YEREVAN — The European Union strongly supports and highlights the reforms of the democratic system of governance, the establishment of the rule of law and the fight against discrimination in Armenia, the EU Ambassador to Armenia Andrea Wiktorin said at a conference entitled “Judiciary as a Guarantor of Democracy” in Yerevan on June 8.
The conference brought together Armenian government officials, senior judges, representatives of Western-funded nongovernmental organizations as well as European diplomats and the head of the Council of Europe’s Venice Commission, Claire Bazy Malaurie. They discussed ways of reforming the Armenian judiciary and making it a “guarantor of democracy.”
“We have always supported the implementation of justice reforms, and for this purpose we have provided long-term and short-term support. We highly value the efforts Armenia has made in recent years in terms of democratic processes. It’s also very important that the political leadership is committed to continue the constitutional reforms that are envisaged by the 2019-2021 judicial reforms strategy”, the EU Ambassador said.
The Ambassador said independent judiciary in a democratic country is the guarantor of human rights and freedoms, therefore, she said, the Constitutional Court has an important role to play to strengthen the public trust towards judiciary.
“Armenia is facing numerous challenges, and we are very impressed that the authorities willingly continue moving on the path of reforms. There is currently big tension in the country, and it’s very important that all sides work together to protect the constitutional rights of the citizens of Armenia. We closely follow the domestic political situation and the protests in the country. It’s very important for the people to be able to voice their opinion freely, and the law enforcement agencies and police forces should refrain from using brute force. Some incidents that have taken place should be investigated, it already happens in some of the cases, the cases reach to the court and a ruling is being made. That’s how democracy works”, Andrea Wiktorin said.
The Ambassador said it’s very important that all sides in Armenia refrain from hate speech and provocations. Any violence must be condemned, she added. “In such situation, I think, promoting trust towards our Constitutional Court and the judiciary is more than important”, she said.