Three Key Legal Events of the Year 2017 in Azerbaijan
According to the study conducted by the “Legal Analysis and Researches” Public Union, the following events have been considered “The main 3 key legal events of the year” in 2017:
1. Humanization of criminal legislation
2. Establishment of the probation service
3. Changes in the Bar Association in Azerbaijan
Significant positive changes have been made in the legal system of Azerbaijan in 2017, particularly, in the criminal justice and human rights issues. Although significant changes have occurred over the year as a result of the dynamic development tendency of legal reforms, “Legal Analysis and Researches” Public Union in order to inform the population about these reforms decided to select 3 (three) key, important, and decisive legal events and present them to the public.
Humanization of criminal legislation
Decree of the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev of February 10, 2017 on “Improving work in the penitentiary system, humanization of the punishment policy and expansion of alternative punishments and procedural enforcement measures not associated with isolation from society” and further amendments made to the legislation should be valued as a very significant legal event. The essence of this legal event is modernization of the approach to the criminal justice system, penitentiary policy, criminal law, issues on provision of rights of the prisoners, humanization of penal policy, improvement of the penitentiary system’s performance, application of progressive practices in the world, including the broad application of the European Convention on Human Rights and the European Court’s case-law, as well as alternative measures of detention under the requirements of the Criminal Procedure Code, in the light of the country’s development and the successes achieved.
Establishment of the probation service
According to the ourcomes of 2017, we can say that, establishment of the Probation Service of the Ministry of Justice was one of the major innovative event of the year. Establishment of this new criminal justice institution for our country has been welcomed by the public.
The essence of the probation institute is to improve prisoners’ imprisonment and community integration, depending on the nature of the action and the degree of public danger. The probation is basically an institution of law that belongs to the Anglo-Saxon law system. In these countries, the courts decide to put the prisoner under observation of the Probation officer for a certain period as an alternative measure to deprivation of liberty. This observation can be accompanied by the use of modern technologies (e.g. electronic monitoring). In addition, in the near future it is planned to widely use the mediation institute, namely, alternative ways of dispute resolution out of the court.
Changes in the Bar Association in Azerbaijan
Another key legal event of the year was related to changes in the Bar Association at the end of the year. It is important to note here selection of a new chairman of the Collegium, as well as selection of the members of the Presidium, Disciplinary Commission, changes to a range of documents of the Bar Association.
The ammendments to the Law on “Attorneys and Attorney activity” have been approved by the Decree of the President of Azerbaijan Republic Ilham Aliyev on November 7, 2017, which in its turn will affect strengthening of the position of the attorneys institution in the legal system. As one of the important points in the decree it should be mentioned that the issue of raising the number of attorneys in the country was recommended by the President to the Bar Association. Based on this recommendation, a decision was made by the Presidium of the Bar Association for accepting the documents of the lawyers acting as individual entrepreneurs for engaging in attorney activity. This progressive and innovative decision was welcomed positively by both the attorneys and other lawyers in the legal community.
As “Legal Analysis and Researches” Public Union we should note that, we believe, these reforms will continue in 2018, and important steps will be taken to establish and develop the legal state and rule of law in Azerbaijan.
Legal Analysis and Research Public Union is established in 28/08/2012 in Baku and registered by the Ministry of Justice . LAR is a think-tank and uniting legal experts from different organizations and institutions in Azerbaijan. The main goal of LAR is to contribute to implementation of the legal reforms in Azerbaijan through learning, researching and analyzing the legal problems.
Ramil Iskandarli, Chairman
“Legal Analysis and Researches” Public Union
For more information, contact ramil.isgandarli(@)gmail.com