HELD THE CONFERENCE OF EUROPEAN MINISTERS OF JUSTICE
The conference of European Ministers of Justice was held in Sofia on April 21-22 with the organization of the UN and Bulgarian Government within the chairmanship of Bulgaria in the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe.
The Minister of Justice, Chairman of Judicial-Legal Council Fikrat Mammadov represented Azerbaijan with his delegation at the high-level conference which the justice ministers of the member states of the Council of Europe, heads of judicial institutions, responsible persons of the UN and other international organizations attended.
Secretary General of the UN ThorbjornJagland, Prime Minister of Bulgaria Boyko Barisov, the Minister of Foreign Affairs Daniel Mitov and the Minister of Justice Ekaterina Zakharieva made opening speeches at the conference.
The independence of judges and judicial systems in the European countries, strengthening the public trust to courts, reforms implemented in this area, as well as the problems that judges confront in terms of independence were discussed at the meeting.
Conference participants shared their experience and spoke of the measures on strengthening national judicial systems. However, performers noted the problems they encountered, pointed out the facts of interfering in the judicial activity by other authorities, including unacceptable pressure of media in their countries and they stressed the negative tendencies such as deterioration of financing the courts, decreasing the salary and the number of judges. At the same time, informed that the independence of judicial systems should be strengthened, the judges should have no policy and additional effective measures should be taken in order to prevent corruption in this field.
The reforms carried out under the leadership of the head of state in Azerbaijan, including taking important institutional measures, establishing Judicial-Legal Council – independent self-government body and creation of perfect legislative base, were stressed by the Minister of Justice Fikrat Mammadov. Informed on expanding the authorities of Judicial-Legal Council continuously, especially newly entrusting to the Council the authority of preventing external interference to judges activity, most transparent selection of judges appreciated as an example by the Council of Europe and the European Union, strengthening their social protection and prohibiting the decreasing of their salary by law, increasing the number of judges by 2 times, creation of modern judicial infrastructure and other experiences which was accepted well, as well as touched to the measures on elimination of addressing challenges.
Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh struggle, occupation of Azerbaijani lands by Armenia, being refugee and internally displaced persons of one million Azerbaijani citizens, especially, the fact on committing sabotage by Armeniaby breaking the ceasefire in recent time which resulted with the death of innocent people on the line of contact of troops, were brought to the attention of participants at the speech.
The text of speech was shared among meeting participants.
Five-year Action Plan was presented at the conference on strengthening the independence and impartiality of judiciary in European countries.
The meeting was held with the Minister of Justice of Bulgaria Ekaterina Zakharieva.
Bilateral meeting was held with the Minister of Justice of Bulgaria Ekaterina Zakharieva within the meeting. Relations of friendship and efficient cooperation between Azerbaijan and Bulgaria, the significant role of reciprocal visits of the heads of states in the development of these relations, were stressed, expressed satisfaction for the level of legal cooperation and discussed the issues of interest at the meeting. Having remembered her visits to Azerbaijan in order to attend the reputable international forums, E.Zakharieva expressed her admiration to the comprehensive dynamic improvement of Azerbaijan.
During the conference, several business meetings were held with Secretary General of the UN Thorbjorn Jagland, other high-level representatives of this organization, as well as justice ministries of several states and heads of judicial institutions and made negotiations on cooperation.
Ambassador of Azerbaijan in Bulgaria Nargiz Gurbanova attended the meetings.