Tuesday, 2 Jun 2020

‘COVID19, corruption and legal culture’ by Ramil Iskandarli (for Mediapost)

Today, at a time when COVID19 is spreading almost all over the world, the most important task of states at the national level is to ensure the health and safety of their citizens. In general, international experts believe that the countries that will get rid of the COVID19 virus sooner should have the following indicators:
– Developed economy
– Developed health care infrastructure and personnel
– Low level of corruption

As you can see, the fact that the fight against corruption is carried out at the desired level means solution of ‘1/3’ of the problem. Such a long break in many countries due to COVID19, and the fact that the health systems of the countries are working under high pressure, as a result, leads to the risk of corruption in the system. This is especially true in developing countries, where the number of people infected with the coronavirus is high.
From this point of view, Azerbaijan does not belong to this category of countries for three reasons. First, Azerbaijan has a very clear and purposeful strategy and implementation plan under the leadership of the President in the fight against COVID 19. Secondly, Azerbaijan has a state strategy and the adopted action plan to combat corruption. We can also say that in recent months there has been a turning point in the fight against corruption. Thus, some officials have been exposed on several corruption offenses, both nationally and locally. Finally, the number of people infected with COVID19 in Azerbaijan, in comparison with other countries, is not so high.

However, I can add to the opinion of experts that, the preventive and educational measures taken to improve the legal culture of citizens are very important. Legal culture means to bring up citizens who unconditionally follow, do not violate and are not indifferent to the rules and regulations that our society needs the most today.
My personal opinion is that in parallel with enlightening activities, it is necessary to apply administrative measures. The most acceptable of these are administrative detention and fines. As an example, a few years ago in Azerbaijan, in addition to awareness-raising activities on pedestrian crossings, fines were imposed as well. At the next stage, a legal culture was formed, which has become a habit related to pedestrian crossings. Now almost all drivers give way to pedestrians at pedestrian crossings, and citizens have minimized the practice of crossing the road in unauthorized places.
I hope that in the fight against COVID 19, we will achieve radical changes in statistics in the formation of legal culture and, finally, the solution of the problem in the near future.
Ramil Iskandarli
Legal Analysis and Researches Public Union
For Mediapost