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Session of the Steering Committee on Financing Agreements for the justice sector was held

15/07/2016

The Steering Committee on Financing Agreements entitled "Support to Justice Reforms in Armenia — Phase II" and "Support to human rights protection in Armenia" held a session moderated by Minister of Justice of the Republic of Armenia Arpine Hovhannisyan and held with the participation of Head of the EU Delegation, Ambassador to the Republic of Armenia Piotr Switalski and Human Rights Defender of the Republic of Armenia Arman Tatoyan.

Deputy Ministers of Justice of the Republic of Armenia Vigen Kocharyan and Suren Krmoyan, employees of the Ministry of Economy, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs and the Judicial Department, representatives of the UN Office in Armenia and members of civil society were also attending the working meeting.

The Minister greeted the attendees and expressed gratitude to the key partner in the sector-related reforms — the EU Delegation to Armenia — for the support that it provides and for the effective co-operation.

In the words of the Minister, according to the Financing Agreement, the "Support for Justice Reform in Armenia" Programme is almost complete, and the judicial sector is where consistent and ambitious actions always need to be undertaken.

"After the constitutional reforms, Armenia entered into a new stage of amendments relating to the justice sector that particularly refer to the strengthening of guarantees for independence of judges, future reforms in the judicial system and the development of activities of the newly established probation service," said Arpine Hovhannisyan.

The Minister also attached importance to the engagement of civil society in the programmes for reforms. 

Head of the EU Delegation, Ambassador Piotr Switalski mentioned that the European Union is interested in supporting the programmes for legal and judicial reforms, as well as for human rights protection.

The Ambassador emphasised that these discussions may ensure progress for future collaborations between Armenia and the EU.

Piotr Switalski also highly appreciated the fact that competent officials are raising sensitive issues in the anti-corruption sector and attached importance to the process of the activities that are being carried out for the solution to those issues.

Topics related to the legal and judicial sectors, human rights protection, independence of judges, conditions of penitentiary institutions and the probation service were discussed during the session of the Steering Committee.

The participants also touched upon the prevention of cases of domestic violence, the establishment of stronger mechanisms for the protection of children, protection of personal data, etc.

On this occasion, Human Rights Defender of the Republic of Armenia Arman Tatoyan said that any case of violence is unacceptable and that it is necessary to elaborate new and more efficient methods for preventing cases of domestic violence, maintaining the safety of children and protecting personal data.

 Reports on the process of activities carried out for ensuring the special preconditions for the 3rd tranche envisaged by "Support to Justice Reforms in Armenia - Phase II" programme, for implementing measures approved by Executive Order NK-96-A of the President of the Republic of Armenia of 30 June 2012 "On Approving the 2012-2016 Strategic Programme for Legal and Judicial Reforms in the Republic of Armenia and the List of Measures Deriving from the Programme”, as well as of activities carried out for ensuring other general preconditions of the Action Plan deriving from the National Strategy on Human Rights Protection and "Support to Human Rights Protection in Armenia" EU budget support programme were presented during the meeting.

At the end of the meeting, the parties undertook commitments to continue monitoring activities in the future.

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