Armenia’s Justice Minister Resigns

Armenia's Justice Minister Artak Zeynalyan
Armenia's Justice Minister Artak Zeynalyan

Armenia’s Justice Minister Artak Zeynalyan

Amid calls from Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan to reform Armenia’s judicial system, the country’s justice minister, Artak Zeynalyan announced his resignation on Friday in a message posted on his personal Facebook page.

“I have resigned from the position of minister of justice. Assuming the office of a minister in this historic period for our people was a very responsible step, but also a step aimed at having a chance to gradually solve the judicial issues that emerged while conducting human rights activities,” Zeynalyan said in his post.

“I am satisfied with this step and would like to thank Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan for proposing my candidacy for the justice minister,” added Zeynalyan who also thanked the ministry staff “for collective productive and responsible work. I also want to thank the international partners and civil society representatives for the joint work.”

After Pashinyan addressed the nation on May 20, calling for the vetting of all judges, Zeynalyan was quick to claim that the process was internationally accepted and announced that all judges in Armenia would be subject to the vetting process.

Zeynalyan said on May 21 that the vetting will be implemented without discrimination, and individuals will not be targeted.

Another resignation in the judicial system was announced on Friday, with the Interim Chairman of Armenia’s Supreme Judicial Council Gevorg Danielyan tendering his resignation, which, according to a message on his Facebook page will go in effect on June10.

Addressing the top judicial body’s members, he called for an “thoughtful approach” to his decision, citing the absence of pressing issues in the sector.

“In addition, this shouldn’t have come as a surprise to you,” he said. “At least as far as I am concerned, I find it necessary to enable the news Supreme Judicial Council to embark on the implementation of judicial and legal reforms.”

Danielyan said for around a year he and Gagik Harutyunyan, the chairman of the Supreme Judicial Council who resigned last month, managed to work hard under conditions of heavy workload and frequent “obvious fake news” on the media.


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