Monitoring

Monitoring of Judicial/Legal Journalism – 2000/2002 USAID, Chemonics International, USAID:

The results are published in the organization’s bulletin “Press and Law.”

Public Opinion on Police Work – 2004/2005 EIDHR

The monitoring was conducted in two stages in Yerevan, Gyumri, Vanadzor, and Kapan. 870 people were interviewed, including 457 women and 413 men of   age from 20 to 75.. The majority were small and medium businessmen (26%) and farmers and workers in agricultural sector (17%), students (15%), service sector employees (10 %), pensioners (10 %), military servants (8%) teachers (7%), doctors (5%), and journalists (2%): The analysis of the monitoring results revealed the deficit of trust towards police, as well as desire to cooperate with police to combat crime

The analysis of the second monitoring results (750 interviewees) revealed that there is no positive trend in public perception on police work. But there is a promising factor related to the willingness of people to talk about the ways that could improve the work of the police.
The interviewees of the first survey had selected only one of the suggested four conditions:

Police Officers’’ Salary increase – 17%

Police technical re-equipment -4%

Change of the human resource policy -68%

Enhancement of the professional preparedness of the police officers -11%

57% interviewees of the second survey indicated that all four conditions should be present, and 40%- insisted on three. The changes were recorded also in responses to the question of readiness to assist police: 19% answered positively. The interviewees expressed their readiness to assist the police in following ways:

Reporting on possible crime-66%

Providing information on suspect-21%

Acting as witness-13%

Almost all interviewees gave the same response to the question as to whether they would assist the police if the case is related to their relatives and friends: 97% responded – “no.”

About corruption: 52% of the interviewees that had applied to police identified that they were asked to give bribes. It is worth mentioning that the corruption is mostly spread in traffic police according to the respondents.

As to the question of whether the applicants that had applied to police (40%) were satisfied by police work, only 55% of such applicants responded positively.

The responses to the question on assessment the police work in general show the distrust the population has towards the police: 63% of the respondents gave a negative assessment, and only 37% gave positive answers. The answer to the question whether the respondents knew anyone that was satisfied by the police work only 37% answered “yes”, while 67% responded – “no”.

n/n Responses %
1 In Exceptional cases (robbery, rape, murder, etc.) 22%
2 In life threatening cases 23%
3 In cases without alternative options 11%
4 In each case of violation of the law 10%
5 All mentioned above 13%
6 In no case 21%

Based on this information, we can assume that the population is ready to assist the police, when the case relates to grave crime, or exceptional crimes.

Thus, the analysis of the monitoring results shows that in the public perception the police still remain a punitive, rather than public order sustaining service. However, there are some positive trends, in particular there has been an increase in the willingness to support the police to combat crime.

Public Opinion on Lawyer’s Service – 2004/2005, EIDHR

The monitoring was conducted in Yerevan, Vanadzor, Kapan, and Gyumri. 1015 persons were interviewed, out of which 500 in Yerevan, and 515 in the rest three cities. The social groups were the same as the previous monitoring. It is worth mentioning that women were more active during the interview process.

Results: Out of 113 respondents interviewed in the courts only 67% contracted lawyers’ service, including 27% free service.

49% of the respondents find that the lawyers’ assistance is necessary not only at court, but during preparation of different property related documents (22%), and to organize a legitimate business (20%). The rest of the interviewees had difficulties answering this question.

Responses to other questions:

“Did the lawyer help you?” – 48% – yes, 52% – no.

The analysis of responses to the question “In which cases do you think worthless hiring a lawyer?” showed that 72% of the citizens consider useless hiring lawyers in criminal cases, and find it more preferable to bribe the investigator or the judge.

The responses to the following questions are: Do you want to have a family lawyer – 48% “Yes, but do not have sufficient funds”, 20% “There are no good lawyers in Armenia”, and 32% can handle without lawyer’s assistance.

Monitoring of the court practice of criminal cases referral to additional investigation  (2005, OSI Armenian branch)

As a result of analysis of statistics and individual criminal cases the monitoring group developed proposals for legislative amendments in the Criminal Procedural Code. At the same time best international practices have been taken into consideration. The results of the monitoring were published in a separate book. Later the RA Constitutional Court announced the institute of sending the cases to additional investigations unconstitutional which was subsequently abolished.

Monitoring of the Court Practice (2011, EIDHR)

The aim of the monitoring was to explore the legislative defects of the accusatory inclination in the judicial practice, which are at the same time opposed with the country’s Constitution and the principles of European Court of Human Rights.

During the 9 months a group of experts monitored the criminal court practice. Monitoring of criminal litigations was carried out on the basis of the criteria produced by the European Court of Human Rights which decisions guide the development of internal legislation in Armenia (according to the Article 6 of the Constitution of Armenia and Article 15 of the Judicial Code of Armenia). Monitoring has revealed violations
- of the principle of equality of the parties,
- in investigation and evaluation of arguments of prosecution and the proofs presented by the defense
- in justification of the arrest as a measure to cease the suspected of committing a crime
- validity of extension of the period of the arrest
- not justified verdicts of not guilty
- illegitimacy of the independent commissions which consider applications for early parole
and invalidity of decisions of these committees to refuse early release of convicts, especially teenagers.

As a result, 14 legislative proposals were developed for the new Criminal Procedure Code
and some other laws (Judicial Code, the Law Commissions of parole convicts). The proposals are particularly relevant to the Criminal Procedure Code, currently being developed by the Government, and the procedural rights of citizens – the basis of their right to a fair trial.

The legislative amendments were published. The presentation of the publication was organized in the premises of the European Commission. Members of the National Assembly also attended the presentation. They submitted the package to the Parliament.