On February 20, 2020, the next Plenum of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Azerbaijan chaired by Ramiz Rzayev was held.
At the Plenum, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court said that 2019 was marked by a number of significant events. The most important was President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev's "In-depth reform of the judicial system" Decree dated April 3, 2019. The Decree is another manifestation of the exceptional importance by the President to the judicial system, and also an important part of the judicial and legal reforms. Actually, the Decree is a “roadmap” that identifies strategic priorities for the future development of the judicial system by deeping of the judicial and legal system reforms and systematically implementating of the modern requirements.
One of the key issues is the establishment of regional administrative and commercial courts, including the establishment of relevant collegiums in the higher courts by abolishing administrative-economic courts, as well as administrative- economic and military collegiums in the Courts of Appeal and the Supreme Court, as amended by legislation on the execution of the Decree of February 3, 2019. It should be particularly emphasized that at the end of last year, the newly established administrative and commercial courts were appointed by the Presidential Decree with highly qualified and experienced judges, which contributed significantly to improving the quality of justice judgment in the relevant area.
"E-court information system created at the Supreme Court by the Decree of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan dated February 13, 2014, is an effective system for judicial power and justice judgement, which covers the entire process from the moment of provision of the citizen's right to apply to the court until the execution of the court decision. It promotes the prevention of procrastination and abuse in the implementation of justice judgement, provides transparency and efficiency, facilitates access to courts, enhances the effectiveness of monitoring of enforcement of court decisions, and provides electronic clerical works and electronic document management.
As a result of measures taken to ensure the right of freedom of persons who committed crimes in connection with the execution of the Decree of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan dated February 10, 2017 "On improvement of activities in the penitentiary sphere, humanization of the penal policy and expansion of application of alternative punishment and procedural coercive measures not related to isolation from society", In 2018-2019, the number of decisions made by the courts of the republic on the choice of detention and the extension of detention of accused persons has significantly reduced.
Last year, the legal and information support of the Supreme Court was strengthened, new technologies were introduced in the apparatus, and the material and technical base was strengthened. At the same time, judicial protection of citizens' rights was expanded in 2019 compared to previous years.
The Chairman of the Supreme Court emphasized that since the Republic of Azerbaijan has joined the European Convention on the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, the case-law of the European Court is of great importance to our legal system. The seminars held by the Supreme Court study international legal acts, in particular the provisions of the European Convention on the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, case-law of the European Court. "Round tables" are held with the participation of judges and invited representatives of international organizations.
In 2019, seven judges of the Supreme Court were retired as they reached the last age limit.
Reports on the status of the enforcement of justice judgement in 2019 by the chairmen of collegiums of the Supreme Court were heard in the plenum and extensive discussions and analyzes were conducted for each report. Chairmen of collegiums reported that there was a significant change in the quality of performances of the collegiums in 2019.
Cases in the collegium on civil cases and military collegium of the Supreme Court in 2019 decreased in comparison with the corresponding period of 2018, and but they increased in collegium on criminal cases and the administrative-economic collegium. There was a decrease of 5.6 percent and 10.8 percent in collegium on civil cases and military collegium accordingly, and increase of 8 percent and 46.4 percent in collegium on criminal cases and the administrative-economic collegium respectively. In general, the number of cases filed with the Supreme Court increased by 4.4%.
The statistics of the cases and the reversed court decisions show that the quality of decisions made by the lower courts is higher than in previous years.
In 2019, 6 sessions of the Plenum of the Supreme Court were held, 21 decisions were made, and 38 special decisions were made on the deficiencies revealed in the cases.
The appeals to the Supreme Court increased of 26.8 percent compared to the previous year.
It was decided to consider some decisions of the Plenums of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Azerbaijan invalid and make additions and amendments to some decisions.
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