Baku Local Economic Court #1 did not grant the lawsuit filed by Media Monitoring Institute Public Union (MMI) against the Ministry of Justice for its refusal to register the organization.
The court decision was announced on June 9th by Judge Sevinj Aliyeva, reported MMI.
MMI was founded in April 2009. They appealed to the Ministry of Justice for registration six times, and only twice did they receive a response; both times these response violated legislation. It also became clear at the hearing that MMI’s registration documents have been lost. Justice Ministry representative Nasimi Guliyev claimed that the documents have been sent back to the Union, he was unable to provide evidence.
The Justice Ministry Legal Entities State Registration Officee violated the rules on the registration of organizations. The legislation stipulates that if there are missing elements in the registration documents, the documents should be returned to the applicant, with the missing elements indicated in order that they can be corrected.
Judge Sevinj Aliyeva met with the Ministry representative ahead of the hearing in her office. The meeting lasted 20 minutes. The representative then imemdiately left for the courtroom – MMI representatives saw this happen.
Judge Aliyeva’s statement, made without reference to the proved facts, was interesting. She stated that as the proceedings of the registration occurred in 2009-2010, it was not up to Baku Local Economic Court to consider the case. According to her, given that the Local Economic Courts only started operating on 1 January 2011, they should only consider the disputes that occured after this date. During her speech, the Judge stopped at several points told her secretary to not transcribe her speech. The Judge offered the plaintiffs the opportunity to appeal again to the Ministry, and then return to court if they believed the Ministry had broken the law.
However, MMI rejected the proposal and insisted on their claim. They demanded that the Judge to give a legal assessment of the legal violations over the past 2 years 2 months. Then the Judge rejected the lawsuit.
MMI will appeal against the decision. It deems the court decision a clear violation of the Law on Public Unions and the Law on State Registration of Legal Entities. The court decision once again indicates that the refusal to register the NGOs is a part of some kind of official policy.