Azerbaijan, Baku, 24 January / Trend corr. К.Zarbaliyeva / The Parliamentary Assembly of Council of Europe rejected the list of candidates for the post of judge to the European Court of Human rights.
The list, which included the names of the Judge Khanlar Jajiyev, Rashad Hasanov, judge of Azizbayov District Court, and Judge Aygun Abdullayeva of Nasimi District Court, was unsuccessful during the meeting of the PACE subcommittee to select judges to the European Court of Human rights held in Paris on 17 December. The subcommittee made the decision to return the list to Azerbaijan for re-consideration. The decision taken by the subcommittee was that the proposed candidates did not meet PACE's demands.
Erkin Gadirov, the expert, reported to Trend that the professional level of judges in Azerbaijan was not high enough; nevertheless, bearing in mind there were specialists who had different high professional skills. "Unfortunately, the judges were not familiar with the languages demanded by the European Court, therefore, we cannot nominate their candidature. "One of the reasons for rejecting the list of candidates is that one of the candidates holds a higher post than the others. All three candidates should hold equal posts," he said.
Chingiz Askarov, the representative of Azerbaijan in the European Court, associated the reason for the rejection as being that most of the judges lacked the knowledge of foreign languages. However, according to Askarov, a lack of knowledge of foreign languages cannot be an indicator of the judges' professionalism.
A group of lawyers and human right activists, on the eve of the session, appealed to the Council of Europe to reject the Azerbaijani candidates nominated for the post of judge in the European Court. They claimed that the election process of the candidates was not transparent. According to Asgarov, when the vacancies were announced, the human rights activists and NGOs who had condemned the activities of the Court-Law Council did not nominate their candidates.
The election of the nominated candidates was based on their good knowledge of the official languages of the European Court and presidential rights of the European Court and European Convention, he said.
According to the rules, those with equivalent experience and skills can be nominated so they have a good chance of winning the post. However, Azerbaijan had violated this principle.
The list of the candidates from Azerbaijan was rejected for the first time in the October 2007 session of PACE for similar reasons.
Item 7 of Article 23 of the European Convention on the Fundamental Rights and Freedoms stipulates that the current judges must fulfill their obligations until new judges are appointed.
The problem regarding the election of the judges representing Azerbaijan in the European Court will be solved by the end of March, Samad Seyidov, the head of the Azerbaijani delegation in PACE said.
The judges are elected by the majority of the Parliament Assembly from a list of three candidates of the CE member-states. The judges of the European Court are elected for a term of six years. Those who are appointed to the post for the first time will serve a shorter term. The age limit is 70 years.