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Ararat Mirzoyan’s Speech during Parliamentary Hearing Titled “The Perspectives in the Application of Transitional Justice Instruments in Armenia”
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Let me express my gratitude to you for responding to my appeal and providing such representational participation in this hearing. I can confidently insist that during recent period and especially in the last days one of the themes of the greatest interest being in the RA public dialogue, perhaps is the very transitional justice. I will say again that such representational participation is its evidence.

In the past months we had numerous discussions with the professional circles, international experts to understand a number of questions, which are connected with the transitional justice and, nevertheless, there is need to give answers in united, inclusive and more public discussion way. There are questions, there are decisions, which we should make all together in perhaps, through hearing, discussions in the future.

I will voice only some of those questions: eventually, what is the transitional justice? What instruments does it have? To what extent is it necessary to apply the transitional justice instruments in this phase in the RA? What instruments are necessary to apply, to some extent? What is the ultimate goal of the transitional justice? What is the international experience in this aspect?

In the beginning, we should maybe understand why the functioning judicial system cannot satisfy the RA citizens’ demand to exercise fair, independent justice and why we should turn to the transitional justice instruments. It is a fact for all of us, and it is not secret that through many years the judicial system has accumulated most serious problems, which have not only been solved during this last year, but have been a disaster on our heads as if a huge rock, stand on the way of the further democratic development of Armenia. Please, agree that it is not possible to build a full democracy, when the independent courts cannot provide independent justice stemming from the Constitution and laws of Armenia, provide human rights and cannot make impartial decisions. And in this phase of transition, when Armenia turns into pseudo democracy, and to some experts’ assessment, from authoritarian system into democracy, when the people, at last, have formed a legislative power and through legislative power an executive power, the judicial power continues to live, conventionally said, by the rules of old Armenia, where the Constitution and the laws are considered one thing, and the rules of game, by which the judicial power is guided, is another thing. Perhaps, it is not relevant to formulate once again that they are rule of game, where various corruption schemes, family ties have essential role, why not the bribe. This is not, surely a claim for all judges, all instances, but only the circumstance that the society of Armenia had no confidence towards the judicial system, and it is obvious, already speaks about the fact that here it is the time for making quick and conscientious different decisions.

With regards to time I would like to say that I share the international experts’ voiced evaluations that if transitional justice shall be applied then it is the right time. It could not be done early, hastily and we cannot also lag behind and we cannot delay.

What is the goal of the transitional justice? The goal of the transitional justice is the formation of the final independent system. Today it is obvious, that in these days a lot was spoken that the other wings of power do not have an impact in any way on the decisions of the judicial system, but at the same time the judicial system as if continues having influences from other formats, other circles, and this indeed is the greatest problem. Therefore, the goal of the transitional justice, in essence, is the formation of the independent judicial system. On the other hand, the transitional justice has a goal not only to aggravate the existing problems, but solve them and result in public consolidation. This is also very important to realize.

With regards to the instruments, let me make an allegoric comparison. If the transitional justice is a sea, on the shore of which we stand, then it is very important to understand to what extent we go into that sea, because, if we enter there not sufficiently, then coming back from allegory to reality, we should say that the expectations of the society will not be satisfied and we shall not reach the ultimate goal. If we deepen in that sea more than it is needed, then we can result in non-institutional solutions, which cannot be allowed in any way. The Republic of Armenia is a legal state, as they say, instead of improving the situation don't make it worse and open a Pandora Box, which you don't know, where it will reach the Republic of Armenia. Therefore, to distinctly realize the amount and tool set is also very important.

Regarding the international experience, numerous countries have applied to the transitional justice, in some cases that experience is succeeded, in some cases – not. Some components are succeeded between the succeeded and failed ones, some components are not succeeded.

Regarding the consolidation, please, agree that we cannot, for example, through functioning courts file a lawsuit and sentence dozens of thousands of citizens, who have taken part, let's suppose, illegal influences on the electoral fraud and electoral processes. We cannot sentence dozens of thousands of citizens, including the teachers, the local government bodies and everybody's different relatives, but maybe we need to give the assessment, record and assure once again that such thing can never happen in the Republic of Armenia.

Regarding the economic crimes we should be able to understand: questions are voiced, and questions are raised from various circles: apply or not to apply, for example, tax pardon? What mechanisms to establish in order the people, who think that they have become rich through illegal means, return their accumulated wealth to the state, the society and continue living with their peaceful and everyday life.

With regards to the legal-political assessment of the past events we should understand if there is that necessity or not. Maybe there is, is it the time or we should wait for 20 years more?

Regarding the judicial system, the most essential thing is that we should understand that eventually the judicial system represents the RA citizens, implements the authorities delegated by them or not, if there isn't, then we shall quickly form them.

And in the end, I would like to briefly say something: What is not the transitional justice? This is very important. The transitional justice, is not the so called formation of the triple courts, the formation of the emergency courts, when various people can gather and make judgments. The transitional justice should support, clean, cleanse and establish the judicial system through legislative and legal way. This is, perhaps, the most essential message that we should keep in mind.

I once again thank you for being present. I have only voiced part of the questions, there will be reports, experts' opinions, then we'll listen to all the people's speeches, who I think have something to say in this aspect, and perhaps we'll have concrete conclusions. Thank you.

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