOSEFULNESS OF THE SYSTEM OF CRIMINAL PUNISHMENTS

6.3.1.   Strategic goal. Purposeful application of punishment

6.3.1.1.   Strategic guideline. Enhance effectiveness and purposefulness of the system of criminal punishments

The output and performance indicator

1.     Effectiveness and purposefulness of the system of criminal punishments have been enhanced.

2.     Conditions for holding the convicts and detained persons in penitentiary institutions have improved.

N

Measure

Action

Measure implementation deadline

Source of funding

Responsible body and co-implementers

6.3.1.1.1.

Long-term strategy for development of the system of execution of criminal punishments is adopted and applies 

1.     Conduct, taking into consideration the positions of the European Court of Human rights, reports of the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT), of the Human Rights Defender of the Republic of Armenia, reports of the Group of Public Observers Conducting Public Monitoring of Penitentiary Institutions and Bodies of the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Armenia, a comprehensive study of the system of criminal punishments by highlighting the key tasks.

2018 4th quarter

Implementation of the Strategy — ongoing 

Current funding or other funds not prohibited by law  

MJ  

2.     Draft a long-term strategy for development of the system of execution of criminal punishments based on the study.

 

 

 

Verifiable criterion for action performance

1.     The long-term strategy for development of the system of execution of criminal punishments is drafted and approved. Applies.

6.3.1.1.2.

Improved management model of penitentiary service 

1.     Analyse the existing management model of penitentiary service by juxtaposing it with the effectively functioning management models available in international practice.

2019 1st quarter  

Current funding  

MJ 

2.     Discuss the analysis with interested parties also engaging the civil society representatives in the discussion.

 

 

 

3.     Draft and submit a proposal for improvement of the management model of the penitentiary service, based on the discussions.

 

 

 

Verifiable criterion for action performance

1.     Proposals for improvement of the management model of the penitentiary service based on the analysis of the existing management model of the penitentiary service and comparison with the effectively functioning management models are submitted. Taking into consideration the results, steps are taken.

6.3.1.1.3.

A new Penitentiary Code is adopted. 

1.     Draft a new Penitentiary Code, taking into consideration the positions of the European Court of Human Rights, reports of the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT), of the Human Rights Defender of the Republic of Armenia, reports of the Group of Public Observers Conducting Public Monitoring of Penitentiary Institutions and Bodies of the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Armenia. 

2019 4th quarter 

Current funding or other funds not prohibited by law 

MJ 

2.     Put the new draft Penitentiary Code into circulation.

 

 

 

3.     Organise public discussions.

 

 

 

4.     Submit the new draft Penitentiary Code to the National Assembly.

 

 

 

Verifiable criterion for action performance

1.     The positions of the European Court of Human Rights, reports of the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT), of the Human Rights Defender of the Republic of Armenia, reports of the Group of Public Observers Conducting Public Monitoring of Penitentiary Institutions and Bodies of the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Armenia are studied and the Penitentiary Code is adopted based on the results.

6.3.1.1.4.

New effective vocational education programmes for detained persons and convicts are introduced 

1.     Carry out the assessment of vocational education needs of the convicts.

2018 4th quarter 

Current funding or other funds not prohibited by law 

MJ 

2.     Study the current vocational education programmes for detained persons and convicts.

 

 

3.     Develop — based on the study and assessment of the needs of convicts — new vocational education programmes for detained persons and convicts or modify the already existing programmes;
Establish verifiable criteria which will allow for checking the level of effectiveness of educational programmes.

 

 

 

Verifiable criterion for action performance

1.      Assessment of vocational education needs of convicts is carried out. Current vocational education programmes for detained persons and convicts are studied. New vocational education programmes for detained persons and convicts are developed based on the study and assessment of the needs of convicts. Verifiable criteria for checking the level of effectiveness of educational programmes are established. Effectiveness of programmes for ensuring the employment of detained persons and convicts is studied.

6.3.1.1.5.

Improved level of employment of detained persons and convicts 

1.     Study the effectiveness of programmes for ensuring the employment of detained persons and convicts by revealing the key tasks.

2020 4th quarter 

Current funding or other funds not prohibited by law 

MJ 

2.     Draft and implement an effective programme for ensuring employment of detained persons and convicts.

 

 

 

3.     Establish verifiable criteria that will allow for assessing the steps taken by penitentiary institutions for ensuring the employment.

 

 

 

Verifiable criterion for action performance

1.      The effective programme for ensuring the employment of detained persons and convicts is developed. The verifiable criteria that will allow for assessing the steps taken by penitentiary institutions for ensuring the employment are established.

6.3.1.1.6.

A programme on introduction of effective mechanisms of economic management within the penitentiary service is drafted 

1.     Implement a comprehensive study on the current condition of economic management within the penitentiary service.

2020 4th quarter 

Current funding or other funds not prohibited by law 

MJ 

2.     Draft a programme aimed at raising the effectiveness of economic management within the penitentiary service based on the study.

 

 

 

3.     Consider the possibility to outsource to the private sector the functions of provision of food, implementation of sanitary-epidemiological measures and also other functions at penitentiary institutions, where possible, and to submit a proposal on purposefulness of outsourcing the mentioned functions to the private sector.

 

 

 

Verifiable criterion for action performance

1.      The comprehensive study on the current condition of economic management within the penitentiary service is implemented and a programme aimed at raising the effectiveness of economic management within the penitentiary service is drafted based thereon. The proposal on purposefulness of outsourcing to the private sector the functions of provision of food, implementation of sanitary-epidemiological measures at penitentiary institutions is submitted.

6.3.1.1.7.

Modernised and optimised penitentiary institutions  

1. Implement a study of the facility conditions of penitentiary institutions, the conditions of keeping convicts, submit a proposal based thereon and take further steps.

2018 4th quarter (ongoing) 

State budget or other funds not prohibited by law 

MJ 

 

Verifiable criterion for action performance

1.     A study of the current facility conditions of penitentiary institutions, conditions of keeping the convicts is implemented. A proposal on the study of the current facility conditions of penitentiary institutions, conditions of keeping the convicts is submitted and further steps are taken (a protocol thereon).

6.3.1.1.8.

Improved conditions of provision of secondary (in-patient) medical assistance and service to persons in confinement 

1.     Implement a study of international expertise, draft and submit a proposal on improvement of conditions of provision of secondary (in-patient) medical assistance and service to persons in confinement based thereon. 

2022 4th quarter 

Current funding or other funds not prohibited by law 

MJ 

Verifiable criterion for action performance

1.      A study of international expertise on the conditions of provision of secondary (in-patient) medical assistance and service to persons in confinement is implemented. A proposal on improvement of conditions of provision of secondary (in-patient) medical assistance and service to persons in confinement is drafted and submitted based on the study.

6.3.1.1.9.

An effective programme on reforming the working conditions and the system of social guarantees for employees of the penitentiary system is approved 

1.     Study the working conditions and the system of social guarantees for employees of the penitentiary system.

2022 4th quarter 

Current funding or other funds not prohibited by law 

MJ 

2.     Implement a comparative analysis regarding the working conditions and systems of social guarantees for employees of the penitentiary system and other services.

 

 

3.     Submit a proposal aimed at improvement of the working conditions and reforming the system of social guarantees for employees of the penitentiary system based on the analysis;
Draft a programme based on the proposal submitted.

 

 

 

Verifiable criterion for action performance

1.      The working conditions and the system of social guarantees for employees of the penitentiary system are studied. A comparative analysis regarding the working conditions and systems of social guarantees for employees of the penitentiary system and other services is implemented. A proposal aimed at improvement of the working conditions and reforming the system of social guarantees for employees of the penitentiary system is submitted based on the analysis. A programme aimed at improvement of the working conditions and reforming the system of social guarantees for employees of the penitentiary system is drafted and further steps are taken (a protocol thereon).

6.3.1.1.10.

Improved mechanisms of protection of rights of disabled convicts 

1.     Implement a study of international criteria of protection of rights of disabled convicts.

2019 1st quarter (ongoing) 

Current funding or other funds not prohibited by law 

MJ 

2.     Draft a programme on improvement of protection of rights of disabled convicts based on the study; Submit the programme for approval.

 

 

 

Verifiable criterion for action performance

1.      A study of international criteria of protection of rights of disabled convicts is implemented. A programme on improvement of protection of rights of disabled convicts is drafted based on the study. The programme on improvement of protection of rights of disabled convicts is submitted for approval.

6.3.1.1.11.

Electronic tools are widely used in the penitentiary system 

1.     Test the e-penitentiary electronic governance system. 

2019 4th quarter 

State budget or other funds not prohibited by law 

MJ 

2.     Improve and modernise the e-penitentiary electronic governance system based on results of the testing.

 

 

 

3.     Train penitentiary servants with the purpose of the acquiring the skills necessary for using the e-penitentiary electronic governance system.

 

 

 

4.     Interconnect the e-penitentiary electronic governance system with the systems of other agencies. Implement, where possible, all functions of the penitentiary service through the electronic governance system.

 

 

 

Verifiable criterion for action performance

1.      The e-penitentiary electronic governance system is tested. The e-penitentiary electronic governance system is improved and modernised, based on results of the testing. Penitentiary servants are trained with the purpose of acquiring the skills necessary for using the e-penitentiary electronic governance system. The e-penitentiary electronic governance system is interconnected with the systems of other agencies. All functions of the penitentiary service are implemented through the electronic governance system. 

6.3.2.   Strategic goal. Raising the effectiveness of re-socialisation and the system of restorative justice

6.3.2.1.  Strategic guideline. Raise effectiveness of the system of restorative justice

The output and performance indicator

1.     Effective launch of the re-socialisation measures and programmes has been ensured.

2.     The capacities of the Probation Service have been built.

3.     The effectiveness of the system of restorative justice has been enhanced.

N

Measure

Action

Measure implementation deadline

Source of funding

Responsible body and co-implementers

6.3.2.1.1.

Strategic needs of the Probation Service are assessed. 

1.     Analyse and assess the effectiveness of introduction of the Probation Service.

2018 1st quarter 

Current funding or other funds not prohibited by law  

MJ 

2.     Study the strategic needs of the Probation Service and conduct the assessment thereof.

 

 

3.     Develop certain measures based on the strategic needs.

 

 

 

4.     Discuss the developed measures with interested parties by engaging also the civil society representatives in the discussion.

 

 

 

5.     Submit the developed measures for approval.

 

 

 

Verifiable criterion for action performance

1.     A study is conducted with a view to assessing the effectiveness of introduction of the Probation Service. The strategic needs of the Probation Service are studied and assessed based on the study of the activities of the Probation Service. Certain measures have been developed based on the assessment of the strategic needs of the Probation Service. The measures developed on the basis of assessment of the strategic needs have been discussed with interested parties by engaging also the civil society representatives in the discussion. Measures developed and discussed based on the assessment of the strategic needs have been submitted for approval of the competent body.

6.3.2.1.2.

Full-fledged application the of electronic surveillance system 

1.     Develop and run a software for application of the electronic surveillance system.

2018 4th quarter 

State Budget or other funds not prohibited by law 

MJ 

2.     Organise training courses for probation officers with a view to ensuring the application of electronic surveillance means.

2019 2nd quarter

 

3.     Conduct programmes, trainings for judges, prosecutors, lawyers with a view to promoting the application of electronic surveillance means.

2019 3rd quarter

 

 

4.     Put the electronic surveillance system into operation in stages.

 

 

 

Verifiable criterion for action performance

1.     The software for application of the electronic surveillance system is developed. Probation officers have completed the training and acquired skills necessary for carrying out electronic surveillance. Programmes and trainings promoting the application of electronic surveillance means are conducted for judges, prosecutors, lawyers.

6.3.2.1.3.

Improved model of funding for the electronic surveillance 

1.     Analyse the current model of acquisition (purchase, lease) of electronic surveillance means, as well as funding for the application of the electronic surveillance means.

2018 4th quarter 

Current funding  

MJ

MF 

2.     Draft and submit a proposal for improvement of the current model of funding for the electronic surveillance based on the analysis.

2018 4th quarter

 

 

Verifiable criterion for action performance

1.     The electronic surveillance system is put by the Probation Service into operation in stages. A study on the current model of acquisition of electronic surveillance means, as well as funding for the application of electronic surveillance means has been conducted. A proposal for improvement of the current model of funding for the application of electronic surveillance has been drafted based on the studies conducted and submitted to the competent body.

6.3.2.1.4.

Effective measures and programmes for re-socialisation of probation beneficiaries are approved and under implementation 

1.     Develop measures and programmes for re-socialisation of probation beneficiaries.

2019 4th quarter

/ongoing/ 

State Budget or other funds not prohibited by law 

MJ

LERPIC 

2.     Test the re-socialisation measures and programmes within the framework of the pilot programme.

 

 

3.     Ensure the full-fledged launch of re-socialisation measures and programmes.

 

 

 

4.     Establish verifiable criteria that will allow checking the level of effectiveness of re-socialisation measures and programmes implemented by the Probation Service.

 

 

 

Verifiable criterion for action performance

1.     Measures and programmes for re-socialisation of probation beneficiaries have been developed. Re-socialisation measures and programmes developed within the framework of the pilot programme have been tested. Re-socialisation measures and programmes have been fully launched. The verifiable criteria for checking the level of effectiveness of re-socialisation measures and programmes implemented by the Probation Service are developed.

6.3.2.1.5.

Electronic tools are widely used in the Probation Service 

1.     Develop and operate the software for e-probation system.

2020 4th quarter 

State Budget or other funds not prohibited by law 

MJ 

2.     Test the e-probation system.

 

 

 

3.     Conduct the training of probation officers with a view to acquiring the skills necessary for the use of e-probation system.

 

 

 

4.     Put the e-probation system into operation in the Probation Service in full.

 

 

 

Verifiable criterion for action performance

1.     The e-probation system has been tested within the framework of the pilot programme. Probation beneficiaries have completed the training with a view to acquiring the skills necessary for the use of e-probation system. The e-probation system has been fully put into operation in the Probation Service.

6.3.2.1.6.

Improved capacities of employees of the probation service. 

1.     Develop the procedure for drawing up consultation reports.

2017 4th quarter 

State Budget or other funds not prohibited by law 

MJ

LERPIC 

2.     Conduct the training of probation officers with a view to acquiring the skills necessary for drawing up consultation reports.

 

 

6.4.  ENSURING THE EFFECTIVENESS OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE AND CIVIL JUSTICE

6.4.1.   Strategic goal. Regular improvement of the on administrative and civil legislation

6.4.1.1.   Strategic guideline. Develop the mechanism of monitoring of legislation and continuously improve sectoral legislation.

The output and performance indicator

1.    

N

Measure

Action

Measure implementation deadline

Source of funding

Responsible body and co-implementers

6.4.1.1.1.

Effective procedure for monitoring the application of the legislation has been introduced 

1.     Introduce the mechanism of monitoring of the legislation based on the study of the advanced practice.

2018 3rd quarter

Current funding or other funds not prohibited by law

MJ

2.     Develop the methodology for monitoring of the application of the legislation.

 

 

Verifiable criterion for action performance

1.     The advanced practice concerning the mechanism of monitoring of the legislation is studied, the mechanism is introduced and applies, taking into consideration the results. The methodology and periodicity, procedure for submitting proposals are developed and approved by the order of the Minister of Justice.

6.4.1.1.2.

Practical tasks related to the legislation of the field of administrative law are addressed.

1.     Study the tasks arising with regard to the application of the administrative procedure legislation, including the norms of acting through several representatives while carrying out administrative procedural actions, reviewing the legal norms obstructing the enforcement of judicial acts, mandatory nature of representation by a lawyer in the administrative procedure, non-execution of the court decision requiring evidence from administrative bodies, as well as other omissions and norms impeding the effectiveness of the Administrative Procedure Code.

2018 4th quarter

Current funding or other funds not prohibited by law

MJ

2.     Draft, where necessary, a package of legislative amendments and submit it to the National Assembly.

 

 

 

Verifiable criterion for action performance

1.     The act envisaging amendments to the Administrative Procedure Code is drafted, public discussions are organised, the act is submitted to the National Assembly.

6.5.  ENSURING THE EFFECTIVENESS OF OPERATION OF ENFORCEMENT SYSTEM

6.5.1.   Strategic goal. Enhancing the effectiveness of the System of Judicial Acts Compulsory Enforcement

6.5.1.1.   Strategic guideline. Develop the application of electronic tools in the Judicial Acts Compulsory Enforcement Service

The output and performance indicator

1.     The access of the Judicial Acts Compulsory Enforcement Service to the relevant database of other agencies has been improved.

2.     The exercising of enforcement actions within shorter period of time and the efficiency of process of the judicial acts compulsory enforcement have been improved.  

N

Measure

Action

Measure implementation deadline

Source of funding

Responsible body and co-implementers

6.5.1.1.1.

A system of Judicial Acts Compulsory Enforcement Service, interconnected with the systems of other bodies

3.     Elaborate and introduce software which will enable to ensure the access of the Judicial Acts Compulsory Enforcement Service to the data of the Real Estate Cadastre adjunct to the Government of the Republic of Armenia and of citizens receiving pension, as well as the database of the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs of the Republic of Armenia. 

2019 2nd quarter 

State Budget

Other funds not prohibited by law 

MJ

Verifiable criterion for action performance

1.     Relevant software support is elaborated and introduced.  

6.5.1.1.2.

Electronic document circulation between compulsory enforcement officers and participants of enforcement proceedings 

1.     Examine the possibility of introducing special e-software, the financial evaluation and introduce it, if possible.

2.     Organise trainings for officers.

2019 3rd quarter 

State Budget

Other funds not prohibited by law 

MJ

Verifiable criterion for action performance 

1.     Examination of possibility of software support envisaging electronic document circulation between compulsory enforcement officers and participants of enforcement proceedings and of financial evaluation is carried out. Based on the results, further steps for introducing the software are taken.  

6.5.1.2.  Strategic guideline. Introduce a toolkit for promoting execution of acts by debtors

The output and performance indicator

1.     Enhance the efficiency of enforcement proceedings.

2.     The cases of appealing decisions of compulsory enforcement officers with regard to some enforcement proceedings have reduced. 

N

Measure

Action

Measure implementation deadline

Source of funding

Responsible body and co-implementers

6.5.1.1.2.1.

An efficient toolkit for promoting execution of acts by debtors

1.     Define incentive regulations for voluntary execution of an act by a debtor during proceedings for compulsory enforcement of judicial acts.

2019 1st quarter

Current funding

MJ

6.6.  ENSURING EFFICIENCY OF LEGAL EXPERT EXAMINATION

6.6.1.   Strategic goal. Development of effective procedures for carrying out legal expert examination in the lawmaking process

6.6.1.1.   Strategic guideline. Improve the procedures for legal expert examination of draft normative legal acts and develop the relevant professional potential

The output and performance indicator

1.     The quality of normative legal acts having passed legal expert examination has been improved (the number of acts amended on the basis of legal uncertainty, contradiction or gaps, as well as the number of legislative provisions recognised as anti-constitutional has reduced).

2.     The efficiency of existing mechanisms for carrying out legal expert examination has been improved.

3.     The capacities and skills required for efficient performance of functions by the public servants carrying out legal expert examination have been improved. 

N

Measure

Action

Measure implementation deadline

Source of funding

Responsible body and co-implementers

6.6.1.1.1.

An improved procedure for legal expert examination of draft normative legal acts 

1.     Elaborate draft Order of the Minister of Justice of the Republic of Armenia “On establishing the procedure for carrying out expert examination” and submit it for approval. 

2018 3rd quarter 

Current funding or other funds not prohibited by law  

MJ 

Verifiable criterion for action performance

1.     “Procedure for carrying out expert examination” is approved by the relevant order of the Minister of Justice of the republic of Armenia. 

N

Measure

Action

Measure implementation deadline

Source of funding

Responsible body and co-implementers

6.6.1.1.2.

Improved capacities and skills of public servants carrying out legal expert examination.

 

1.     Conduct trainings for the officers of the Legal Act Expertise Agency of the Staff of the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Armenia. 

2018 3rd quarter 

State Budget

Other funds not prohibited by law  

MJ 

1.     At least, 70 per cent of officers of the Legal Act Expertise Agency of the Staff of the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Armenia have undergone the relevant training. 

6.7.  PERSONAL DATA PROTECTION

6.7.1. Strategic goal. Proper raising of the level of public awareness of personal data protection

6.7.1.1.         Enhancing public awareness and knowledge (personal data processors and personal data entities) in the field of personal data protection.

The output and performance indicator

1.     Public awareness of the right to personal data protection, legislative regulations and application of law, as well as the knowledge of own duties by personal data processors have been improved.

2.     Public legal consciousness of personal data protection has been raised.

 

N

Measure

Action

Measure implementation deadline

Source of funding

Responsible body and co-implementers

6.7.1.1.1.

Improved awareness and knowledge of personal data processors and personal data entities in the field of personal data protection

 

 

1.     Carry out examination and evaluation of the situation, sociological surveys, public opinion examination and evaluation of existing problems.

2.     Hold permanent public awareness-raising campaigns and projects for the purpose of informing people of the right to personal data protection (TV programs, making of social Video Clips, publication of analytical materials). Elaborate and publish separate guidelines and information leaflets.

3.     Conduct trainings. Elaborate educational programmes for high school students, as well as for students of higher education institutions, make them familiar with the significance of personal data protection and particularities of personal data protection on the Internet.

4.     Organise press conferences at least once in 6 months presenting the best practice of the given period of time and the further steps.

5.     Regularly organise public working discussions, consultative meetings and workshops.

6.     Publish public reports on the work carried out, through press and social networks presenting both specific work and general tendencies. Present a public report on the activities and state of the previous year.

7.     Celebrate the International Data Protection Day on 28 January of each year. 

2018 4th quarter /ongoing/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2019 1st quarter /ongoing/ 

State Budget

 

Other funds not prohibited by law 

MJ

PDPA  

Verifiable criterion for action performance

1.     There are statistical or other substantiated data on the knowledge, awareness of the personal data processors and personal data entities in the field of personal data protection, as well as on public opinion.

2.     Thirty units of information materials on the right to personal data protection, the international practice and the tendencies for developing rights, as well as of other awareness raising contents accessible to the public are posted on Facebook page of the Personal Data Protection Agency. Two guidelines or analytics or consultative decision or position on peculiarities of elaborating personal data in individual fields have been developed and published.

3.     Educational programmes for high school students, as well as for students of higher education institutions have been elaborated. Trainings on personal data protection was conducted or another meeting in an educational/consultative format was held for 200 personal data processors or personal data entities, 100 consultations on the right to personal data protection were provided.

4.     The Personal Data Protection Agency organised or participated in 2 press conferences on the right to personal data protection.

5.     The Personal Data Protection Agency organised or participated in 5 events directly or indirectly related to the right to personal data protection (work discussion, conference, workshop etc.).

6.     Twenty units of information materials on the activities of the Agency are posted on the Facebook page of the Personal Data Protection Agency, the work of the Agency is presented in 20 press releases, as well as the annual report on the activities of the Agency is published.

7.     The International Data Protection Day was celebrated on 28 January in a format of press conference, work discussion, conference, workshop or another similar format. 

7. AREA OF INTERVENTION. ENSURING QUALITY JUSTICE SERVICES

7.1.  EXPANSION OF “E-JUSTICE” DOMAIN AND ENSURING THE EFFECTIVENESS

7.1.1.    Strategic goal. Development of e-justice and participatory democracy tools

7.1.1.1.   Strategic guideline. Develop comprehensive system of e-justice in courts

The output and performance indicator

1.     The quality and accessibility, tempo and transparency of the services of courts (surveys of court users: starting point: 2017, Report of the Council of Europe, target 2020 — increase) have been improved.

2.     Document circulation, judicial processes have been simplified (internal monitoring surveys).

No

Measure

Action

Measure implementation deadline

Source of funding

Responsible body and co-implementers

7.1.1.1.1.

E-justice tools are introduced and applied in justice system

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1.     Introduce and launch unified e-Governance system (e-court) in courts, which includes other e-governance systems, by ensuring their unification.

2.     Provide software support for applying to the court via electronic means, opening an electronic judicial case ensuring the transfer of cases among the seats of one court instance to another court instance and the same court instance, as well as launching of party-to-party, party-court efficient notification system, getting acquainted with the materials of the case on-line, receiving copies, submitting evidences, motions and carrying out other procedural actions.

3.     Introduce electronic document circulation system in courts.

4.     Introduce official on-line correspondence system in the Judicial Department by ensuring, through the system, the electronic document circulation among natural persons and the Judicial Department creating an opportunity for the citizens to submit an official application and proposals on-line, as well as to track the progress of the application on Datalex website.

5.     Introduce a system for providing and receiving information about judiciary relating to other agencies, which will enable to automatically provide certain information on the proceedings in a case to other agencies, for instance, JACE Service, notaries, banks, financial organisations and other agencies.

2019 4th quarter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 State Budget

or other funds not prohibited by law

MJ

Staff of the SJC

Verifiable criterion for action performance

1.     Unified e-governance system is introduced and launched in courts, software support for submitting and drawing up electronic claim, electronic judicial case, submitting notifications by electronic means, getting acquainted with the materials of the case by electronic means is provided, and the software operates. The results of launching are summed up on annual basis and further steps for improvement are taken (including relevant actions in the next Strategy or Action plan).

2.     Electronic document circulation system is introduced and operated in courts. Official on-line correspondence system is introduced and operated in the Judicial Department, electronic document circulation among natural persons and judicial departments is carried out by means of electronic system.

3.     System for providing and receiving information about judiciary relating to other agencies is introduced and operates.

7.1.1.2.    Strategic guideline. Develop e-democracy and participatory governance tools

The output and performance indicator

1.     False document circulation has been prevented, simplified procedures for confirming the validity of documents are guaranteed.

2.     The practice of processing the inquiries of citizens in a proper way, referral thereof to the competent administrative body.

3.     On-line certification of transactions by notaries has been improved, the possibility of forgery of the documents submitted in hard copy has been prevented. 

7.1.1.2.1.

E-democracy and participatory governance tools are introduced and operate 

Based on the study of advanced experience and new technologies:

1.     modernise www.e-draft.am unified website for publishing draft legal acts;

2.     introduce e-petition unified platform for electronic petitions;

3.     introduce electronic platform for checking the validity of the licenses, permits or other documents issued by state bodies — www.e-verify.am website;

4.     introduce www.e-request.am website for processing the inquiries of citizens in a proper way and referral thereof to the competent administrative body;

5.     introduce unified electronic platform for bankruptcy (e-bankruptcy).

 

 

2018 4th quarter

2018 4th quarter

 

2018 4th quarter

 

 

2020 4th quarter

 

2019 4th quarter

 

State Budget

or other funds not prohibited by law

MJ

 

NGOs (upon consent)

Verifiable criterion for action performance

1.     The relevant advanced experience has been studied, the results have been summed up and recorded in the Ministry of Justice. Based on the results, the www.e-draft.am unified website for publishing draft legal acts has been modernised and operates.

2.     The relevant advanced experience has been studied, the results have been summed up and recorded in the Ministry of Justice. Based on the results, www.e-petition.am e-petition unified platform for electronic petitions is introduced.

3.     The relevant advanced experience has been studied, the results have been summed up and recorded in the Ministry of Justice. Based on the results, the website www.e-verify.am of the electronic platform for checking the validity of the licenses, permits or other documents issued by state bodies — has been introduced.

4.     The relevant advanced experience has been studied, the results have been summed up and recorded in the Ministry of Justice. Based on the results, the website www.e-request.am is introduced and operates.

5.     The relevant advanced experience has been studied, the results have been summed up and recorded in the Ministry of Justice. Based on the results, the unified electronic platform for bankruptcy (e-bankruptcy) is introduced and operates. Document circulation of the participants in bankruptcy proceedings by electronic means, the opportunity of giving an opinion on the website is launched and ensured, the system for providing and receiving information with other agencies relating to the proceedings is introduced.

7.1.1.2.2.

Developed www.e-notary.am electronic system 

1.     Expand the scope of on-line notarial actions, ensuring on-line certification of transactions by notaries.

2.     Expand the scope of services provided to citizens by electronic means, ensuring the provision of services under the “one window” principle by introducing the notary evaluation system. 

 

2018 4th quarter

 

2018 4th quarter

 

State Budget

Other funds not prohibited by law

MJ

NC

Verifiable criterion for action performance

1.      The scope of on-line notarial actions is expanded.

2.     The scope of services provided to citizens by electronic means is expanded ensuring the provision of services under the “one window” principle, the citizens are provided with an opportunity of making comments and proposals ensuring the opportunity of evaluating notary services while making use of them.

7.2.  ENSURING THE EFFECTIVENESS OF THE SYSTEM OF PUBLIC REGISTERS

7.2.1.    Strategic goal. Raising effectiveness of the civil status acts registration system

7.2.1.1.   Strategic guideline. Improve accessibility and availability of the civil status acts registration

The output and performance indicator

1.     The Civil Status Acts Registration system has been modernised; the administration has been simplified.

2.     The accuracy of registrations has been improved.

3.     Contact between citizens and bodies of Civil Status Acts Registration has been reduced.

 

N

Measure

Action

Measure implementation deadline

Source of funding

Responsible body and co-implementers

7.2.1.1.1.

A unified system of civil status acts registration that is in tune with up-to-date requirements  

1.     Based on the nature of services provided, study the opportunity of providing relevant services by electronic means and submit proposals aimed at their solution.

2.     Prepare a package of proposals for providing services by electronic means and ensure phase-by-phase provision of services by electronic means.

2018 3rd quarter 

State Budget

or other funds not prohibited by law

MJ

Verifiable criterion for action performance 

1.     Based on the nature of services provided, the opportunity of providing, by electronic means, the relevant services of the Civil Status Acts Registration system is studied and the respective proposals are developed and submitted for approval. Based on the results, further steps for phase-by-phase provision of services by electronic means are taken /protocol thereon/.  

7.2.1.1.2.

Digitised archive of civil status acts registration

1.     Make an inventory; specify the amount of documents to be archived, employ resources for organising digitalisation and digitalise the archive.

 

2022 4th quarter

State budget or

other funds not prohibited by law 

MJ

Verifiable criterion for action performance 

1.     The documents to be archived are selected, elaborated and archived.

7.2.2.   Strategic goal. Enhancing the effectiveness of the register agency for registration of legal persons

7.2.2.1.   Strategic guideline. Enhance support to business environment and maximum accessibility of services

The output and performance indicator

1.     The management process of archival documents has been simplified, document circulation has been reduced (results of internal monitoring surveys).

2.     The quality of services related to the state register of legal persons has been improved and the effectiveness of the activities has been enhanced (results of service users' satisfaction survey; starting point 2018 — 0, target 2022 — increase).

3.     The website www.azdarar.am has been modernised, the number of the system users has increased and the quality of services has been improved (results of service users' satisfaction survey; starting point 2018 — 0, target 2022 — increase). 

4.     The number of users of the system for registration of secured rights has increased, the quality of services of that system has been improved (results of service users' satisfaction survey; starting point 2018 — 0, target 2022 — increase). 

N

Measure

Action

Measure implementation deadline

Source of funding

Responsible body and co-implementers

7.2.2.1.1.

The archival documents of legal persons are digitised 

2.     Make an inventory; specify the amount of documents to be archived and carry out archiving.

 

2021
4th quarter 

State budget or

other funds not prohibited by law  

 MJ 

Verifiable criterion for action performance

1.     The archival documents of legal persons to be digitised are digitised. Relevant software support is elaborated and is being launched.

7.2.2.1.2. 

Expanded electronic services of the register of legal persons

 

1.     Based on the nature of services provided, study the opportunity of providing relevant services by electronic means and submit proposals aimed at their solution.

2.     Prepare a package of proposals for providing services by electronic means and ensure phase-by-phase provision of services by electronic means.

2018 4th quarter

 

 

2019 4th quarter

(ongoing) 

State budget or

other funds not prohibited by law 

MJ

MF 

Verifiable criterion for action performance

1.     Based on the nature of services provided, the opportunity of providing, by electronic means, the relevant services of state register of legal persons is studied and the results are submitted for the discussion of the Ministry of Justice; the discussion is recorded. Based on the results, the package of relevant proposals is elaborated and submitted for the discussion of the Ministry of Justice. Based on the results, software support for providing services by electronic means with regard to some services is ensured, the project is introduced and is being implemented. The results of operation are summed up for a year and further steps for improvement are taken (protocol thereon; steps for including in the Action Plan for the following year, providing for actions in the next Strategy and other steps).

7.2.2.1.2. 

 

Increasing the availability of the services provided through service offices.

 

1.     Study and single out the scope of services in higher demand by the population.

2.     Take steps towards expanding the list of the operators performing the functions of the service offices in Yerevan and in the marzes of the Republic of Armenia.

3.     Carry out public awareness raising related to the activities of service offices.

2018 3rd quarter

 

2018 3rd quarter

 

2019 1st quarter

(ongoing) 

State Budget,

Other funds not prohibited by law 

MJ 

Verifiable criterion for action performance

1.     The list of services in higher demand by the population provided by the State is studied, the results of the study are discussed in the Ministry of Justice and the discussion is recorded. Based on the results, the list of the operators performing the functions of the service offices in Yerevan and in the marzes of the Republic of Armenia is expanded.

2.     Public awareness raising related to the activities of service offices is carried out by means of organising at least 1 meeting for discussion in a relevant marz or community, or through the mass media, including by means of making aware through the Internet.

7.2.2.1.3. 

 Modernised official Internet site of public notifications www.azdarar.am  

1.     Based on the evaluation of the results of launching the website www.azdarar.am, suggest new software solutions and carry out software support based thereon.

2.     Carry out public awareness-raising activities.  

2019 4th quarter

 

 

2020 1st quarter  

State budget or

other funds not prohibited by law

MJ 

Verifiable criterion for action performance

1.     The evaluation of the results of launching the website www.azdarar.am is carried out, the results are discussed in the Ministry of Justice and the discussion is recorded. Based on the results, the software support for modernising the website www.azdarar.am is carried out. The software is modernised and operates.

2.     The measures for promoting public awareness raising and the use of the website www.azdarar.am are taken by means of organising at least 1 meeting for discussion in a relevant marz or community, or through the mass media, including by means of making aware through the Internet.

7.2.2.1.4. 

Integrated and advanced system of registration of the secured rights  

1.     Elaborate legal and program-related grounds for establishing a movable property cadastre based on the study of advanced experience and new technologies and submit them for approval.

2.     Interconnect the Register for the movable property cadastre with the Register for secured rights.

3.     Interconnect the Register for secured rights to vehicles with the Register for secured rights to movable property.

2022 4th quarter

 

 

2023 1st quarter

 

2023 1st quarter  

State Budget

or

other funds not prohibited by law 

MJ

 

 Verifiable criterion for action performance

1.      The advanced practice with regard to the movable property cadastre is studied, the results are discussed in the Ministry of Justice and the discussion results are recorded. Based on the results, legal grounds for establishing a movable property cadastre are elaborated and software solutions are ensured. The software is introduced and operates. Based on annual summarisation of the results of launching, further improvement steps are taken.

2.     The Register for the movable property cadastre is interconnected with the Register for secured rights. The Register for secured rights to vehicles is interconnected with the Register for secured rights to movable property. 

 


SUBSTANTIATION

Of the need for adoption of the Decision of the Government of the Republic of Armenia “On approving the 2018-2023 Strategy for judicial and legal reforms of the Republic of Armenia and the Action Plan deriving therefrom”

 

Current situation and the necessity for adoption of the legal act

The judiciary and the legal system of the Republic of Armenia have undergone several stages of reforms since the Republic became independent, by consistently addressing the tasks and challenges existing in the judicial and legal systems in different periods. A number of complex measures and actions have, in stages, been planned and defined by the reform programmes having the ultimate purpose of progressive achieving an independent, autonomous, fair and effective full-fledged judiciary, as well as strengthening the legal system complying with the rule of law and the standards of a modern legal state.

The created culture of strategic planning of the judicial and legal sector reforms and of ensuring the continuity of reforms obtained a new quality as a result of the Protocol Decision of the Government of the Republic of Armenia No 42 of 5 October 2017, when the requirements for the strategic documents of different levels, as well as the details of coordination and monitoring thereof were clarified and improved. By this, in the given case importance was attached to the need for strategic planning, monitoring, accountability and regular evaluation of the progress of the judicial and legal sector reforms, with the view to ensure the ascending and sustainable development of the field.

Besides, the need for adoption of the Decision of the Government of the Republic of Armenia “On approving the 2018-2023 Strategy for judicial and legal reforms of the Republic of Armenia and the Action Plan deriving therefrom” is conditioned by some other significant circumstances as well.

Firstly, by the amendments of 6 December 2015, key amendments were made to the chapter related to the judiciary for the purpose of vesting, by the Constitution of the Republic of Armenia (hereinafter referred to as “the Constitution”), the judiciary with necessary and sufficient functional, institutional, material and social independence. Among other innovations, the Supreme Judicial Council as an independent state body guaranteeing the independence of courts and judges was provided for by the amended Constitution, the composition, procedure for its formation and the powers thereof were defined, the requirements for judge candidates, the procedure for the election and appointment of judges, mechanisms for ensuring the independence of the judiciary were amended. All this resulted in the launch of the process of bringing the fundamental legal acts regulating the field in conformity with the Constitution, including in the drawing up of the new draft Judicial Code.

Consequently, mechanisms for practical feasibility of guarantees enshrined by the new legal regulations of the Judicial Code should have been envisaged with regard to the Judiciary, which were included in the relevant sections of the Strategy and Action Plan. Besides, based on the analysis of the results of the previous reforms, new efficient solutions of the problems in the field of criminal, civil and administrative justice, as well as in the areas of services provided to the citizens should have been envisaged ensuring continuous and sustainable development of the field.

Secondly, it is worth mentioning that a number of respectable organisations consistently underline the direct link between the judicial and legal sector reforms and the social and economic development of the State and the process of good governance. The effective judicial and legal framework at least implies legitimate and non-discriminatory laws and predictable, efficient law enforcement which is accompanied by institutional improvement and building capacities, thus contributing to the investment environment and to the economic growth of the State.

Based on the above-mentioned, the need for targeted, goal-oriented and timely strategic planning of legal and judicial reforms is substantiated, that also makes the development of the field visible and predictable, thus contributing to the overall progress of the State.

 

The nature of the proposed regulation

The reforms in the field, as envisaged by the Strategy, are to be implemented by establishing or improving the legislation and the regulatory field, introducing or developing efficient mechanisms securing their practical enforcement, as well as by institutional development, improvement of infrastructures and enhancement of the professional potential in the field.

Among the tasks of the Strategy, the following have been singled out: ensuring full independence of the judiciary, prevention of corruption phenomena, improvement of application of the institution of disciplinary liability of judges, balancing the number of judges and their staff and the number of cases under consideration, promoting the full application of alternative means of dispute resolution, observing reasonable time limits for consideration of cases, improving quality and accessibility of legal assistance, the proportionate and fair application of detention as a measure of restraint, the juvenile justice, the system of criminal punishments and re-socialisation, the full introduction of electronic justice, improvement of quality of services provided to citizens, raising the public confidence in the judiciary and other establishments in the field of justice and other tasks.

The mentioned tasks are envisaged to be resolved by means of strategic goals defined by seven strategic areas of intervention, the guidelines for achieving them and the measures established by the Action Plan and specific measures.

 

Institutions involved in the Draft elaboration 

The draft has been elaborated by the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Armenia.

The output

In case the Strategy and the Action Plan are adopted, it is expected to enhance the legal certainty, the predictability of the legal system and justice, access to justice and efficiency thereof, the independence and impartiality of the judiciary, high quality justice, ensuring public accountability and transparency. Thus, the rule of law, consistent establishment of legal safety and protection of fundamental human rights and freedoms shall be enhanced in the Republic of Armenia.

The key performance indicators of the final outputs of the Strategy are the following: increase of the level of public confidence in the judiciary and in the activity of establishments in the field of justice or in its separate aspects, the level of confidence of the professional community (lawyers) in the judiciary and in the activity of establishments in the field of justice, the improved indicators in various relevant evaluation reports of the activity of establishments in the field of justice in the Republic of Armenia or of its separate aspects or raising the rating of the Republic of Armenia.


 

STATEMENT OF INFORMATION No 1

ON NEED OF ADOPTION OF OTHER NORMATIVE LEGAL ACTS IN CONNECTION WITH THE ADOPTION OF THE DECISION OF THE GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF ARMENIA “ON APPROVING THE 2018-2023 STRATEGY FOR JUDICIAL AND LEGAL REFORMS OF THE REPUBLIC OF ARMENIA AND THE ACTION PLAN DERIVING THEREFROM”

In connection with the adoption of the decision of the Government of the Republic of Armenia “On approving the 2018-2023 Strategy for judicial and legal reforms of the Republic of Armenia and the Action Plan deriving therefrom”, no need of adoption of other normative legal acts arises

 and it is in compliance with the obligations undertaken by international agreements.

 

STATEMENT OF INFORMATION No 2

ON THE SIGNIFICANT INCREASE OR DECREASE IN THE EXPENDITURES AND REVENUES IN THE STATE BUDGET OR THE BUDGET OF THE LOCAL SELF-GOVERNMENT BODY IN CONNECTION WITH THE ADOPTION OF THE DECISION OF THE GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF ARMENIA “ON APPROVING THE 2018-2023 STRATEGY FOR JUDICIAL AND LEGAL REFORMS OF THE REPUBLIC OF ARMENIA AND THE ACTION PLAN DERIVING THEREFROM”

In connection with the adoption of the Decision of the Government of the Republic of Armenia “On approving the 2018-2023 Strategy for judicial and legal reforms of the Republic of Armenia and the Action Plan deriving therefrom”, increase or decrease in the expenditures and revenues of 2017 state budget or the budget of a local self-government body is not envisaged.

 


[1]    Please see the 2017 report of the Justice Monitoring Project.

[2]    Upon the request of the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Armenia, the EU-funded project “Court Users' Satisfaction Survey” (Project of the Council of Europe, Report 2017) and project “Survey on identification of public needs and expectations from the justice system of the Republic of Armenia” (“EU Justice Monitoring Project”, Report 2017) were implemented. Assessment tools (methodology) developed under the said projects and the results of surveys conducted (in accordance with the fields, where possible) will be used for measuring the results of the goals of the Strategy and assessment of the progress.

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