Strengthening the Independence, Professionalism and Accountability of the Justice System in Armenia

Start date: June 2014

End date: December 2016
Duration: 31 months
Budget: EUR 1,669 211
Donor: Council of Europe and European Union
National partners: Ministry of Justice, Judiciary, Judicial self-governing bodies, Justice Academy, School of Advocates
Contact Person: Mrs Narine Gasparyan, Senior Project Officer

The Project aimed at strengthening the independence and professionalism of the Armenian justice system and facilitation of institutional and legislative reforms related to the Armenian judiciary in line with European standards.

The Project conducted activities under three main components:

  • Improved substantive and procedural law;
  • Improved system of the accountability of the judiciary and building of public confidence in the system by an improved ethical and disciplinary framework and practice;
  • Enhanced professionalism of the Judiciary through strengthening the capacities of the School of Advocates and the Justice Academy.

As a result of Project implementation the following results were achieved:

  • The judiciary can base its decisions on a sound legislative framework in certain key legal areas as the new Civil Procedural Code and the Code of Administrative Offences have been drafted; Civil Code has been revised in line with the Council of Europe standards. The law on Commercial Arbitration was amended to ensure better compliance with UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration. The law on Bankruptcy was amended to ensure better compliance with the international and Council of Europe standards. Court annexed mediation was introduced in Armenia and piloted, mediators were trained and obtained recognised worldwide certificates. The first volume of the indexed decisions of the Constitutional Court of Armenia passed from 1996 to October 2016 was published to ensure better application of the principle legal certainty (Component 1);
  • Judicial accountability system and procedures are improved, as the Code of Conduct of Judges has been revised,  the By-laws of newly established Ethics and Disciplinary Committee and the By-laws of the Judicial Evaluation Committee have been drafted and adopted. Judicial Code and the By-laws of the Ethics and Disciplinary Committee were amended to allow judges to submit written requests to the Ethics and Disciplinary Committee for the provision of individual consultations on the application of ethical rules. The Court Users’ Satisfaction Survey was conducted in Armenia for the first time and the results of which will be used for further reform and corrective actions  (Component 2);
  • The training capacities of the Justice Academy and the School of Advocates are enhanced by means of provision of technical assistance for developing e-courses on non-legal topics and enhancing organisational capacities of these training institutions (Component 3).