Strasbourg, 28 January 2016
CONSULTATIVE COUNCIL OF EUROPEAN PROSECUTORS (CCPE)
1. Does the prosecution service in your country work strategically with ensuring quality in the work of prosecutors? If yes, how is that done?
Answer- The RAProsecutor's Office (hereinafter “Prosecutor’s Office”) acts based on the law of the Republic of Armenia on the Prosecutor’s Office (hereinafter “Law”) Part 1 Article 1 of which defines “The Prosecutor’s Office of the Republic of Armenia is a unified system that is headed by the Prosecutor General of the Republic of Armenia.” Depending on the mentioned unity and the other corresponding provisions, the RA Prosecutor Generaldetermines the strategy of resolving core issues of the Prosecutor’s Office. For maximum high quality performance of the duties set before him by the RA Constitution, the Prosecutor General of the Republic of Armenia aims to execute them with the help of skilled prosecutors, who are experienced and possessthehighest professional,moral and personal characteristics. For that purpose the RA Prosecutor General determines standards by his orders that allow to evaluate qualitative characteristics of prosecutors as well as professional knowledge, personal and other characteristics before recruiting and during the work. That standards are used for the appointment of the prosecutors, encouragement or promotion as well as for the solution of the issue of disciplinary liability.
The first evaluation of the prosecutor’s professional, personal and other characteristics is performed during the recruitment, Qualification Committee formed by the order of the RA Prosecutor General on the basis of Article 23 of the law checks the applicants’ theoretical knowledge through the questionnaire, through the documents presented by the applicants checks whether they are allowed to be appointed to the prosecutor’s post as well as during the direct interview defines other personal charachteristics of the applicant. For the eligibility of the applicant the members of the Qualification Committee make a decision by voting and present it to the Prosecutor General, the latter at its discretion delegates candidates from that list to the “Academy of Justice” (Non-Commercial State Organization), where after additional professional training they are appointed to the prosecutor’s post. The applicant has the right to appeal any decision of the Qualification Committee to the Prosecutor General as well as to judicial bodies.
The next professional evaluation of the prosecutor is conducted by the attestation on the basis of Article 54 of the law three years after the appointment to the post and once every three years (except the prosecutors appointed to leading posts). The above mentioned process is regulated by law and the corresponding order of the Prosecutor General. The prosecutor’s attestation is taken on the basis of the evaluation of the superior prosecutor. The evaluation contains data about prosecutor’s practical, personal characteristics and about the results of his professional activity. It should be justified and based on the cocnclusions of the reports about his/her work presented once a year by the prosecutor to his/her direct supervisor starting from the period of the previous attestation. The prosecutor who takes the attestation gets acquainted with that assessment before discussing it with the Qualification Committee. If the prosecutor disagrees with his/her evaluation, he/she can appeal it to the Prosecutor General.
After discussing the prosecutor’s qualitative charchteristics the Qualification Committee can not only decide whether he/she suits to the post held and offer the Prosecutor General to continue his/her work, but also can offer to include him/her in the promotion list to assign him/her to higher posts and to confer the special rank as a reward, as well as for bad and inefficient work can offer to dismiss him/her from his/her post or to assign to a lower post or send to additional trainings to increase professional knowledge i.e. his/her qualitative characteristics. In all the above mentioned cases when disagreeing with the Qualification Committee’s decision, the prosecutor’s right to appeal is registered. The principle of publicity of the prosecutor’s work envisaged by law is also directed toward increasing the quality of the prosecutor’s work, according to which the prosecutor can’t hide his/her work from public and he/she can be dispraised for inefficient work, also get high appreciation of the society as a result of which he/she will be praised or accoladed.
The next strategic methods to increase the quality of the prosecutor’s work are provisions fixed in Articles 6 and 7 of the law according to which “In the exercise of his/her powers, based on laws and inner conviction, each prosecutor makes decisions on his/her own, and he/she is responsible for his/her decisions. Any interference with the prosecutor’s activities, which is not prescribed by law, is prohibited” and “A prosecutor can not be a member of any party or be engaged in any other political activity. Under any circumstances, a prosecutor should act neutrally and politically in a restrained way.” These provisions apply to the relations of superior and inferior prosecutors, also to possible interventions of government officials, as a result of which the prosecutor’s independence, creative and professional displays are secured, personal, professional and any other kind of dependence is excluded and accordingly personal liability for the legitimacy of actions and made decisionsis secured i.e. the quality of performed work. The prosecutor also has other restrictions prescribed by law as well as merits that are directed to increase the quality of prosecutor’s work and to exclude corruption risks.
Some provisions of the prosecutor’s main responsibilities defined by Article 42 of the law are also directed toward the provision of the prosecutor’s professional and high quality, according to which the prosecutor should be familiar with the legal acts defining his/her rights and responsibilities concerning with the post held, comply with the requirements of the Constitution, laws, and other legal acts, ensure professional qualifications and practical skills, ensure the protection of rights and legitimate interests of humans and citizens, examine and implement offers, applications, complaints in the established terms and procedure etc.
Incentive tools and disciplinary sanction measures prescribed for violations and imperfections, drawbacks in case of inefficient work are also strategic methods directed toward the increase of the prosecutor’s work quality. Disciplinary measures as well as incentive tools are prescribed by precise procedure, which are registered by the orders of the RA Prosecutor General since in the RA Prosecutor General’s order about the incentive is mentioned for which conduct of the prosecutor he/she is being awarded. The basis also include provision of office and professional high qualities. Disciplinary sanction is prescribed for showing low qualitative results of the prosecutor’s work, for not fullfilling the requirements of legal acts and other violations, imperfections and drawbacks. For not allowing the above-mentioned, the prosecutor should work on himself/herself to increase his/her working, qualitative and professional charchteristics and create basis for award by which one can avoid conducting behaviour which results in disciplinary sanction. There is a precise procedure of disciplinary sanction, in different phases of which the prosecutor’s right to appeal to a superior as well as to the judicial review the activities and decisions of the official (officials) executing disciplinary proceedingsagainst him/her is defined.
2. Which criteria are considered crucial in your country for securing the highest quality and efficiency of the work of prosecutors: their independence, impartiality, human and material resources, conditions of work etc.? Please briefly describe.
Answer- The high quality of prosecutor’s work is considered to be the conduct that corresponds to the Code of Conduct for Prosecutors established by the RA Prosecutor General, where the prosecutor’s behaviour in an internal and external employment relations are included. The Code of Conduct for prosecutors is conditioned by the realization of the importance of the prosecutor’s activity in the formation of rule of law state and civil society, by maintaining moral, psychological and legal traditions and by the necessity of strengthening criteria of the work of prosecutors corresponding to the principles of the international law, by the realization of keeping provisions of the Recommendations number r(2000)19 and r(94)12 of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, the Code of Conduct forPublicOfficials protecting the legal order accepted 17.12.1979 by the UN General Assembly by resolution 34/169, the European Conventionfor the Protection of Human Rights andFundamentalFreedoms, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, principles of the Constitution, democracy and the rule of law, by theessential significance of his/her conduct in the effective activity of the whole prosecutorial system, key role of each prosecutor performing functions in the field of law enforcement and justice making, by the necessity of keeping the independence of prosecutors and obeying the law in an internal and external employment relations, by determination of ensuring guarantees contributing to complete protection of freedoms and human rights in the country, independence and impartiality of the prosecutors, establishment prosecutorial activity corresponding to standards accepted by the international society.
The basic principles of a prosecutor’s behaviour are set out in the Code of Conduct for Prosecutors. Particularly, it is identified that when carrying out one’s activities a prosecutor with his practical, professional and moral characteristics must promote the provision of independence of prosecutorial activities and formation of credibility among the society towards prosecutor’s office; to uphold the reputation of the prosecutor’s office, with the help of personal conduct inspire credibility and respect towards the prosecutorial system and oneself, in any circumstances and cases uphold prosecutor’s calling and good name, honour and dignity, act in such a way that there will appear no unnecessary suspicion about his impartiality and candour, being led by the RA legislation take measures to strengthen legality, to ensure making laws, to determine and eliminate the causes of offence and the favourable conditions for committing offence, to protect human rights and fundamental freedoms, to support their realization, to ensure the proper level of skilful and professional knowledge on a regular basis, to be aware of the changes in legislation, to expand own professional knowledge and regularly help colleagues to enlarge their knowledge, to assist colleagues if necessary, to the extent possible, be engaged in scientific and pedagogical activities, to carry out research concerning especially the organisation and activities of the prosecutor’s office, be law-abiding, honest, disciplined, restrained, sincere, careful, well-mannered, be man of principal, impartial and assertive, be intolerant of colleagues who make mistakes or behave immorally, to act in accord with the principle of equality before the law.
A prosecutor acts as openly as it does not contradict human and citizen rights, freedoms and legitimate interests, as well as keeping unpublished other state and legally protected secrets.
A prosecutor must be consistent when maintaining restrictions prescribed by law.
A prosecutor executing his powers is independent and is subject only to law. He/she can’t be a member of a political organization, as well as to be involved in politics in any way. He should not provide sponsorship towards any political party.
A prosecutor can’t be a member of such professional or social organizations the activity of which is relating to ethnic, national, religious or physical disability discrimination.
A prosecutor may take part in the discussion of projects on legal acts and issues on doing justice, expansion and protection of human rights.
A prosecutor must carry out one’s official activities entirely by himself and unprejudiced, independent of illegal impact of legislative, executive and other state authorities, local authorities, social and political organizations, officials or other people, as well as relatives, friends and acquaintances, avoid any impact of individual or group interests, mass media or local, personal, national or political impact, be free of the concern of being criticised.
A prosecutor must encourage the formation of moral and psychological atmosphere in relations with colleagues, be respectful, even-minded to the co-workers, and respect opinions of the others, not to interfere illegitimately with the process of executing powers of the others, not to publicise office or state secret which was revealed to him, to exercise powers conferred upon him, willing to help and support his colleagues.
A prosecutor has the right to freely express one’s opinion on solutions of issues concerning their professional activity, to be self-confident, simultaneously he can’t be led by suppositions, emotions, individual attitude of parties, behaviour and other indirect impact.
A prosecutor must accept comprehensively his imperfections and drawbacks revealed while carrying out his official activities and impartial criticism, coming to necessary conclusions he/she must take measures to eliminate them.
A prosecutor must listen to others’ opinions, respect them and be tolerant of opposing viewpoints.
Besides all of these characteristics the RA Prosecutor General is more demanding and pays much attention to the professional quality of a prosecutor, his/her impartiality, candour, objectivity, human and moral characteristics, diligence. The Prosecutor General is intolerant of any form of corruption, of cases of violation of criminal procedural norms and improper implementation practice when executing one’s office duties.
A prosecutor’s rights to vacation prescribed by law and social merits are means directed to enhance productivity of prosecutor’s work. A prosecutor is given 30 working days and 4 additional days of paid vacation, during which the rest of the prosecutor is arranged and rehabilitation after a hard and strained job.
Besides that the prosecutors are involved in the compulsory social insurance program and they are beneficiaries of medical, educational, hypothec loans and holiday packages, which give right to care for one’s health, rest and suchlike other issues.
3. Are there any indicators, formal or informal, used in your country in order to assess the quality and efficiency of the work of prosecutors, for example, the number of cases considered, the length of the consideration, the complexity of the cases considered etc.? Please briefly describe.
Answer: Besides the above-mentioned strategic measures the RA prosecutor general takes tactical measures to assess, improve and supervise the quality of prosecutor’s work, which arise from strategic measures and complete their requirements. A part of them was described in the first point of the given questionnaire, but besides them there exist some others.
To fulfil the requirements of the RA Finance and Economics Minister’s order N 324-N dated 28.03.2007 and in that regard the RA Prosecutor General’s order N 122 dated 27.12.2013 reports on non-financial figures made of 14 criteria about prosecutorial powers and activities on quarterly, semi-annual, nine months’ and annual basis for that given fiscal year from the structural subdivisions of the RA Prosecutor General’s office and from the prosecutor’s offices making the RA prosecutor’s office are being received, checked, analysed and summed per annum. These reports are included into the reports on financial figures of the RA prosecutor’s office and are presented to the RA Ministry of Finance, after which the financing of the RA prosecutor’s office is being provided.
The RA Prosecutor General’s order N 20 dated 02.05.2011 defines the statistical standards on the prosecutor’s work. At the same time it is also a form of filling in and presenting semi-annual (quarterly) and annual statistical report “On Prosecutor’s Work” got from prosecutor’s offices as well as from the RA Prosecutor General’s office senior prosecutors (prosecutors) and structural subdivisions of Prosecutor General’s office (hereinafter report). This report is presented to the RA Prosecutor General’s office by the prosecutors of prosecutor’s offices, structural subdivisions and senior prosecutors on semi-annual and annual basis, and for the crimes of corruptive nature reports are presented on the quarterly basis as well. These reports reflect the quality and productivity of a prosecutor’s work for the mentioned period.
The report comprises of sections, with corresponding names and numbering which consist of one or several tables with corresponding names and numbering, and these tables include columns and lines with corresponding names and numbering which are to be completed.
The report comprises 15 sections among them:
Section 1. On initiating criminal prosecution (comprises a table).
Section 2. On supervision over legality of inquiry and investigation (comprises 2 tables).
Section 3. On defence of charges in court (comprises a table).
Section 4. On filing a lawsuit about defence of state interests (comprises 8 tables).
Section 5. On appealing judicial acts (comprises 4 tables).
Section 6. On supervision over legality of penalties and other means of compulsory measures (comprises 4 tables).
Section 7. On the results of investigation of crimes against human beings (comprises 11 tables).
Section 8. On the results of investigation of crimes against property and economic activity (comprises 11 tables).
Section 9. On the results of investigation of ordinary crimes (comprises 11 tables).
Section 10. On the results of investigation of cases investigated by national security bodies and cybercrimes (comprises 11 tables).
Section 11. On the results of investigation on corruption-related crimes (comprises 11 tables).
Section 12. On the results of investigation of crimes connected with illegal turnover of narcotic drugs (comprises 11 tables).
Section 13. On discussion of applications, claims and about the work concerning their implementation (comprises a table).
Section 14. On the publicity of the prosecutor’s office activities (comprises 2 tables).
Section 15. On international legal cooperation (comprises 2 tables).
The number of the report sections, tables comprising them as well as the columns and lines mentioned there, with corresponding names and numberings, are not final and in course of time and out of reporting period necessity as well as conditioned by legislative changes may regularly change or be changed (amended, added, reduced, etc.).
The way of making and presenting the report prescribes which prosecutor’s offices, structural subdivisions and senior prosecutors acting in the RA should complete and present each report, which table, when and how it should be done.
The proper and perfect completion of the reports is organized, managed and supervised by the senior prosecutors (prosecutors) of the Prosecutor General’s office, prosecutors managing structural subdivisions and prosecutor’s offices. They check and sign under the reports before presenting them. They are responsible for the completeness and precision of the statistical data reflected in the reports and for presenting these reports in the established period.
The statistical data is being completed and their credibility and accuracy are being checked with the primary accounting documents and books.
A single number is filled in the cell at the intersection of the corresponding column and row of the statistical forms of the sections of the report, taking into consideration and complying with each other the requirements (possible formulas) in the manner prescribed and given in the column and row for filling them as well as taking into account the data in the reports of the same name presented in previous reporting periods.
The report is presented in hard copy and electronic versions.
After presenting the reports on “The work of Prosecutor” to the Prosecutor General’s Office of the RA, the numbers included in them are being filled in and added in the corresponding sheet of the “Excel” computer calculating program, a single sheet of aggregate numerical data is created, the hard copy and electronic versions of which are made and provided to the RA Prosecutor General, his deputies, the specialized departments of the Prosecutor General’s Office etc. who use them to make relevant analysis and make conclusions according to separate spheres, territories or institutions and, if necessary, the copies are provided to other concerned bodies and organizations.
In case of inconsistencies and (or) inaccuracies in the statistical data the report is returned to the presenter to correct the data and to present it again in the prescribed manner.
The technical characteristics and statistical standards of creation and installation of the computer operating system (program) of keeping statistics in the RA Prosecution System that define the need of creation and installation, the aim and grounds, the main requirements (statistical standards) and objectives, the description of the program and computer network (including the present condition and the description of the program being suggested), the stages of creation and installation of the program etc., are also established by the order No 20 of the RA Prosecutor General dated May 02, 2011.
The table of the average workload of the prosecutors of the RA Prosecutor’s Office is created on some standards, taken from the statistical report, established by the order No 20 of the RA Prosecutor General dated May 02, 2011, using the table the workload of the prosecutors of the Prosecutor’s Offices are compared to each other and by making the staff redundant in the relatively less overloaded Prosecutor’s Offices and by transferring the prosecutor appointed in that post to the most overloaded Prosecutor’s Offices, the quality and effectiveness of the work of the prosecutors of the relatively the most overloaded Prosecutor’s Offices is ensured and the issue of average workload of the prosecutors is solved, which helps to increase the quality and effectiveness of the work.
The sample form of the report on semi-annual and annual work done and presented by the senior prosecutors and prosecutors of the RA Prosecutor General’s Office, by structural subdivisions of the RA Prosecutor General’s Office and Central Military Prosecutor's Office, as well as by the RA Prosecutor Offices, was established by the order No 121 of the RA Prosecutor General dated December 27, 2013. The aim of establishing the sample form of the said report is to ensure the integrity of the presented statistical report on the activities performed by the structural subdivisions of the RA Prosecutor General’s Office and the Prosecutor’s Offices of the RA Prosecutor’s Office regarding their authorities and responsibilities. Clear standards on the presented information about the performed work are listed in it, including information about the quantity and complexity of the cases that prosecutors undertake procedural lead and prosecutorial supervision, about the quantity of the instructions given by them, terms of investigating the cases, the amount of damages identified in the cases, the quantity of their recovery, the cases brought before the court, the verdicts arrived at according to them, appeals, applications implemented, etc. The said information is given on the annual basis and is compared to the previous period of time in order to make a comparative analysis of the growth or reduction of the performed work, to find out the reasons and obstacles and to take measures to eliminate them.
In order to find out the quality and efficiency of the work of prosecutors or Prosecutor’s Offices some standards listed in the sample form of the report may be carried out individually, for a shorter period of time, with certain questions and to find out certain problems by the Prosecutor General's recommendation.
4. Is there a formal or informal procedure for evaluation of the work of prosecutors, how often it is evaluated, by whom, and with what consequences? Do the prosecutors have the right to raise formal or informal objections to the results of the evaluation and to its consequences?
Answer – The procedures for evaluation of the work of prosecutors are mentioned in the 1st and 3rd points of this questionnaire, at the same time during the description of each measure it was mentioned who performs the evaluation, how frequent and what consequences it has. All of them have an appellate procedure that works primarily in a superior then judicial manner.
5. As regards the fight against organized crime and terrorism, are there any specific conditions, criteria, procedures or indicators created for prosecutors in your country in order to facilitate or evaluate their work?
Answer – According to the Article 190 the preliminary investigation of the offences provided for in articles 217 (terrorism) and 2171 (financing of terrorism) is conducted by National Security Service adjunct to the RA Government. The prosecutorial supervision over legality of the said cases is carried out by the prosecutors of the Department for Cases Investigated by National Security Bodies of the RA, connected with Illegal Turnover of Narcotic Drugs and Cybercrimes, who, if necessary, will embark on providing proper prosecutorial supervision over the investigation of criminal cases initiated on any incident of terrorism and financing of terrorism by using in practice the relevant skills, gained as a result of specialization.
The RA also continues the active interstate cooperation in the sphere of fight against terrorism. The RA Prosecutor’s Office Staff directly participates in meetings, conferences, discussions, training exercises, training courses and specialized seminars organized in the sphere of fight against terrorism.
6. Are there in your country recent legislative reforms to fight more effectively against organized crime and terrorism and how are these reforms seen in relation to the quality and efficiency of the work of prosecutors? Please briefly describe.
Answer – The main legislative act regulating the field - Law of the RA Against Laundering of Illicit Proceeds and Terrorism Financing was adopted by the National Assembly of the RA on May 26 of 2008. The Republic of Armenia also joined the 1990 Strasbourg Convention on Laundering, Search, Seizure and Confiscation of the Proceeds From Crime (ratified by the NA of the RA on 08.10.2003) and 2005 Warsaw Convention on Laundering, Search, Seizure and Confiscation of the Proceeds from Crime and on the Financing of Terrorism (ratified by the NA of the RA on 18.03.2008). The RA also ratified the 1999 UN Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism, the Financial Action Task Force (hereinafter FAFT) 40 Recommendations on Money Laundering and 8 SpecialRecommendations on Terrorist Financing, UN Security Council Counter-Terrorism Resolutions. The Law of the Republic of Armenia on the Fight Against Terrorism was adopted by the National Assembly of the RA on March 22 of 2005. In accordance with generally accepted international standards corpus delicti of legalization of illegally obtained property (money laundering), terrorism, financing of terrorism, terrorism act against a foreign state or an international representative and internationalterrorism are envisaged in Criminal code of the Republic of Armenia.
We assess the above-mentioned legislative developments and reforms as positive.
7. Do you consider that current international conventions, as well as international organizations, like Eurojust, Europol and Interpol, are sufficient to effectively fight against organized crime and terrorism?
Answer – We think that current international conventions, as well as international organizations, like Eurojust, Europol and Interpol, are sufficient to effectively fight against organized crime and terrorism.
8. What are the major challenges in your country as regards the quality and efficiency of the work of prosecutors and, in particular, their fight against organized crime and terrorism?
Answer –The current policy that is being implemented in order to ensure the national security of the Republic of Armenia, in our opinion is quite efficient for fighting against terrorism.