In case of Armenia entering the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU), we can possibly forget about judicial power says President of Armenia’s Helsinki Committee Avetik Ishkhanyan during a discussion organized by Media Center.
According to him, the EEU’s objective is entirely political and its initiator has the project to create political imperialism, where certain political rules will be placed and all members will be obligated to follow them.
“In those conditions it's possible to forget Armenia’s judicial freedom and human rights,” said Ishkhanyan with hope that the Union will not take shape, or if it does not, it’ll be lackluster, like the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).
According to the human rights defender, EEU member states are either despotic states, like Belarus, or are leaning towards despotism, like Russia and Kazakhstan.
“In these countries the will of one ruler stands, and that will is decided who shall be judged or not” said Ishkhanyan. According to him, the judiciary in Armenia is still not independent; however there was hope that one day it would be reformed, but after entering the EEU that should be forgotten.
Discussion participant, “Defenders of rights without Borders” NGO President Haykuhi Harutyunyan also noted that under Armenia’s European Union criteria and agreement, actions were presented with demands toward judicial reform and at least some changes were headed on a legislative level.
“On paper, we had an action plan for the implementation of state obligations, which made it foreseeable, that within time we would at least have a situation in our judiciary where human rights would be protected,” said Harutyunyan.
According to her, the membership criterion for entering the EEU does not present a similar conditionality or package.
“The accession treaty states that member states must align their legal procedures with each other. If we compare the member states judicial sectors, then it is not very comforting. Regarding the sector of the judicial powers, it’s not like aligning procedures with Russia is considered a progressive reform,” said Harutyunyan.
The Armenian government is set to sign an accession treaty to enter the Russian-led Eurasian Economic Union on October 10, 2014 in Minsk, Belarus after repeated delays and continuing negotiations.