WHAT CAN THE DECISION OF THE CONSTITUTIONAL COURT GIVE RESIDENTS WHO LOST THEIR HOUSES?
27 April 06
The present and potential victims of development of the city center
of Yerevan are coming together. The residents of Kozern neighborhood
and Dalma Gardens joined the residents of Buzand Street and North
Avenue. Their weapon is the decision of the Constitutional Court,
which assesses the government decisions on development of the City
Center, depriving the residents of their property, unconstitutional.
In a press conference on April 27 at the office of the People’s
Party the residents and their lawyers presented the opportunities of
restoring their rights, enabled by the Constitutional Court.
Lawyer Arthur Grigoryan states that there are two options, which
are determined by the “status” of a resident. The chances of
residents whose houses have been pulled down are not big. “In fact,
the decision of the Constitutional Court cannot have a practical
effect for them, because their houses have been wildly demolished,
bulldozed, and their houses do not exist any more. If the decision
of the Constitutional Court is used to review those decisions,
their houses cannot be returned to them. For payment of damages,
the decision of the Constitutional Court might involve the problem
that the legislative and the executive decide the regime and size
of compensation,” says Attorney Arthur Grigoryan. At any rate,
the residents should claim for compensation. The first ombudsman of
Armenia Larissa Alaverdyan believes that the residents demand payment
of moral damages apart from material damages.
The decision of the Constitutional Court may favor the citizens
whose houses have not been pulled down yet but the orders are already
there. Attorney Arthur Grigoryan says these people can go to court
again, because the decision of the Constitutional Court is a new
circumstance. “In this case the citizens keep the immunity of their
property if no procedures are established on the basis of new legal
acts,” says the lawyer.
“We will go all the way until we win. We live in this country, we
are the masters of this country, not the robber, pardon, government,”
says Vachagan Hakobyan, the leader of the residents of North Avenue.
Attorney Arthur Grigoryan says the government, the City Hall or
the agencies dealing with development cannot go to court and get a
ruling on eviction of residents, if the legal acts, recognized as
unconstitutional are made to comply with the Constitution. “If such
acts are applied, if it is ever reported that the court accepted
a similar claim, I announce that such a decision would be a vivid
example of voluntarism,” says Arthur Grigoryan.