March 14, 2018
The statement of advocate Vahe Grigoryan about the problems of independence of the Armenian Bar made in the framework of the 09.03.2018 Conference on the Current Challenges and Opportunities of the Bars and Law Societies of the Council of Europe Member States
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I would like to skip the issues relating to the organisational aspects of today’s event, including the strange role of the President of the Bar Chamber in them to save time and to focus on what is most important to us.
I will start by thanking the experts invited to this event by the co-organisers for their readiness to share their interesting and informative opinions with us.
Given the fact that this is the first event in Yerevan with the participation of the interested organisations, including the ‘opposition advocates’ (please note that this label was given to us by the President of the Chamber and not me or any other colleague of mine), I would like to draw the attention of the present to a number of problems the Armenian Bar faces today.
Around 30 advocates have already applied to the Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe (CCBE) expressing their conerns about a number of serious problems the Bar faces today and we look forward to hearing the positions of this and a number of other international bodies on solutions to these problems.
We are of the position that the President and the Board of the Armenian Bar Chamber have in fact transformed this professional self-regulated body into an instrument in the hands of the Armenian Government with a view to subjecting it to a type of oversight, which is contrary to the standards enshrined in our Constitution and the relevant national and international instruments for regulation of the legal profession.