Society And Judiciary

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Description of bases of judicial power and necessity of independence of judiciary.

Description of bases of judicial power and necessity of independence of judiciary.

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  • 1. SOCIETY AND JUDICIARY COP “Court managers and administrators” meeting Aram Orbelyan The Hague Institute for Global Justice, MoJ, Armenia The Hague, 2012
  • 2. PRELIMINARY ISSUES / STARTING POINT What is the source of state power in general and judicial power in particular?  The power in state belongs to people (people are the bearers of national sovereignty) Why are the state and state structures (including judiciary) established?  This is a mechanism of exercising national sovereignty, as a power which will balance other two powers. /courts as established and do exist only because people wanted so/ What is the role of Judiciary (management approach)  In any organization sever functions can be established  Setting up the rules (legislative branch)  Controlling that everyone does apply in accordance to the mentioned rules (executive branch – inspections function /prosecutors office, tax office, other inspections)  Executing the rules (executive branch – social welfare services, health and educaton areas)  Solves the disputes (judiciary – courts of general jurisdiction  Ensures that the other two groups do not breach the rules themselves, including abuse of power (judiciary – constitutional and administrative justice)
  • 3. WHAT IS A GOOD JUDICIARYSome criteria are common for all the judiciary (even to state functions themselves)Some criteria are specific to different judicial functions
  • 4. WHAT IS COMMON TO ANY STATE ORGANIZATION / BODY Speediness  The functions are to be completed fast Ef fectiveness / Ef ficiency  The functions are to be completed cost effectively / efficiently Perceived legality  The decisions are to be perceived as being in line to legislation (established rules) Legitimacy / Authority  Body / authority deciding on the issue shall be perceived to have authority- All together make the one criteria – perceived absence ofcorruption
  • 5. WHAT IS SPECIFIC FOR JUDICIARY(these are derived from general expectations) Just Decision (is it the same as fair?) Fast Processes (but not rapid) Less budget – more work (ef fective use of budget funds) Ensured access to justice for everyone Authority of the judges and of their decisions
  • 6. WHAT TO DO TO HAVE “BETTER JUDICIARY”? Increase quality of decisions and courts process  Improve Legislation  More training for judges and for court staff  Stricter rules on accountability of judges Increase the “the quality” / authority of judiciary  Establish more transparent rules for recruiting (everyone sees that the best specialist became judges, and people do apply in case they believe they are the best)  To ensure high ethical background of judges (including very strict accountability rules in case of “immoral” behavior outside of the scope of responsibility Have (better) Public Relations  Work with NGO’s (even with the “worst ones”)  Share information with press and Civil Society proactively not retroactively
  • 7. WHAT ELSE IS IMPORTANT PERCEPTION of being good By specialist community (lawyers, attorneys etc.) /quality of decisions and the procedures are the most important element for this group/ By NGO’s / SCO’s (Usually most of the studies, calculation of different international indexes, court monitoring etc. are completed by SCO’s. In this perspective it is important to cooperate with them, to share information and to improve processes based on their recommendations) By general public (PR and different indexes to be calculated are most important for this group. Besides general public opinion is also influenced heavily by the opinion of SCO’s and specialists)
  • 8. STEPS TAKEN BY ARMENIA AND PLANNED FRO NEXT 4 YEARS Judiciary reform plan 2009 -2011  Based on the changes of Constitution in 2007  Establishment of administrative courts  Change the role of Court of Cassation  Changes on role of the Constitutional court (right of an individual to bring the case before the Court)  Big step forward in ensuring the independence of judiciary Strategic action program for judicial reforms 2012 -2016  Organization of the judiciary (to ensure judicial self-government)  Material legislation (amendments to Civil Code, Criminal code etc.)  Procedural legislation (amendments to Civil Procedure code, Administrative Procedure code and some more)  Capacity building in judiciary  Improvement of areas around judiciary (Notary system, legal registers, Enforcement of decision, Penitentiary system etc.)  Control and cooperation mechanisms in implementation!
  • 9. Thank you for attention! Comments and questions are welcomed