Wednesday, 28 October 2020

E Editorial

When there are no standards

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The state is responsible for setting standards in public and political life, and political power forms state policy. The duty of the state is not only to define standards, but also to ensure their protection. When political power deviates from its duties, the Brownian movement begins in the public consciousness, the result of which is permissiveness.

This permissiveness is expressed in Armenia by insulting a judge and a lawyer during court proceedings, even by publicly spitting in their face, blocking streets, clashes and fights. In fact, a new institution of “street justice” began to form in Armenia. The target is the judicial system and all three participants of litigation - judges, prosecutors and lawyers.

Thanks to the “effective” efforts of the previous authorities, the judiciary was discredited, and today this authority has simply begun to plunge. The current government has dodged the issue of reviving the standards violated in many areas of public life, especially in the judicial system. The simple idea that the state and the law are identical does not take root in the public consciousness. No law - no state. And litigation is the cornerstone of state processes.

The most painful and troubling is that literate people – lecturers, teachers, journalists and others also justify pressure on judges and lawyers.

The described situation, of course, has another side - a political component. How did the discrediting of the judicial system begin and what are the political reasons behind it? In the 90s of the last century, the judicial system prevented political power in the process of wild privatization and the taming of political opponents by means of murder. The judges and prosecutors were Soviet cadres, for whom the "revolutionaries" were street people, and they opposed them. For their appointment, judges and prosecutors owed the former government and had no obligations to the new ones. Taming the judiciary required "long and hard work." As a result, prosecutors (including the Attorney General) were killed, and beating lawyers and journalists covering numerous crimes became commonplace. A number of laws were passed to tame the judges. And so we got what we have today.

Now the picture repeats: for acting judges, prosecutors and investigators, the current ones are “street people” to whom they have no obligations. They are cadres of the former authorities. Now it is the turn of their taming. Mechanisms are being created to re-tame the judiciary, and the street is one of the best means for this.

High-profile trials have street support, but the target is not the accused, rather their judges and lawyers. These trials will end and close, but frightened judges and spineless attorneys will remain.

The Armenian Center for National and International Studies

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Yerevan, Armenia


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