The Public Television of Armenia, commenting on one-day strike of 500 lawyers, focused on the sharp reaction of the judicial bodies. Note that the judges said the strike was an order and an attempt of blackmail. The Public TV criticized such an approach.
The judicial system which has always depended on the government, especially when it was necessary to legitimize the elections, has evidently become a burden for the authorities, at least because all recent international reports have focused on the lack of justice and necessity to ensure independence of the judicial system.
Back in January, the minister of justice Hrair Tovmasyan said that the lack of confidence in the judicial system is 70-80% and the reforms plan to reduce this figure up to 30-40%.
This sounds as absolute nonsense. What does it mean to reduce lack of confidence up to 30%? In the case of the judicial system, it is supposed to have absolute confidence between both side. Trust in the judicial system either exists or does not. This is the task to follow, not reduction of the low level of confidence.
Such a populist attitude to the judicial system allows it to approach similarly to another institute which also supposes full confidence. Elections are meaningless unless people are not sure that their votes are equal. There is no election without trust.
The current judicial system fined civic activists who wanted to dismantle the illegal constructions in Mashtots Park. It also rejected the claims of the Armenian National Congress and a number of candidates who demanded to void elections. The Constitutional Court did not say there were no violations. It merely stated that there were no grounds to void the election.
What grounds does the court need to void the elections? In normal countries, it would take only 2-3 cases of fraud to declare lack of confidence to the organizers of the elections since trust is the cornerstone of elections. And in Armenia, trust is considered as a secondary moral category which has nothing to do with the government institutes.
In the meantime, we live and build relations with other people and institutions based on trust. No one checks every hour whether we violate the law, whether we fulfill our task because we trust each other. In relation to this, we need absolute trust in the court and elections.
Meanwhile, the two key institutions are the most controversial institutions in the public system. We cannot trust each other unless we believe that we will judge justly. This is similar to pseudo-belief in God when a person commits a sin, knowing that he will buy indulgences from the pries.
The fact that Public Television “attacked” the court may give reason to hope that Armenia understands the need to break the current judicial system and build a new one. Let this be after the election, because the new court cannot reject the claims of the opposition. But the most important thing is that it happens. Perhaps this requires not only the lawyers’ strike but sabotage by civil courts.