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Judges developand publish commentaries to the code of judicial conduct to promote effective implementation of ethical rules

25.07.2007

The “Commentaries to the RA Judicial Code of Conduct” (“Commentaries”) has been published by the joint decision of the Ethics Committee of the RA Council of Court Chairmen and the Board of the RA Association of Judges, with general editorship of the Chairman of the RA Court of Cassation Hovhannes G. Manoukyan and through technical assistance of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative (ABA/ROLI) Armenian Office. Speakers at the event will be Chairman of the Court of Cassation Mr. Manoukyan, USAID- Armenia Mission Director Karl Fickenscher, Chairman of the Economic Court of Armenia Edward Mouradyan and others. Judges from all courts of Armenia, as well as representatives from the Ministry of Justice, Chamber of Advocates, the Prosecutor General’s Office, international and local organizations are invited to the event. 

An honorary guest at the event will be Hon. John M. Walker, Jr. Senior United States Circuit
Judge who will help release the “Commentaries”. “An independent and ethical judiciary is an essential ingredient of the Rule of Law. The three documents – the Judicial Code, the Code of Judicial Conduct, and these Commentaries to the Code of Judicial Conduct, demonstrate Armenia’s continued commitment to the Rule of Law,” says Judge Walker. The honorary Judge will meet with key members of the legal community of Armenia during his two-day visit in Yerevan.
The Judicial Code of Conduct of Armenia became effective on December 8, 2005.
The Code incorporated requirements of fundamental documents related to judicial conduct, such as the Bangalore Principles adopted in the Hague in 2002, the European Judges' Advisory Board’s Recommendation of November 19, 2002 on “Judge’s Professional Conduct, specifically, ethical norms, on conduct incompatible with judge’s status and on principles of impartiality”, as well as other recommendations and concepts on the same issue.
In order to ensure effective functioning of the Judicial Code, it was necessary to develop commentaries to the rules which would help judges follow proper conduct in all situations and uphold the high calling of judges.
The Commentaries are based on the fundamental concept, according to which public’s attitude towards court rulings is largely conditioned by the trust that the public has in independence and integrity of judges; and judges’ independence and integrity, in turn, depend on independent and impartial functioning of judges.
It is evident that as a result of judge’s improper conduct the public trust in courts is undermined. The Commentaries require judges to have proper conduct both in their judicial and extra-judicial capacity. 

The Commentaries will largely promote independence and impartiality of judges in practice, as well as judges’ accountability and public trust in the judiciary.