By Sabina Idayatova
The next Plenum of the Azerbaijani Supreme Court was held under the patronage of Supreme Court Chairman Ramiz Rzayev on November 15.
The chairman of the Judicial-Legal Council, Minister of Justice Fikrat Mammadov, Prosecutor General Zakir Garalov, Interior Minister Ramil Usubov and head of department for work with Law-Enforcement Bodies at the Presidential Administration of Azerbaijan Fuad Alesgerov participated at the event.
Addressing the event, Ramil Usubov said road accidents death toll around the world was 1.2 million, with some 20 million injured in 2013 and the resulting damage estimated at $500 billion.
According to the minister, Azerbaijan has taken serious measures to ensure road traffic safety, but there are still problems and shortcomings in this field.
"Some 40.6 percent of the road accidents that occurred in Azerbaijan over the last four years were related to excessive speed, 33.3 percent to the violation of the rules of overtaking manoeuvre, and 3.2 percent to driving whilst intoxicated," Usubov said.
According to Usubov, in this regard the leadership of the Main Criminal Investigation Department of the Azerbaijani Interior Ministry will be given corresponding instructions and the issue will always be under special control.
Making a speech at the plenum, Azerbaijani Prosecutor General Zakir Garalov said that the movement of passenger buses in Azerbaijan is limited at night, resulting in a decrease in the number of road accidents.
According to Garalov, driving public transport vehicles while intoxicated is unacceptable.
Chairman of the Azerbaijani Supreme Court Ramiz Rzayev said that the number of traffic rules violations and commissioning of vehicles has increased in Azerbaijan.
The issue of judicial experience in criminal cases involving traffic rules violations and vehicle handling was widely discussed and analyzed at the plenary meeting.
It was determined that the criminal cases in this category be considered by the courts, mainly in accordance with the legislations. At the same time, some shortcomings made clear in regard to the determination of the facts in criminal cases of this type, as well as in the application of law.
"The number of people who died in traffic accidents reached 1200 people current year in Azerbaijan, which is a causes for concern," Azerbaijan`s Justice Minister Fikrat Mammadov said at the Supreme Court Plenum.
According to the Minister, a 2.5-fold increase in the number of vehicles in the last 10-12 years and the non-observance of traffic rules have led to an increase in the number of accidents.
"The number of crimes related to traffic accidents made up 3.4 percent of the total number of crimes in 2001, 6 percent in 2006, and 12 percent in 2012,"he said.
Mammadov said that the number of people convicted for committing a traffic accident has grown seven times, reaching 15 percent.
"Due to the lack of a common experience in courts, some 45 percent of the decisions taken by the courts of first instance have been annulled by appeal courts," the Minister said.
According to the Minister, activities of four judges have been suspended, the work place of six judges have been changed, and 39 judges have been subjected to disciplinary liability.
"All of this creates a need to make some changes in the legislation," Mammadov said.
Head of the Department for Work with Law-Enforcement Bodies at the Presidential Administration Fuad Alasgarov said in his speech during Plenum that factors leading to accidents should be eliminated in Azerbaijan.
Alesgerov expressed concern over the increased number of severe accidents.
According to the Department Head, no one has been convicted for commissioning technically defective vehicles so far.
Alasgarov highlighted the importance of the legal assessment of responsible people.
He also noted that some 10-15 percent of prisoners in Azerbaijan are people who have committed offenses related to traffic accidents in recent years.
Some 53 percent of inmates in district correctional institutions are people convicted for traffic accident, Alasgarov noted.
The growth of this index is mainly related to excessive speed and driving while intoxicated, Department Head of Presidential Administration of Azerbaijan said.
After the increase of penalties against drunk drivers, their number was reduced by half in the first half of the year compared to the same period last years, Alasgarov said.