During the interview-Press Conference at Media Center on September 5, Ara Zohrabyan, Chairman of the Chamber of Advocates, touched upon a number of issues related to the Chamber and its activities, responded to harsh criticism from his opponents.
As a reply to the question, what the reason is for the fact that no advocate tends to the post of the Chairman of the Chamber, the speaker explaines this circumstance with the non-confidence of potential opponents.
“We have democracy at the Chamber of Advocates and advocates with 10 years of experience can nominate their candidacy. My opponents were not sure that the majority of advocates would give them their vote - maybe they did not run for that. I do not suffer from arrogance but I think my opponents are extremely insulting when they say that they are a qualitative minority, or the Chamber of Advocates exerts pressure. It would be nice to come up with a joint candidate and, according to them, “save the Chamber of Advocates from me”,” Zohrabyan said.
On the other hand, the Chairman of the chamber notes that despite the fact that the elections are not competitive, his victory is not predetermined because the majority of advocates may not go to the polls, or if they may vote against him.
In spite of being the only candidate, Ara Zohrabyan assures that he is participating in the campaign with the logic that he has competitors and has presented his work in recent years, among which he pointed out:
“The advocates' rights protection commission has been established, the regional coordinator institute has been established, the Youth Council of Advocates has been established, the function of which is to integrate young advocates into the Chamber, a quick response board was established and so on.”
The latter also denies the accusations of improper management of the finances of the Chamber of Advocates of the Republic of Armenia, keeping the inflated staff list, noting that it is enough to look at the staff list of the Chamber of Advocates by years, and it will be clear that the staff has not increased.
Referring to the problems of the Office of Public Defender, Ara Zohrabyan notes that he has failed to reduce the burden of public defenders but consistent steps are taken in that direction.
“As a result of our lobbying, 5 positions of public defender were added, besides we created free legal aid systems, in particular, every Thursday every citizen is provided legal advice at the Chamber of Advocates as well as in the marzes,” the speaker said, adding that the burden still remains the main the problem.
He emphasizes that the number of criminal and civil cases increases year by year, there is a growth of criminal acts.
“The second reason was the increase in the quality of services provided by the public defender, which again led to the increase of the number of cases. The third reason is legislation because in most cases, a public defender is appointed by the law, even for solvent citizens,” Zohrabyan said.
Touching upon the topic of the recent investigation of advocates, Ara Zohrabyan said, “It's not an investigation, it's a screening, but I see problems with this process. If advocates consider it to be an investigation, at least the law enforcement body should be reported ... If they are not screened, can you imagine if anyone carrys a grenade and give it to them, and they will use it? I'm not saying advocates are going to do it but there can be someone who will do it.”
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