The Chamber of Advocates is against filming if Helsinki Association carries it out

Before he expressed his opinion on video filming at the court hearing, the representative of the Chamber of Advocates of Armenia, Gevorg Mkrtchyan had wished to clarify who was going to film it. Knowing that it was the film crew of the “Helsinki Association” human rights organization, he objected saying: “I am objecting to it. I know their workstyle; the video can be interpreted in their own way”.

The plaintiff Arayik Papikyan described the reasoning of the representative of the Chamber as unreliable and unfounded.

Today, Arayik Papikyan disputed the decisions of 10.08.2017, No. 233-A/KG-17068 of the Chairman of the Chamber of Advocates and of 05.04.2018, No. KG/65-A of the Board.

The judge Diana Hovhannisyan clarified that the lack of the footage of the court hearing might give rise to a different interpretation and presentation of the hearing, and on the contrary, it would be much easier to avoid possible “their own interpretations” in case video filming and shooting was available.

Saying in his speech that he works at the Helsinki Association, Arayik Papikyan also informed that the organization carries out monitoring of court hearings and filming of similar case trials of both his and other advocates.

Nevertheless, the representative of the Chamber of Advocates insisted on his opinion, and the judge, referring to the Code of the Civil Procedure and the objection of the respondent, had to forbid the video filming of the hearing.   

The hearing of the case was postponed because the plaintiff was to change the grounds for the lawsuit. The hearing was postponed until April 16.

On the same grounds, the hearing of the case on the requirement to recognize invalid the decisions of 15.09.2017, No. 295-A/KG-17111 of the Chairman of the Chamber of Advocates and of the Board of 15.03.2018, No. KG/51-A, was postponed.

The representative of the respondent Gevorg Mkrtchyan objected to the video filming of this case too. He reasoned that Arayik Papikyan works at the Helsinki Association and that he was afraid that the hearing might be interpreted in their own way.

Mkrtchyan objected, and in particular he said: “The Honorable Court, it is not difficult to make citations.” He suggested that the filed motion should be rejected.

Arayik Papikyan filed a motion to postpone the preliminary court hearing as the basis of the lawsuit required some supplementation, without any change of the subject.

The respondent Gevorg Mkrtchyan objected to the motion, reasoning that the plaintiff had had enough time to address it.

The judge Diana Hovhannisyan explained that in case any party in proceedings submits such a motion before the distribution of the burden of proof is made, the presiding judge should postpone the case trial.

The next hearing was scheduled for April 16.

For the information of the representative of the RA Chamber of Advocates, Gevorg Mkrtchyan, we would like to inform that the full video footage on court hearings of monitored cases is posted on the website of the Helsinki Association almost with no video edition, keeping the complete content.

To make sure, one can compare a video of any hearing of the Board of the Chamber posted on the website of the Helsinki Association at with the related  recording of the corresponding hearing of the Board.

In order one could avoid attempts, in your opinion, of “their own interpretation” of hearings of the Board of the Chamber of Advocates, you should have permitted, for instance, to have them open, accessible, and without artificial obstacle to the public as it was before.

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