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.