Chairman of Azerbaijani Supreme Courtâ€™s Board for Criminal Cases criticizes some judges
- 29 September 2017
Despite the measures taken, courts in Azerbaijan still tend to issue verdicts on arrests, said Shahin Yusifov, chairman of the Azerbaijani Supreme Court’s Board for Criminal Cases.
He made the remarks during hearings held in the Azerbaijani parliament in connection with amendments proposed to the Criminal Code by the country’s president, APA reported.
Yusifov noted that this stands to objective as well as subjective reasons.
"The objective reasons come from a number of gaps and shortcomings in the current criminal law. These gaps have been eliminated in the draft amendments to the Criminal Code. In some cases, the application of community service prescribed in the Criminal Code would be sometimes impossible. In that case, courts would choose the penalty of imprisonment. On the other hand, the penalties of fine in large amounts, correctional work, and community service would remain unfulfilled,” he said.
Yusifov noted that over 8 months’ period since the order singed by Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev on the improvement of penitentiary service, humanization of penalty policy and expansion of the application of measures of alternative penalty and procedural compulsion not linked with isolation from society, law enforcement and judicial system have livened up.
“This revival is that today prosecutors leading primary investigations have suspended presenting submissions about the persons who commit less grave crimes and who are not subject to pre-trial detention,” he said. “Courts are now courageous. In some cases information is received on adoption of decisions on rejection of such presentations although they are available, and it is rejected to sentence the accused to pre-trial detention. According to the Ministry of Justice, this caused the 30 percent decrease in the number of arrested people within the last short period of time.”
As for the imprisonment due to subjective factors, he noted that courts do not completely take into account the requirements specified in criminal law, and in some cases they are not fulfilled at all.
“These are mainly reflected in application of Articles 62 and 70 of the Criminal Code. Despite the fact that cases are identified that are sufficiently facilitating punishment, courts don’t take into account the circumstances that are the basis for easier penalty specified in the sanction of that article in respect of a person. As a result, criminals, especially those who commit less grave crimes are imprisoned. I believe that this draft law will provide grounds for selection of alternative types of punishment which means a significant change,” he added.