Extraordinary Session of Milli Majlis Continues

Extraordinary Session of Milli Majlis Continues

Speaker Sahiba Gafarova presided over the sitting of the extraordinary session of the Milli Majlis on 25 June.

First, the Chair of the Milli Majlis congratulated the assembly on the 26th of Day – the Day of the Armed Forces of the Azerbaijan Republic, stressing that the people of Azerbaijan were going to celebrate this day with great joy and pride this year.

‘Led by the President of the Azerbaijan Republic, the victorious Commander-in-Chief Ilham Aliyev, the glorious Army of Azerbaijan added a new and glowing page to the heroic history of our people. The armed forces of Armenia that had held the Azerbaijani lands occupation for thirty years were put paid to. Garabagh, our land historically, natively, was released from the yoke of the impious enemy,’ Mrs Gafarova said.

Affirming the historical justice and restoring the territorial wholeness of our state gave the people self-confidence and revived their spirit.

‘We are returning to the home state of Garabagh today. This right was given back to us by our heroic Army and its Commander-in-Chief. Never shall we forget the courage of our shahids, of the soldiers and officers wounded in the bloody battles. Our people are certain that the restoration and creation work done in our freed lands will not only change the panorama of the Garabagh Region radically but will also raise the curtain on a new epoch in the history of progress of Azerbaijan,’ Sahiba Gafarova continued.

Madame Speaker emphasised with conviction that our victorious people whose flags are flown in Shusha, Fizuli, Jabrayil, Zanghilan, Gubadli, Lachin, Kalbajar, Agdam, Hadrut and other towns and villages of Garabagh will restore our settlements that the Armenian vandals had reduced to ruins and would show the world once more that they are also a creator people. The Armed Forces are doing a commendable job of defending the de-occupied region of the country as well as of guarding the state borders. Our people are right to be proud in the current peaceful time as they were right to be during the Patriotic War of the military servicemen who serve the cause of keeping the military security of the country selflessly. The Chair of the Milli Majlis then expressed a confidence that the Armed Forces of Azerbaijan would continue progressing in the coming years, too, and would stand firm in their place in the ranks of the strongest armies of the world.

Speaker of the Milli Majlis Sahiba Gafarova congratulated, from the parliamentary rostrum, the victorious Commander-in-Chief, the heroic soldiers and officers of the Armed Forces and all the military personnel in general on the occasion of the Armed Forces’ Day and wished them further achievements in their mission of protecting the national interests.

Then, a 12-item agenda of the sitting was adopted. A discussion of the issues du jour brought out the Armed Forces’ Day congratulations and best wishes expressed by Deputy Chair of the Milli Majlis Adil Aliyev and the MPs Siyavush Novruzov, Aydin Mirzazade, Elman Nasirov, Musa Gasimli, Aghiya Nakhchivanli, Ganira Pashayeva, Shahin Ismayilov, Elshad Mirbashiroglu, Elshan Musayev and Javid Osmanov. The talkers also raised a number of other current issues and voiced their attitudes to those.

The sitting proceeded to the items put on the agenda and began with the five Bills queued up for the second reading.

Chairman of the parliamentary Committee for Natural Resources, Energy and Ecology Sadig Gurbanov supplied the House with detailed information about the changes (in the second reading) made to the Bill ‘On the Rational Use of Energy Resources and Energy Efficiency’ following its first reading. He said that each added modification had been accommodated with the legislative initiator.

A broad discussion followed. The MPs Razi Nurullayev, Vahid Ahmadov, Fazil Mustafa, Etibar Aliyev, Vugar Bayramov, Aydin Huseynov, Iltizam Yusifov, Shahin Ismayilov, Rauf Aliyev and Ganira Pashayeva set forth their remarks and suggestions. The matter was put on vote subsequently. The Bill ‘On the Rational Use of Energy Resources and Energy Efficiency’ that consists of 8 chapters and 23 articles was approved in the second reading.

Madame Chair told the assembly that the next two Bills were in substantive affinity and had arrived at the parliament in one parcel.

As he was presenting those drafts in the second reading, Chairman of the Labour and Social Policy Committee Musa Guliyev told the House that the amendments to the laws ‘On Retirement Pensions’ and ‘On the Rights of Disabled Persons’ would serve the purpose of strengthening social protection of the pensioner citizens with disabilities. They would ensure the pension accounting as of the start of the disability period during the first six months should the repeated expert assessment deadlines be omitted.

MP Gudrat Hasanguliyev was heard on the matter before the vote began and the amendments to both laws were passed through the second reading.

Two more Bills were considered then.

First, Chairman of the Labour and Social Policy Committee Musa Guliyev informed the plenum participants of the draft amendments to the Law ‘On Retirement Pensions’ (in the second reading), which, he specified, too, were aimed at improving the social protection of citizens. It follows from the document that a person who has served in the Civil Service for 13 years will on retirement have the State add two more service years to his or her track record if the state agency that employed this person is converted to a public legal entity. In this way, the retired employee will become entitled to the pension of a former civil servant.

The MPs Gudrat Hasanguliyev, Konul Nurullayeva and Fazil Mustafa shared their considerations and proposals, after which the Bill was voted through the second reading.

The draft amendments to the Civil Service Law (in the second reading) were tabled by First Deputy Chair of the Milli Majlis, Chairman Of the Law Policy and State-Building Committee Ali Huseynli. The presented draft is interrelated with the amendments to the Labour Pensions Law just voted in and, virtually, contained the same norms and standards, Mr Huseynli pointed out.

The House listened to what comments MP Etibar Aliyev had to make before the Bill in question was approved in the second reading.

Chair Sahiba Gafarova announced that the next seven Bills were coming up for the first reading and that Deputy Chairman of the Supreme Court of the Azerbaijan Republic Chinghiz Asgarov and Chairman of the Civil Collegium of the SC of the AzR Sanan Hajiyev were present at the current sitting.

The above-said matters were tabled in the first reading by First Deputy Chair of the Milli Majlis, Chairman of the Law Policy and State-Building Committee Ali Huseynli. He said that the first-reading draft was, in essence, encompassing the procedural basics of the interaction of courts of law, mediators, citizens and state departments with the mediation institute as well as the operating basics of the latter; the draft was of a harmonising nature, Mr Huseynli added. Those are the amendments to the Labour, Civil Procedural, Family, Civil, Tax, Criminal Procedural and Administrative Procedural Codes of the Azerbaijan Republic as well as to the Code of Administrative offences and the laws ‘On the Social Insurance’, ‘On Medical Insurance’, ‘On the State Duty’, ‘On the Judicial and Legal Council’ and ‘On Administrative Proceedings’.

Deliberations followed. The MPs Razi Nurullayev, Mushfig Jafarov, Aghiya Nakhchivanli and Siyavush Novruzov made their respective opinions known. First Vice-Speaker commented on them and answered the questions asked. Subsequently, the Bill was voted through the first reading. Besides, the Milli Majlis also met with approval a number of improvements (again, in the first reading) to several articles of the Mediation Law.

Thus came the turn of the first reading of the draft amendments to the Azerbaijan Republic laws ‘On the Civil Service’, ‘On Serving in the Prosecution Authorities’, ‘On the Diplomatic Service’, ‘On Serving in the Justice Authorities’ and ‘On Serving in the Emergency Situations Authorities’ as well as to the Customs Authorities Service Charter enacted by the Law of the Azerbaijan Republic dated 7 December 1999, the State Tax Authorities Service Charter enacted by the Law of the Azerbaijan Republic dated 12 June 2001, the Azerbaijan Republic Internal Affairs Authorities Service Charter enacted by the Law of the Azerbaijan Republic dated 29 June 2001 and the Migration Authorities Service Charter enacted by the Law of the Azerbaijan Republic dated 4 December 2009. Those, too, were presented and overviewed by First Vice-Speaker Ali Huseynli who said that they would relieve civil servants enrolled in the special civil services of probation terms. The ultimate purpose of the document is to harmonise the legislation.

The Bill was approved in the first reading.

Next, the House looked at the amendments to the Civil Procedural and Administrative Procedural Codes of the Azerbaijan Republic, and the amendments to the State Duty Law and the Administrative Procedural Code (in the first reading). It was mentioned that they had been discussed at length by the Law Policy and State-Building Committee and by the Economic Policy, Industries and Enterprising Committee of the Milli Majlis.

As part of a thorough overview of the Bills, First Vice-Speaker reminded the assembled of the 2019 presidential decree ‘On Deepening the Reforms in the Judicial and Legal System’. That part of the decree’s execution that befell the Parliament was carried out successfully already with many laws enacted based on the recommendations of Mr President and in the context of the legislative reforms. Judges were appointed to courts of appeal and in the Supreme Court. Besides, the new employees demonstrate an outstanding quality of work.

Regarding the draft at issue, it should be said that it is going to be passed in continuation of the aforementioned decree’s execution, and is expected to come into effect on 1 October. The conceptually novel idea included in it is one of establishing complete written proceedings in response to the call of the times. The cassation degrees review and assess the legal aspect of a case, that is, proof is presented and a court passes its legal assessment. Factual circumstances of a case will have been scrutinised by the initial and appeal degrees of jurisdiction.

The new order to be installed will eliminate loss of time and counter-procedural relations noted to arise in some cases, according to Mr Huseynli who emphasised the importance of strengthening the preliminary (trial preparation) procedural institute within the judicial and legal system’s frameworks and referred also to those provisions of the tabled draft that concerned a digital judicial system. He stressed that the commercial courts already established in Azerbaijan were e-courts in essence; now, the Bill at hand will ensure the digitalisation of civil proceedings as well, which is a progressive step to take, in the opinion of Mr Huseynli.

First Vice-Speaker also clarified those legislative theses that had provoked a debate. He said that the bar community had given vent through the social networks to their critical view of the idea of raising fines. All the moot stipulations contained in the document will be subject of a public hearing involving MPs, solicitors and the law community as a whole before its second reading, according to Mr Huseynli.

Chairman of the Milli Majlis Committee for Economic Policy, Industries and Enterprising Tahir Mirkishili talked about the agenda item concerning the draft amendments to the State Duty Law. He said that those mainly were about the following three areas: a differential dependency between the state duty paid and the amount in controversy in each given case; spending a portion of the collected state duty payments on improving the social situation of the judicial administration staff; and regulating the work of the independent forensic expert assessor bodies emerging for the first time ever, complete with setting the certification fee that they will be bound to pay.

Tahir Mirkishili described how such matters were handled in the international practice.

Critical remarks and proposals were set forth by the MPs Zahid Oruj, Fazil Mustafa, Azay Guliyev, Ganira Pashayeva, Nurlan Hasanov, Aziz Alakbarov and Etibar Aliyev.

Deputy Chairman of the Supreme Court Chinghiz Asgarov shed light on several topics that had drawn the MPs’ attention.

After the deliberations had been over, the Bill containing amendments (in the first reading) to the Civil Procedural Code; the Bill containing amendments (in the first reading) to the Administrative Procedural Code; the Bill containing amendments (in the first reading) to the State Duty Law’; and the Bill containing amendments (in the first reading) to the Civil Procedural Code were voted through the first reading separately.

The sitting of the Milli Majlis was over.


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