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Ethics Committee Won’t Take Disciplinary Action Against Yerevan Judge

The Ethics Committee of the Armenian Council of Courts has rejected the request of several former employees of the Nairit rubber plant to start disciplinary proceedings against judge Gevorg Narinyan. The Committee, presided over by judge Mnatsakan Martirosyan, found that Narinyan “has not committed any violation of the rules of judges’ professional conduct.”

Tigran Sargsyan, a lawyer for the former Nairit employees, had filed the appeal on the basis that the judge was purposely delaying the resolution of the case (he has recently postponed the proceedings for 5 months) and thus committing a violation of the reasonable time requirement.

Yerevan’s Shengavit district court, presided over by Narinyan, is hearing a complaint filed by three former Nairit employees – Tigran Minasyan, Satenik Sachkalyan and Mayranush Kartashyan – against the idling Nairit-2 chemical plant.

The applicants are demanding the annulment of the agreements they signed with Nairit-2, by which the former Nairit employees, who were owed at least 18 months’ back wages, renounced their claim to damages in return for the payment of the wages.

Representatives of Nairit-2 have not been showing up to the court hearings; in a writ sent to the court, the company declared that if the applicants wanted to invalidate the provision on the renouncement of damages, then the provision on the payment of the back wages should also be invalidated, that is, the former employees must return the salaries to the company.

A similar complaint against Nairit-2 has been filed by a group of two dozen other former Nairit employees. Their case is being heard by Shengavit district court judge Naira Hovsepyan, with whom the applicants are also unhappy and have motioned for the judge’s recusal.

Note, Naira Hovsepyan has previously been reprimanded by the Justice Council for having inappropriately delayed the resolution of several cases.