Armenia’s National Assembly, by a vote of 85-18, passed on Tuesday 19th of January 2021 a package of bills allowing for the creation of an anti-corruption court that will specialize in criminal and civil cases regarding the protection of state property and non-property interests.
The crucial vote followed the first reading of the package of bills. The bills must be approved at a second reading before being signed into law by the president.
Previousely, the package of drafts proposed to create a specialized anti-corruption court of appeal with at least 10 judges. According to the proposed draft amendments, the criminal chamber in the Court of Cassation will consist of 8 judges, and the civil and administrative chamber – 13 judges, respectively. The projects establish the procedure for replenishing the anti-corruption specialization department of the list of candidates for judges, as well as requirements for these candidates, restrictions on appointment as judges, and the structure of verification in all instances of the integrity of candidates for judges.
In order to strengthen the overall integrity of the bodies involved in the anti-corruption institutional system, the package of drafts proposed to establish a requirement to conduct an integrity study for candidates for prosecutors, which will help reduce corruption risks and strengthen integrity in the prosecution system.
Starting 2019, many NGOs and experts made a huge effort to impliment the “Anti-corruption strategy for 2019-2022”; The strategy predetermined the directions of anti-corruption policy for the coming years, as well as the anti-corruption institutional system.
According to the project, the three main areas for combating corruption are the prevention of corruption, the detection of corruption crimes and anti-corruption knowledge and awareness.
Finally, the creation of the court is in important step towards preventing corruption in Armenia; many progress has been made to fight pervasive corruption; however the country needs more enhancement and improvement with more engagement of civil society with the public sector on anti-corruption matters.
In fighting corruption, good governance efforts rely on principles such as accountability, transparency and participation to shape anti-corruption measures.