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e-Governance

Official News

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

PM Briefed on Ministry of Justice 2017 Annual Performance and 2018 Priorities






Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan visited the Ministry of Justice to get acquainted with the activities and priorities completed in 2017, as well as the tasks set for 2018.

The Premier was introduced to the laws stemming from the new Constitution as drafted by the Ministry of Justice and sent to the National Assembly, as well as the package of constitutional laws, the steps taken to ease the courts’ workload, the actions carried out in the fight against corruption, the reform of the Judicial Acts Compulsory Enforcement Service (JACES), including the ones aimed at limiting its discretionary powers, the positive changes in the penitentiary system, as well as the Ministry’s achievements and future activities in the field of e-democracy.

Minister Davit Haroutunyan emphasized that special attention is being paid to the handling of the courts’ workload and their specialization. Starting from January 1, 2019, the bankruptcy court will start investigating cases of detention and pre-trial proceedings by judges who have special jurisdiction. Seven courts in the administrative districts of Yerevan have merged into a single Yerevan Court of General Jurisdiction, mainly due to the disproportionate workload of judges in different administrative districts, while increasing the number of judges could not settle the problem by itself due to the lack of infrastructure, premises, etc.

According to Davit Haroutunyan, the judges’ workload will be leveled in this way, which will have a positive impact on the duration of judicial acts. It was also reported that the number of judges was increased by 10, especially in those areas where there was a need. The Minister underlined that a number of other instruments were introduced, the results of which will be visible during the current year.

According to David Haroutunyan, studies have shown that there are many cases that can be solved even in extra-judiciary order. These cases contain very little legal process. According to the already approved legislative amendments, the Ministry of Justice and the Central Bank will approve the standard contracts from April to provide the parties with an electronic copy of the case and immediately apply to the JACES. This tool will considerably ease the courts’ workload. At the same time, the procedural codes provide more optimal mechanisms; electronic notifications and suit filing will also be applied in the near future.

Prime Minister Karapetyan attached special importance to the implementation of measures aimed at the handling of courts workload and expressed confidence that it will help further improve the business environment. The Premier highlighted the criminalization of illicit enrichment in the fight against corruption, the introduction of the institution of advocacy, the further expansion of the Anticorruption Council, the protection of whistleblowers’ rights, the establishment of a corruption prevention authority and the restriction on cash transactions.

From the reforms implemented in penitentiary institutions, the Minister highlighted the Energy Saving Program and the modernization of medical services, implemented in 10 penitentiary institutions. As a result of the first project, penitentiaries were provided with necessary thermal and hygienic conditions, energy efficient lighting, gas pipelines and boiler rooms, while under the second program, 11 penitentiaries were provided with necessary primary health care medical equipment.

It was reported that the reform underway in the Judicial Acts Compulsory Enforcement Service was aimed at defining deadlines for performing enforcement actions and making decisions, and for ensuring the normal course of business it was envisaged that the prohibition of the claim as a means of initiation was initially put on the non-financial basis of the business entity rather than on real estate.

SMS notifications have been enabled to inform citizens about the proceedings initiated by the Judicial Acts Compulsory Enforcement Service. In addition, a computer program has been developed to help citizens learn about the enforcement proceedings launched against him by means of a smart phone, tablet or computer.

Among the activities carried out by the Ministry of Justice in the sphere of e-democracy, the Prime Minister singled out the launch of a unified platform for publication of draft legal acts - www.e-draft.am - and the launch of www.e-hotline.am service, as well as the creation of a unified electronic platform of inquiries with www.e-request.am, the establishment of www.e-apostille.am system along with the e-notarial system upgrade.

As a best example of public-private partnership, the process of delegating the functions of public agencies to the private sector was highlighted. Currently, there are 9 State service providers implementing about 67 services so delegated. As of December 31, 2017, 1722 services were being provided by such entities.

Karen Karapetyan welcomed this initiative aimed at expanding the range of operators and services. At the same time, he suggested continuing the awareness campaign on the aforementioned opportunities.

The Prime Minister was also briefed on the performance of the Probation Service and the results of a pilot electronic control system introduced in Ararat, Lori Marzes and in Yerevan, which provides for enforcement of and control over those court rulings and sentences not associated with imprisonment, as well as for prisoners’ reintegration.

Reference was made to the bill on management of multi-apartment buildings, developed by the Ministry of Justice, which deals with the relations arising from the management of residential buildings and condominiums.

In response to the Prime Minister’s question, Minister Haroutunyan said the draft law is at the stage of elaboration and will be submitted to the Government Staff in early March.

It was underscored that the work of the Ministry of Justice in 2018 will mainly focus on the development of a business register, the shift in the ideology behind the system of criminal prosecution, the establishment of an electronic platform for the Government’s ambitious anticorruption strategy and bankruptcy managers.
 

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