07, 2008

Congratulatory address by President Serzh Sargsyan on the 10th anniversary of the court of cassation

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“Distinguished Judges,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

I congratulate the entire judicial system of the Republic of Armenia on the occasion of the 10th Anniversary of the establishment of the Court of Cassation.

It has become a tradition to speak at the anniversaries about the achievements and future plans, so summarizing ten years of your work, we should note that during that short period of time a considerable work has been done for the formation of the Court and organization of its activities.

It would be no exaggeration to say that you are entrusted with an important mission of establishing a new judicial tradition in Armenia. In the face of significant achievements of the judicial and legal thought, we conversely didn’t have our own courts. For centuries justice for our people was carried out by the foreigners; and in many cases it was a “justice” in quotation marks.

Today, in a new historic situation we have established our own system which is called upon reinstating a true justice. It must be a justice based on the laws, national values, universal principles and European expertise.

The role of the Court of Cassation, the highest instance of the Armenia’s three-level judicial system, acquired special importance in the result of the constitutional reforms. Differentiation from the constitutional justice mandates the Court of Cassation to guarantee a uniform application of the law, as well as to establish judicial precedents. Certainly, it is a great responsibility.

Today the greatest discontent of the Armenian society is with the judicial system, and the greatest demand is for justice. And that demand must, first of all, be satisfied by the courts. Courts in general and the Court of Cassation in particular, have the decisive role in establishing the atmosphere of trust in our country.

I wish you always follow this biblical commandment:
“Do not interfere with the courts, even if you know the judge.
Stay away from mischief…
Do not take bribes to acquit the guilty.
Do not take bribes since bribes blind the vision and ruin the just cause”.

You destined to accomplish that very difficult but noble work.

We all understand that there is a lot to be done and tasks are plenty. First, which is quite obvious for me, is the issue of public trust, or, to be precise, of mistrust. Increased level of public trust is directly related to real independence of judges which, in turn, depends not only on the judges themselves but also on the society. I will do my best so that our courts and our judges obtain real independence. Independence from money, independence from the influential people, independence from the officials. But at the same time I will be watching vigilantly lest that independence is abused, lest the judges and the courts imagine that they are independent from the law as well.

Another important issue is the validity of the decisions of the Court of Cassation which should be made in the framework of the precedent established by the European judicial tradition. Our justice should be carried out in accordance with the European standards and approaches. It’s is a fact that in many cases the approaches of the European court differ from the established interstate practice. This difference must be eliminated.

Read, learn, improve, and move with the times. Remember that the opinion in our society as well abroad is shaped by your actions.

I am confident that existing and potential problems of the system are solvable, and a proper practical implementation of the international as well as the national law will become a working principle.

I once again congratulate all of you with the 10th Anniversary of the Court of Cassation and wish you success and hard work for achieving a noble objective – our people’s trust.”

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