Speaker: National Assembly, within the framework of its powers, should express its position on the situation around Armenia`s Constitutional Court

Arminfo, Armenia
Sept 16 2019
Speaker:  National Assembly, within the framework of its powers,  should express its position on the situation around Armenia`s  Constitutional Court 

ArmInfo. The National  Assembly of Armenia, within the framework of its authority, should  express its position on the situation around the Constitutional Court  of the Republic of Armenia. The Speaker of the National Assembly of  the Republic of Armenia Ararat Mirzoyan announced this on September  16.

According to him, the appeals of the Constitutional Court to the  Venice Commission and the European Court of Human Rights, adopted on  the basis of a statement by Robert Kocharyan, cannot but cause  concern. "Considering the situation that has arisen in and around the  Constitutional Court of the Republic of Armenia, I cannot but share  the public's concern about this," said the speaker, pointing out  primarily to the decisions of the Constitutional Court of September  4. According to Ararat Mirzoyan, when considering the case on the  basis of Robert Kocharyan's statement and making a decision, the  Constitutional Court did not make this issue a subject of proper  discussion. Moreover, without a justified reason, the Court rejected  the CC judge's statement that it was impossible for three members of  the CC to participate in the consideration of the case, which  demonstrates a clear bias against the applicant, thus calling into  question the provision of a fair trial.

In addition, in one of the special opinions submitted in connection  with the decision of Constitutional Court-1476, the co-rapporteur in  this case explicitly stated that the court had shown unreasonable  haste in making this decision and, in fact, stated that the decision  could be different if there was no such rush.  In the same opinion,  stating the complexity and public resonance of the problem underlying  the case, the co-rapporteur indirectly raised the need to consider  the issue in the oral procedure in the manner prescribed by the RA  Law "On the Constitutional Court", which, however, did not happen. At  the same time, the decision made in this way directly relates to the  case being considered in another court, in the framework of which the  prosecution concerns encroachments on democracy and the  constitutional order in Armenia and, therefore, has historical and  political importance for Armenia. The speaker also emphasized that  the Constitutional Court, without any obvious justification,  significantly deviated from the legal positions expressed by it for  more than ten years. Secondly, as the speaker noted, to this day  doubts remains about the procedure by which the Constitutional Court  submitted applications to the ECHR and the Venice Commission, given  the important circumstance that on July 18 the Constitutional Court  suspended consideration of these cases in accordance with the  procedural decisions of Constitutional Court 81. The Constitutional  Court has not yet provided the Armenian National Assembly, recognized  as the defendant in cases arising from the March 1 trial, the text of  its appeals to the ECHR and the Venice Commission in Armenian.

In response to the letter of the National Assembly's office addressed  to the Constitutional Court's office, an official letter was received  stating that the defendant in these cases is not the National  Assembly's apparatus, and the Armenian version of the statement  cannot be transferred to it. As regards the autonomy and political  influence of the Constitutional Court, Ararat Mirzoyan believes that  constitutional regulation, which entered into force in April 2018,  granted the judges of the Constitutional Court the right to elect the  chairman of the court. Meanwhile, a few days before the entry into  force of these regulations, on March 23, 2018, a member of the  Constitutional Court, political figure Gevorg Kostanyan ( previously  member of the RPA, member of the RPA parliamentary faction) was  appointed to the post of chairman of the Constitutional Court. This  appointment as well as Tovmasyan's tenure until 2035  in fact,  deprived the judges of the Constitutional Court of the opportunity to  elect the chairman of the court. "This was perceived by society as an  arbitrariness on the part of the ruling political party, aimed at  appointing its representative to the post of chairman of the  Constitutional Court, as well as an encroachment on the autonomy of  the Constitutional Court," the head of the Armenian parliament noted.

To recall, on September 4, the Constitutional Court of Armenia  granted the defense claim of Robert Kocharian – Article 35 of the RA  Criminal Code is recognized as unconstitutional, since it does not  provide for the functional inviolability of officials who are  specially protected by the Constitution, including circumstances that  exclude criminal proceedings or criminal prosecution. "This article  is found to be contrary to clause 4 of part 1 of article 27, part 1  of article 61, part 1 of article 63, articles 75 of the  Constitution," the Constitutional Court said. On the second appeal of  Kocharyan's defense on the review of compliance with the Constitution  of Part 2 of Article 135 of the Criminal Procedure Code of the  Republic of Armenia, the Constitutional Court recognized it as  complying with the main law of the country. Thus, the Constitutional  Court ruled that the verdicts adopted, in accordance with part 2 of  Article 179 of the Constitution, are final and come into force from  the moment they are published. It should be noted that Robert  Kocharian was arrested on charges of overthrowing the constitutional  order.

You may also like