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CoE report: Armenia has low number of judges, but their salaries are high

Council of Europe (CoE) has published a new report on the efficiency and quality of judicial systems in European states, including Armenia.

The report, prepared by the Council of Europe’s body, the European Commission for the Efficiency of Justice (CEPEJ), covers 45 of the 47 Council of Europe member states (all except Liechtenstein and San Marino) and is based on the data until 2016.

The document features judiciary statistics – the budget of the whole judicial system per capita; legal aid per capita; number of professional judges, prosecutors and lawyers per capita; salaries of judges; gender balance in the judicial system (female representation).

According to the report, Armenia is among the countries with the lowest public budget allocated to judicial system per capita in 2016 – 8.4 EUR. It is almost eight times lower than the average 64.5 EUR and 25 times lower than the maximum indicator (Switzerland with 214.8 EUR per capita).

Armenia also sits among the countries with the lowest number of professional judges per 100,000 inhabitants (7.7 judges), while the average European indicator here is 21.

The CoE report says that the average gross salaries of judges in Armenia in comparison to average salaries in the country are high. At the beginning of the career judges earn more than four times the average salary and at the end of their career, more than eight times the average salary. Average European indicator of the end-career judge is 4.5 times the average salary in the country.

In 2016, supreme court judges’ gross salaries in Armenia are 8.1 times higher in relation to the national average gross salary, while they are 7.5 times higher in England & Wales, 6.4 times higher in Italy and 6.2 times higher in Scotland.

The report says Armenia has 61.9 lawyers per 100,000 inhabitants. It is more than twice lower than the European average of 162 lawyers. The indicator is highest in Cyprus – 425 lawyers.

Number of public prosecutors in the country is 11 per 100,000 inhabitants in 2016 which is comparable to the average 12.

Armenia has a low percentage of females among professional judges (25%), comparable to Scotland (27%) and England & Wales (34%). Meantime, the country has a high percentage of females in notarial professions (71%).

According to the report, only France, Luxembourg and Spain foresee access to court free of fees. In Armenia, court fees shaped 16% of the budget of the whole judicial system, comparable to 19% European average.

Armenia’s budget of legal aid per capita (0.25 EUR) is among the lowest among the Council of Europe states. The European average here is 6.96 EUR per capita.


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