Armenian
Young Lawyers Association

The International Experience of the Fight against Corruption was discussed during the Joint Working Meeting

17.12.2015 | 21:12

Let’s observe the international experience of the fight against corruption and choose the best solution for Armenia. Dr. Piotr Antoni Świtalski, Ambassador, the Head of Delegation of European Union to Armenia advised the RA citizens during the working meeting “Possibilities and Challenges of Establishing an Independent Institutional System for Fight against Corruption in the Republic of Armenia”.

“The role of the civil society is very important in this process, not only in terms of putting a pressure on the government and monitoring it, but also providing an intellectual assistance,” the ambassador said and added that without mobilizing the public opinion, it would be much more difficult to register sufficient results in the fight against corruption.

He suggested considering the example of Poland as the best model of the anti-corruption fight.

Andrey Sorokin, Ambassador, the Head of the OSCE Office in Yerevan, spoke about the international experience, stressed the importance of the open and transparent policy of the organizations and the state authorities, and expressed hope that Armenia will choose the best option.

“OSCE Office in Yerevan pays a great attention to the anti-corruption reforms in Armenia. The office sees its assistance to the government in the implementation of a new anti-corruption strategy. We also encourage non-governmental organizations in monitoring the implementation of the reforms,” Mr. Sorokin mentioned.

The Deputy Minister of Justice Suren Krmoyan noted that in the last years the society is feeling and raising the dangers of corruption.

Mr. Krmoyan noted that this year, the business sector has been involved in the fight against corruption for the first time. “We have got very interesting stimuli, we also saw and felt the demand and responsibility on the part of the businessmen to fight against corruption, which is very important,” he stressed.

Mr. Aleksander Shagafyan, Executive Director of the US Alumni Association of Armenia, stressed the creation of the platform for the joint fight. “The most effective way of fighting against corruption is perhaps the accumulation of the powers of all the stakeholders,” he said.

Mr. Karen Zadoyan, AYLA President, Coordinator of the Secretariat of CSOs’ Anti-Corruption Coalition, Founding Member of the US Alumni Association of Armenia, Karl Ulbricht, International Expert of the project “Multi-Faced Anti-Corruption Promotion” implemented by AYLA and Marat Atovmyan, Local Expert of the same project presented the best international experience of the formation of the independent anti-corruption body in the Republic of Armenia.

“We should not avoid studying the best experience, it is necessary to get acquainted with the best experience of our neighbors and the district,” Karen Zadoyan said in his report.

Firstly, he spoke about the international legal basis, then turned to the best experience. He presented the activities of the Independent Commission against Corruption of Hong Kong. That body was established in 1974. “Why was that body formed? The reason is that the political and administrative corruption had drowned people. Eventually the population grew impatient when the society started to voice the assets of Senior Police Officer Peter Godber, his assets totaled to 4 million 300.000 dollars. Feeling that the situation is getting worse this official escaped, which rose a storm of protest and the latter obliged the state authorities to take measures and to bring him to responsibility.

According to Karen Zadoyan the international experience indicated that without the public support the anti-corruption bodies cannot fight effectively.

In addition to this, he presented the cases of two more countries, the first was Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission founded in 2009. Mr. Zadoyan also added that Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission has a database of the corruption offences as well and is engaged in the moral punishment of the officials involved in corruption. According to him the moral measures are more efficient in many cases.

As the AYLA President mentioned, there are 14 specialized anti-corruption courts in Malaysia, three of which are located in the capital. The law stipulates that that courts shall consider the corruption cases in a year.

“When I was talking to the leaders, who have succeeded and I asked how they managed to reduce corruption, they answered that they believed in it and thus they managed to realize that dream. We have a lot to learn from the civil society of that country and their stances,” Mr. Zadoyan told.

Besides, he presented the experience of Indonesia, the Commission on Corruption Eradication was established in that country in 2002.

Mr. Karl Ulbricht presented the cases of Romania, Poland and Slovenia. According to the expert in 2006 the Central Anti-Corruption Bureau led by the prime minister was formed in Poland, It carries out investigative, coordinating, analytical and preventive functions.

Marat Atovmyan talked about the anti-corruption institutional systems of the four former republics of the Soviet Union (the details are available here).

The Executive Director of the anti-corruption center “Transparency International” Varuzhan Hakobyan touched upon the risks of establishing an independent anti-corruption body in Armenia.

Alessandro Zanotta, the Economic Adviser of the EU Delegation to Armenia, stressed that the anti-corruption body must be independent first of all. “In this case the local conditions are also important, we should understand that there are different ways and find the right way to be implemented in Armenia,” Mr. Zanotta said.

He thinks that the fight against corruption should be united. “The government and the civil society must fight together against this defect,” the Economic Adviser of the EU Delegation to Armenia concluded.

After the speeches an interesting discussion was held both with the local and international experts and with the representatives of the law enforcement agencies.

The working meeting is implemented by the “Armenian Young Lawyers Association” NGO and the Anti-Corruption Coalition of NGOs. The partners of the project are The RA Ministry of Justice, US Alumni Association of Armenia, “Freedom of Information Center” NGO and Center for Democratic Education-CIVITAS.

The event is co-funded by the European Union and the OSCE Office in Yerevan.

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