Azeri  authorities  do not implement  anti corruption recommendations -  GRECO

Baku/19.06.19/Turan: Azerbaijan: progress in implementation of recommendations on corruption prevention among parliamentarians, judges and prosecutors, but measures on asset disclosure still lacking

The Council of Europe anti-corruption group (GRECO) in its new report published today noted progress in the implementation by Azerbaijan of the recommendations on corruption prevention in respect of members of parliament, judges and prosecutors. As of now, thirteen out of the total of twenty-one recommendations have been implemented satisfactorily, five recommendations have been partly implemented and three recommendations remain not implemented.

With respect to members of parliament, the adoption of the Law on Rules of Ethical Conduct of Deputies and Guidelines on Conduct of MPs is a positive development. Progress has also been noted concerning the framework for public consultations on draft legislation. While the legislation provides now for supervision of accessory activities of parliamentarians, there are no indications of its effectiveness in practice.

With regard to judges, GRECO is concerned by the lack of further progress in the implementation of pending recommendations. The composition of the Judicial Legal Council needs to be changed in line with European standards and this body should be involved in the appointment of all categories of judges. Clear, objective and transparent criteria for permanent appointments of judges remain to be introduced.

GRECO notes that some limited legislative progress has been made to reduce undue influence over the Prosecutor"s Office. However, more is needed to eliminate such influence. Moreover, a competitive selection of prosecutors has been regulated, however, not in respect of the senior positions at the Prosecutor"s Office.

With respect to asset disclosure, which covers all three categories of officials under evaluation (parliamentarians, judges and prosecutors), GRECO is alarmed by a persistent lack of will and of necessary measures (reporting format, oversight) to make the system operational. GRECO calls on the authorities of Azerbaijan to take determined measures to finally complete this important anti-corruption reform and to implement the relevant GRECO recommendations.

As further progress is required to implement pending recommendations, GRECO expects from the authorities of Azerbaijan additional information on measures taken by 31 December 2019.-0-

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