During his message addressed to the RA National Assembly during its first session, RA President Serzh Sargsyan also talked about the law enforcement system. In particular, he said, “I also imagine a strong and cooperating law enforcement system that does not avoid responsibilities. Election of Prosecutor General and Ombudsman, formation of autonomous bodies and investigating committees… These are the constitutional tools that the Parliament will use to participate directly or indirectly in the improvement of the law enforcement system, or, more exactly, human rights defense system”.
The last sentence can be interpreted in two ways. Serzh Sargsyan either views law enforcement system and human rights protection on identical grounds or simply means that the Parliament will participate in the improvement of human rights protection, regarding it as a separate phenomenon.
In case of both interpretations, Serzh Sargsyan considerably misrepresents the concept of human protection (though in case of the first scenario, the distortion is much more considerable).
Renowned Polish human rights defender Marek Nowicki introduces the definitions of main principles and concepts related to human rights and their protection in his article entitled “What Are Human Rights”.
According to Nowicki, only individual-state relations are considered an object of human rights protection, and the essence and aim of human rights defense are the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms.
In other words, human rights defenders are people who protect the citizens’ fundamental rights and freedoms from the state. Not from separate state officials but from the state in general, as an integrity. And naturally, the state cannot protect anybody from itself.
Moreover, as a rule, human rights defenders often protect the citizens from violations by the law enforcement bodies. Law enforcement bodies protect the law, and human rights defenders protect people whose rights and freedoms are violated by the law enforcement bodies. Hence, human rights defenders and law enforcement bodies have quite different functions.
Serzh Sargsyan mentions in his speech that he imagines a law enforcement system that does not avoid responsibilities, and attributes the function of participating in the improvement of the law enforcement system to the parliament. However, the ambition to accommodate the state authorities in the domain of human rights protection is just an endorsement of failure to be held accountable and an attempt to view the supervisor and implementer on identical grounds, which will further decrease public trust towards the state.