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2017

November 18, 2017

MEETING AT THE HOLY SEE

On November 18, within the framework of the International Conference in Rome, Mr G. Harutyunyan, the President of the RA Constitutional Court, the President of the Board of Trustees of “The Constitutional Culture” International Analytical Centre met with Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Secretary of State of the Holy See.

Mr Harutyunyan informed the Secretary of State about the objectives of the creation of “The Constitutional Culture” International Analytical Centre, the programs implemented and the upcoming events. At the request of the Secretary of State, Mr Harutyunyan presented the program of the International Conference on “Challenges of Spiritual and Legal Behavior of Contemporary Individual and Imperatives of their Overcoming”, as well as the key issues discussed within the framework of the Conference.

During the meeting, the parties touched upon the necessity of adopting a more consistent approach to the issue of persecution of Christians in the Near East and the protection of their rights.

The RA CC Press Service

November 18, 2017

INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE IN ROME

On November 17-18, the International Conference on “Challenges of Spiritual and Legal Behavior of Contemporary Individual and Imperatives of their Overcoming” was organized in the Great Hall of the Pontifical Oriental Institute of Rome, by “The Constitutional Culture” International Analytical Centre and “The Center of the Constitutional Law of the Republic of Armenia”, in association with the Pontifical Oriental Institute of the Holy See. The Conference was attended by the delegations of the Constitutional Courts of a number of countries, senior officials of the Holy See, well-known constitutionalists from Austria, Hungary, Russia, Slovenia, Georgia, Macedonia, Serbia, Ireland, Iceland, Italy, France and Tajikistan.

H.E. Prof. GagikHarutyunyan, the President of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Armenia, the President of the Board of Trustees of “The Constitutional Culture” International Analytical Centre, and Rev. Fr. David Nazar SJ, the Rector of the Pontifical Oriental Institute delivered welcoming addresses. The opening speeches were made by H.E. Mr. Gianni Buquicchio, the President of the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe, H. Em. Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, the Prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches, H. Em. Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio, the President of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, Rev. Fr. Georges H. Ruyssen, SJ, the Dean of the Faculty of Canon Law of the Pontifical Oriental Institute.

At I Plenary Session (Chair: Prof. Andras Sajo, the Central European University, the former Vice-President of the European Court of Human Rights) the following presentations were made: “Imperatives of Constitutionalization of Social and Legal Behavior of Human Being” by Prof. Gagik Harutyunyan, the President of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Armenia, the President of the Board of Trustees of “The Constitutional Culture” International Analytical Centre, “The Value of the Individual in Contemporary Constitutional Culture and the Ethico-Legal Challenges of Biomedicine” by Dr. Ann Power-Forde, the Presiding Constitutional Court Judge Kosovo Specialist Chambers, the former Judge of the European Court of Human Rights, “Legal Subjectivity of Nasciturus and His Right to Life” by Dr. Boštjan M. Zupancic, LL.M., S.J.D. (Harv.), the Professor of Law, the former Judge of the European Court of Human Rights, “Human Dignity and the Right to Life” by Prof. Robert Spano, the Judge and President of Section of the European Court of Human Rights. The topics covered in the presentations were discussed at questions and answers session.

At II Plenary Session (Chair: Prof. Gagik Harutyunyan, the President of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Armenia, the President of the Board of Trustees of “The Constitutional Culture” International Analytical Center) the following presentations were made: “Current Challenges to the Spiritual Character of a Modern Individual: the Role of State and Church in their Overcoming” by Archbishop Yeznik Petrosyan, the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, the General Secretary of the Bible Society of Armenia, “Solidarity in Contemporary Constitutional Thought” by Prof. Andras Sajo, the Central European University, the former Vice-President of the European Court of Human Rights, “Dialectics between Value and Values: A Philosophical Perspective on Historical Evolution and Contemporary Problems” by H.G. Levon Zekiyan, the Archieparch of Catholic Armenians of Istanbul and Turkey, Professor at the Pontifical Oriental Institute.

The topics covered in the presentations were discussed at questions and answers session.

At III Plenary Session (Chair: Ms. Vesna Ilic-Prelic, the President of the Constitutional Court of Serbia) the following presentations were made: “From Constitutional Objective to Constitutional Imperative. A Сase Study of Abolition of Capital Punishment by Judicial Review” by Prof. Bakhtiyar Tuzmukhamedov, the Vice-President of the Russian Association of International Law, Member-elect of the Committee Against Torture, Judge (retired) of the Appeals Chamber of the UN International Criminal Tribunals for Rwanda and for the former Yugoslavia, “A Sacred Book of Constitution: Values, Ideals and Rights in a Post-Soviet Reality” by Prof. KonstantineVardzelashvili, Ilia State University Law School, the Former Vice-Chair of the Constitutional Court of Georgia, the Former Member of the UN Human Rights Committee.

The topics covered in the presentations were discussed at questions and answers session.

At IV Plenary Session (Chair: Dr. Boštjan M. Zupancic, LL.M., S.J.D. (Harv.), Professor of Law, the former Judge of the European Court of Human Rights) the following presentations were made: “The Constitutional Culture “Enlightenment approach” in the “Post-Secular age” - A Few Contemporary Balkans Insights” by Prof. Tanja Karakamisheva-Jovanovska, PhD, the Member of the Venice Commission and full time Constitutional law Professor at the Faculty of Law “Iustinianus Primus” Skopje, Republic of Macedonia, “Legal Implementation of Ethno-Religious Values in the Constitutional Development of States” by Dr. Aleksei Liverovskii, Professor, the Scientific Director of the Faculty of Law of St. Petersburg State University of Economics (UNECON), Head of the Department of Constitutional Law.

The topics covered in the presentations were discussed at questions and answers session.

Within the framework of the Conference, the solemn ceremony of awarding the Order for Outstanding Contributions in the Field of Law for the Humanitarian Mission, established by the “The Constitutional Culture” International Analytical Centre took place. By the decision of the Board of Trustees of the “The Constitutional Culture” International Analytical Centre in honor of Mr Varuzhan Burmayan, the Order was awarded to Mrs. Hilda Tiruhi Burmayan, his wife.

On November 18, two round tables were organized where the methodology of the constitutional monitoring by G. Harutyunyan, H. Sargsyan and R. Gevorgyan was presented.

At the end of the International Conference, reception on behalf of H.E. Mr. Mikayel Minasyan, Ambassador Plenipotentiary and Extraordinary of the Republic of Armenia to the Holy See was organized for the participants of the International Conference and representatives of the diplomatic corps, during which the presentation of the Stand Together program for the protection of Christian rights in the Near East was presented.

The RA CC Press Service

Photos 1 | 2 | 3

November 16, 2017

WORKING MEETING AT THE CONSTITUTIONAL COURT OF ITALY

On 16 November, during the trip to Rome G. Harutyunyan, the President of the RA Constitutional Court met at the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Italy with Mr Giorgio Lattanzi, the Vice-President of the Court and Mr Giancarlo Coraggio, Judge at the Court.

At the request of the Italian side, G. Harutyunyan, the President of the RA Constitutional Court presented the process of constitutional reforms in the Republic of Armenia. The parties discussed the electoral legislation of the two countries and the role of the Constitutional Courts in building sustainable democratic systems.

G. Harutyunyan presented the objectives and expectations of the International Conference on “Challenges of Spiritual and Legal Behavior of Contemporary Individual and Imperatives of their Overcoming” organized by the joint efforts of “The Constitutional Culture” International Analytical Centre and the Pontifical Oriental Institute of the Holy See which will take place in Rome on November 17-18 and be attended by constitutionalists, members of constitutional courts and international experts in constitutional law.

During the meeting, the legal cooperation between the two countries and approaches designed to deepen cooperation between the Constitutional Courts of Armenia and Italy were discussed. A. Gyulumyan, Member of the RA Constitutional Court and A. Minasyants, Head of the Division of International Relations of the RA Constitutional Court also attended the meeting.

The RA CC Press Service

November 2, 2017

INVITATION FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE

From October 30 to November 3, at the invitation of the Faculty of Law and the Center for Public Law at the University of Cambridge (Great Britain), Mr G. Harutyunyan, President of the RA Constitutional Court, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the International Analytical Center “Constitutional Culture,” delivered a lecture on “The main tendencies of constitutional developments in the countries of Eastern Europe and the former USSR” for academic staff of the Public Law Center at the University of Cambridge. The participants raised several questions, a number of important and precedentail decisions of the RA Constitutional Court were analyzed, as well as the characteristic features of the constitutional developments in the Republic of Armenia were analyzed in the framework of comparative analysis.

Within the framework of the working visit, Mr Harutyunyan had meetings with Professor Richard Fentiman, Chair of the Faculty of Law at the University of Cambridge, Professor David Feldman, Director of the Center for Public Law, and Mr David Wills, Squire Law Librarian.

Mr Harutyunyan presented his new monographs in English to the library of the Faculty of Law and the Center for Public Law at the University of Cambridge.

During the meeting with the Chair of the Faculty of Law at the University of Cambridge, issues of current constitutional and legal developments in the Republic of Armenia, and the main domestic and international approaches to the issues of formation and development of constitutional culture were considered.

During the meeting with the Director of the Center for Public Law at the University of Cambridge, the main perspectives of further cooperation with the Center were considered. The parties specifically outlined the need for active steps to expand cooperation of the Center for Public Law and the International Analytical Center “Constitutional Culture.”

The RA CC Press Service

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October 20, 2017

XXII YEREVAN INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ENDED

On October 19, XXII Yerevan International Conference ended with the discussion of the topic “The Role of the Constitutional Courts in Overcoming Constitutional Conflicts.”

Session 3 was chaired by Mr. Gagik Harutyunyan, President of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Armenia. Reports were presented by Mr. Mogoeng Mogoeng, Chief Justice of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of South Africa (title of report: “The Role of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of South Africa in Overcoming Constitutional Conflicts”), Mr. Felix Tokhyan, Member of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Armenia (title of report: “The Role of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Armenia in Overcoming the Constitutional Conflicts”), and Ms. Desanka Lopičić, Judge, former President of the Constitutional Court of Montenegro (title of report: “Role of the Constitutional Court of Montenegro in Protection of Legal Order").

The Conference was summed up by Mr. Gagik Harutyunyan, President of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Armenia, presiding at the Session. He gladly noted that the two-day dialogue on the topic “The Role of the Constitutional Courts in Overcoming Constitutional Conflicts” was successful. The conference provided an opportunity to understand whether conflicts in one or another country could lead to a constitutional crisis if they were not overcome in time. The constitutional courts actually have to play an essential role in overcoming constitutional conflicts.

In his speech, Mr. Harutyunyan said: “We must act as a conciliator and the supporter of the rule of the Constitution, and pay the most attention to the issue of the constitutional identity of the individual. The constitutional identity of the individual is primarily determined by the fact that we are carriers of civil values. We must not forget that the Constitution is, above all, the constitutional axiology of the individual, and we must implement constitutional values by guaranteeing the basic principles of the constitution. The constitutions should have the axiological basis that derives from a common sense of the values of a given society. Constitutional identity as a set of civil values of the individual must always be put at the forefront.”

Mr. Harutyunyan shared his beliefs with colleagues-participants of the Conference as a person who studied constitutions of 117 countries of the world. In his opinion, the way to avoid constitutional crises is to overcome constitutional conflicts, and we should be able to promote legal and constitutional amendments that would guarantee the rule of the Constitution.

Mr. Harutyunyan said: “In my opinion, it is extremely important for each state that the rule of law underlied the social behavior of each individual, each citizen, the rule of law underlied the political conduct of each political institution of the state, and the rule of law underlied the public conduct of public authority.”

Mr. Harutyunyan once again thanked the participants of the Conference for the presence and active participation in discussions of important issues. Then he handed over gold commemorative medals of the RA Constitutional Court “For effective cooperation and a significant role in the sphere of constitutional justice” to persons to be awarded those medals according to the Decision of the RA Constitutional Court.

Ms. Herdis Kjerulf Thorgeirsdottir, Vice President of the Venice Commission; Mr. Igor Rogov, Chairman of the Conference of the Constitutional Control Organs of the Countries of New Democracy, President of the Constitutional Council of the Republic of Kazakhstan; Ms. Ineta Ziemele, President of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Latvia; Mr. Mogoeng Mogoeng, Chief Justice of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of South Africa; Mr. Petr Miklashevich, President of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Belarus; Mr. Gunars Kutris, Former President of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Latvia; Mr. Giorgi Papuashvili, Former President of the Constitutional Court of Georgia; Ms. Desanka Lopičić, Former President of the Constitutional Court of Montenegro; Mr. Sergey Mavrin, Vice President of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation, Ms. Olga Khokhryakova, Vice President of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation; Dr. Christoph Degenhart, Judge of the Constitutional Court of Saxony were awarded.

Afterwards, XXII Yerevan International Conference ended.

Today, at noon, Mr. Serzh Sargsyan, President of the Republic of Armenia hosted the participants of the Conference. Within the framework of the Conference, the guests visited the Matenadaran, Tsitsernakaberd, the National Gallery.

Tomorrow, on October 21, the guests will visit “Zvartnots” Historical and Cultural Museum and Sergey Parajanov Museum.

The RA CC Press Service

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October 19, 2017

XXII YEREVAN INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE STARTED

On October 19, XXII Yerevan International Conference started. Topic “THE ROLE OF THE CONSTITUTIONAL COURTS IN OVERCOMING CONSTITUTIONAL CONFLICTS.”

Organizers of the Conference: CONSTITUTIONAL COURT OF THE REPUBLIC OF ARMENIA, EUROPEAN COMMISSION FOR DEMOCRACY THROUGH LAW OF THE COUNCIL OF EUROPE (VENICE COMMISSION), CONFERENCE OF THE CONSTITUTIONAL CONTROL ORGANS OF THE COUNTRIES OF NEW DEMOCRACY, “CONSTITUTIONAL CULTURE” INTERNATIONAL ANALYTICAL CENTER. With the support of the ARMENIAN OFFICE OF THE GERMAN INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION (GIZ).

Mr. Gagik Harutyunyan, President of the RA Constitutional Court opened the Conference.

Mr. Harutyunyan greeted all the participants of the Conference who kindly responded to the invitation and took part in the traditionally convened XXII Yerevan International Conference dedicated to one of the key issues of constitutional justice. In recent years, the number of participants in Yerevan International Conference from different countries has exceeded one thousand. A huge army of colleagues and associates has been formed. The experience of past years shows that such discussions and the legal positions expressed by constitutional courts have become an important source of constitutional developments in many countries. This is also evidenced by the constitutional reforms in our country in 2015, in which the legal positions of the RA Constitutional Court were mainly reflected.

Mr. Harutyunyan is convinced that guaranteeing the rule of the Constitution cannot be complete, unless the direct implementation of human rights is guaranteed and unless there are effective mechanisms for resolving constitutional disputes. He noted the special significance of the experiences of the Constitutional Court of the Federal Republic of Germany. Taking this into consideration, Professor Christoph Degenhart from the German Federation was invited as the main speaker of this Conference, who kindly agreed to share his considerations with us on the key issue that has been the subject of discussion.

According to Mr. Harutyunyan, Yerevan Conferences have left a mark on the solution of many key issues of constitutional justice, legislative and institutional reforms, and the establishment of constitutional legitimacy in our countries, and the reports and discussions at this Conference will complement the progressive approaches to this issue and allow finding the best procedural solutions considering also the peculiarities of such cases in the constitutional courts. Mr. Harutyunyan drew particular attention to the establishment of “Constitutional Culture” International Analytical Center, the founding members of which are 45 well-known constitutionalists from 19 countries of the world. He also expressed the conviction that the Center will become one of the major flag-bearers in the world for the establishment of constitutional democracy and strengthening of constitutional culture. One of the evidences of this is that the first international conference of the Center will be convened this year on November 17-18 in Rome, in cooperation with the Holy See.

Mr. Harutyunyan expressed his gratitude to the Venice Commission for many years of cooperation, and emphasized: “I have been a member of this committee since 1997, and later on as a member of the Bureau of the Commission, and I can state without a doubt that the role of the Venice Commission in the international practice is particularly important in establishing the rule of law, strengthening democratic processes and, in particular, the support to the establishment of constitutional courts. I greet my longtime friend Ms Herdis Kjerulf Thorgeirsdottir, Vice-President of the Venice Commission, and Tatiana Mychelova, who represents the Secretariat of the Commission for participating in this Conference.”

Continuing his welcoming speech, Mr. Harutyunyan said: “Many of you also remember that the First World Congress of Constitutional Courts was held in 2009 in Cape Town, the Republic of South Africa. It is very symbolic that today Mr Mogoeng Mogoeng, Chief Justice of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of South Africa and a good friend of mine also participates in XXII Yerevan International Conference of the constitutional courts.”

Delegations representing the bodies of constitutional justice from Algeria, Bulgaria, Belarus, Ethiopia, Latvia, Croatia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Macedonia, Montenegro, the Russian Federation, Serbia, Georgia and Tajikistan also participate in the Conference. I express my gratitude to all our guests and wish them good luck in Armenia.

On behalf of all of us, I would like to congratulate my good friend Igor Rogov, Chairman of the Constitutional Council of Kazakhstan on the occasion of being elected President of the International Conference of Constitutional Courts of the Countries of New Democracy last month.

I express special gratitude to Gunars Kutris, Former President of the Constitutional Court of Latvia, Giorgi Papuashvili, Former President of the Constitutional Court of Georgia, and Desanka Lopicic, Former President of the Constitutional Court of Montenegro for accepting my invitation and attending this Conference.

I would also like to express my gratitude to Ms Voutova, Head of Council of Europe Office in Yerevan for delivering a welcome speech at our Conference.

I am also grateful to the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in the Republic of Armenia and the German Corporation for International Cooperation (GIZ) office in Yerevan for always supporting us in organizing Yerevan International Conferences.

Ms. Herdis Kjerulf Thorgeirsdottir, Vice President of the Venice Commission, Mr. Bernhard Matthias Kiesler, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Federal Republic of Germany in the Republic of Armenia, and Ms. Natalia Voutova, Head of the Council of Europe Office in Armenia also delivered welcoming speech at the Conference.

Session 1 was chaired by Ms. Ineta Ziemele, President of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Latvia. Reports were presented by Dr. Christoph Degenhart, Professor, Faculty of Law at the University of Leipzig, Judge of the Constitutional Court of Saxony (title of report: “The Role of Constitutional Courts in Conflicts between Constitutional Bodies”), and Mr. Tomislav Stojkovic, Judge of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Serbia (title of report: “Constitutional Court in Constitutional Conflicts with Ordinary Courts – Experiences of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Serbia”).

Discussions on the issues discussed followed the reports.

At the end of the break, reports were delivered by Mr. Igor Rogov, President of the Constitutional Council of the Republic of Kazakhstan (title of report: “The Constitutional Council in the System of the Separation of Powers”), Mr. Sergey Mavrin, Vice President of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation (title of report: “The Role of the Constitutional Court of Russia in Overcoming the Constitutional Conflicts”), and Ms. Alvina Gyulumyan, Member of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Armenia (title of report: “Constitutional Conflicts and Role of the Constitutional Court in Comparative Perspective”).

Session 1 ended with questions and answers, as well as discussion of topics.

Session 2 was chaired by Ms. Herdis Kjerulf Thorgeirsdottir, Vice President of the Venice Commission. Reports were presented by Ms. Ineta Ziemele, President of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Latvia (title of report: “Protection of the Core of the Constitutional Identity by the Constitutional Court”), Ms. Cholpon Osmonova, Judge of the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court of the Kyrgyz Republic (title of report: “The Role of the Constitutional Court in Overcoming of the Constitutional Conflicts”), and Mr. Petr Miklashevich, President of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Belarus (title of report: “State Power: the Constitutional-Legal Regulations”).

Today, the Conference ended with questions and answers, as well as discussion of topics.

On October 20, the Conference will continue its work.

The RA CC Press Service

Photos 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

October 18, 2017

XXII YEREVAN INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE

On October 19, XXII Yerevan International Conference will start at the lobby of hall of Artist’s Union of Armenia. Topic: “THE ROLE OF THE CONSTITUTIONAL COURTS IN OVERCOMING CONSTITUTIONAL CONFLICTS”. Organizers: CONSTITUTIONAL COURT OF THE REPUBLIC OF ARMENIA, EUROPEAN COMMISSION FOR DEMOCRACY THROUGH LAW OF THE COUNCIL OF EUROPE (VENICE COMMISSION), CONFERENCE OF THE CONSTITUTIONAL CONTROL ORGANS OF THE COUNTRIES OF NEW DEMOCRACY, “CONSTITUTIONAL CULTURE” INTERNATIONAL ANALYTICAL CENTER. With the support of the ARMENIAN OFFICE OF THE GERMAN INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION (GIZ).

PROGRAMME

Opening and Welcoming Speeches

*Mr. Gagik HarutyunyanPresident of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Armenia

*Ms. Herdis Kjerulf ThorgeirsdottirVice President of the Venice Commission

*Mr. Bernhard Matthias KieslerAmbassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Federal Republic of Germany in the Republic of Armenia

*Ms. Natalia VoutovaHead of the Council of Europe Office in Armenia.

Chairpersons of constitutional courts, Judges of constitutional courts, as well as constitutionalists from many countries take part in the Conference.

Session 1

Chaired by Ms. Ineta Ziemele - President of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Latvia

10.30 – 12.00 – Presentation of Reports

Dr. Christoph Degenhart - Professor, Faculty of Law at the University of Leipzig, Judge of the Constitutional Court of Saxony. Title of report: “The Role of Constitutional Courts in Conflicts between Constitutional Bodies.”

Mr. Tomislav Stojkovic – Judge of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Serbia. Title of report: “Constitutional Court in Constitutional Conflicts with Ordinary Courts – Experiences of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Serbia.”

12.00 – 12.30 – Coffee break

12.30 – 14.00 – Presentation of Reports, Q/A session and discussion

Mr. Igor Rogov – President of the Constitutional Council of the Republic of Kazakhstan. Title of report: “The Constitutional Council in the System of the Separation of Powers.”

Mr. Sergey Mavrin – Vice President of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation. Title of report: “The Role of the Constitutional Court of Russia in Overcoming the Constitutional Conflicts.”

Ms. Alvina Gyulumyan – Member of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Armenia. Title of report: “Constitutional Conflicts and Role of the Constitutional Court in Comparative Perspective.”

Session 2

Chaired by Ms. Herdis Kjerulf Thorgeirsdottir

15.30 – 16.30 – Presentation of Reports, Q/A session and discussion

Ms. Ineta Ziemele – President of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Latvia. Title of report: “Protection of the Core of the Constitutional Identity by the Constitutional Court.”

Ms. Cholpon Osmonova – Judge of the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court of the Kyrgyz Republic. Title of report: “The Role of the Constitutional Court in Overcoming of the Constitutional Conflicts.”

Mr. Petr Miklashevich – President of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Belarus. Title of report: “State Power: the Constitutional-Legal Regulations.”

October 20
(Friday)
Session 3

Chaired by Mr. Gagik Harutyunyan – President of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Armenia

10.00 – 11.30 – Presentation of Reports, Q/A session and discussion

Mr. Mogoeng Mogoeng – Chief Justice of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of South Africa. Title of report: “The Role of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of South Africa in Overcoming Constitutional Conflicts.”

Mr. Felix Tokhyan – Member of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Armenia. Title of report: “The Role of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Armenia in Overcoming the Constitutional Conflicts.”

Ms. Desanka Lopičić – Judge, former President of the Constitutional Court of Montenegro. Title of report: “Role of the Constitutional Court of Montenegro in Protection of Legal Order."

12.30 – 12.30 - Summarizing the activities of the Conference.

The RA CC Press Service

October 12, 2017

FAREWELL VISIT OF AMBASSADOR OF BRAZIL

On October 12, G. Harutyunyan, President of the RA Constitutional Court hosted H.E. Edson Marinho Duarte Monteiro, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Federal Republic of Brazil to Armenia.

The Ambassador presented the activities carried out during his stay in Armenia for developing bilateral relations and thanked for assistance.

At the request of the Ambassador, Mr Harutyunyan presented the process of constitutional reforms in the Republic of Armenia, as well as highlighted the cooperation and further development of the Brazil Supreme Federal Court and the RA Constitutional Court. Mr.Harutyunyan wished the Ambassador success in his further activity.

The RA CC Press Service

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September 13, 2017

WORLD FOURTH CONGRESS CONCLUDED THE WORK

A plenary session entitled "Law and State" was held within the framework of the Fourth Congress of the World Conference on Constitutional Justice in Vilnius. Professor Alexandru Tănase presented a comprehensive comparative analysis based on national reports.

Professor Gagik Harutyunyan, President of the RA Constitutional Court, Doctor of Law presented an opponent report (the full text of the report is available online with the following link) at the plenary session.

The plenary session entitled "Law and Individual" was held in the framework of the Congress. According to the practice, the issue of independence of the Constitutional Courts was discussed within the framework of a separate plenary session.

During the final session of the Congress, the issues raised by the speakers of the plenary sessions were summed up.

The Congress concluded its work with the adoption of the Vilnius communiqué, which summed up the main results of the Congress.

The RA CC Press Service

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September 12, 2017

4TH WORLD CONGRESS IN VILNIUS

On September 11, 4th Congress of the World Conference on Constitutional Justice on “The Rule of Law and Constitutional Justice in the Modern World.” launched in Vilnius, Republic of Lithuania. The Congress was attended by delegations of constitutional justice institutions from 90 countries.

The delegation of the Republic of Armenia was headed by G. Harutyunyan, President of the RA Constitutional Court, Chairman of the Conference of Constitutional Control Organs of the Countries of New Democracy.

On September 11, within the framework of the Congress, the meeting between the participants of the Conference of Constitutional Control Organs of the Countries of New Democracy was held (chaired by Mr. Harutyunyan), where the issues of the activities of the Organization were discussed.

The same day, the session of the Member States of the Conference of European Constitutional Courts was held within the framework of the Congress.

On September 11, G. Harutyunyan, Chairman of the Conference of Constitutional Control Organs of the Countries of New Democracy attended the session of the Bureau of the World Conference. Within the framework of the Session of the Bureau, the participants decided to hold the 5th Congress of the World Conference in Algeria in 2020. The report of the Conference Secretariat was approved and the main issues of the organization of the Plenary Sessions were discussed.

On September 12, the official opening ceremony of the Congress, attended by Ms. H. E. Dalia Grybauskaite, President of the Republic of Lithuania, Mr. Linos-Alexander Sicilianos, Vice-President of the European Court of Human Rights, and Mr. Gianni Buquicchio, President of the Venice Commission was held, followed by the Plenary Sessions of the Congress.

The RA CC Press Service

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July 10, 2017

EXPERT GROUP OF THE VENICE COMMISSION AT THE RA CONSTITUTIONAL COURT

Members of the expert group of the Venice Commission presented an opinion on draft Judicial Code of the Republic of Armenia.

The expert group included co-rapporteurs Johan Hirschfeldt, Nicolae Esanu, Guido Neppi Modona, as well as Grigory Dikov from the EU Secretariat.

On July 10, the expert group had a meeting with Gagik Harutyunyan, President of the RA Constitutional Court.

A number of conceptual issues related to the Code were discussed at the meeting.

The meeting was attended by Siranush Sahakyan and Gagik Ghazinyan, members of the Specialized Commission on Constitutional Reforms adjunct to the President of the Republic of Armenia.

The RA CC Press Service

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July 7, 2017

SEMINAR WITH THE PARTICIPATION OF THE GERMAN SPECIALIST

The cooperation of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Armenia and the GIZ program “Legal and Judicial Reform Advice in South Caucasus” (Vardan Poghosyan, Team-Leader in Armenia) has a long history. The members and the staff of the Constitutional Court take part in the seminars on the functions of the Constitutional Court and facilitating the adoption of advanced German experience, which are periodically organized for the staff of the RA Constitutional Court.

The regular seminar was held on July 7 with support of the aforementioned program and with the participation of Prof. Dr. Christoph Degenhart, holder of the Chair of Constitutional and Administrative Law and Law of Media at Leipzig University and Member of the Constitutional Court of the State of Saxony. “Resolution of disputes arising between constitutional bodies with respect to their constitutional powers by the Constitutional Court” was the topic of discussions.

The seminar was opened by Gagik Harutyunyan, President of the RA Constitutional Court, who emphasized the relevance of the topic under discussion and underlined the cooperation that has become a tradition between the two structures.

Mr. Christoph Degenhart presented a report on “Resolution of disputes arising between constitutional bodies with respect to their constitutional powers in Germany”.

There was an active discussion on the report, and the questions put to the professor were answered exhaustively.

Professor G. Harutyunyan, President of the RA Constitutional Court made a report on “Resolution of disputes arising between constitutional bodies with respect to their constitutional powers in the context of constitutional amendments in the Republic of Armenia”.

An exchange of views took place between the rapporteurs and participants of the seminar.

Summing up the seminar, G. Harutyunyan, President of the RA Constitutional Court thanked everyone for the useful discussion and noted its importance in the context of drafting the Law of the Republic of Armenia on the Constitutional Court.

The RA CC Press Service

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July 6, 2017

DISCUSSION OF THE DRAFT LAW OF THE REPUBLIC OF ARMENIA ON THE CONSTITUTIONAL COURT

On July 6, before the discussion of the draft Law of the Republic of Armenia on the Constitutional Court, at the Specialized Commission on Constitutional Reforms adjunct to the President of the Republic of Armenia the RA Constitutional Court together with the RA Ministry of Justice, the Standing Committee on State and Legal Affairs and Protection of Human Rights of the National Assembly of the Republic of Armenia, with support of the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ) held a working discussion of the draft at the Constitutional Court.

In the course of further discussion of the project, undoubtedly, the rich experience of the RA Constitutional Court for recent years on the basis of the current Law, as well as new proposals of the members of the Constitutional Court will also be taken into account. The main objective is to have the most perfect project.

Today, Prof. Dr. Christoph Degenhart, holder of the Chair of Constitutional and Administrative Law and Law of Media at Leipzig University and Member of the Constitutional Court of the State of Saxony is invited to participate in the discussion of this project. He presented his views on the draft Law of the Republic of Armenia on the Constitutional Court.

During the discussions, an exchange of views, questions and answers took place.

On July 7, a seminar will be held for the staff of the RA Constitutional Court, and with the participation of Mr. Christoph Degenhart, the issues of submission and consideration of applications at the Constitutional Court, as well as enforcement of the decisions of the Constitutional Court, the implementation of its new powers and a number of issues regarding other peculiarities will be discussed.

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The RA CC Press Service

May 16, 2017

INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE STARTED

On May 16, the 7th International Legal Forum started in St. Petersburg, within the framework of which the International Conference “Constitutional Justice: Doctrine and Practice” was organized.

Main speakers at the Conference were Gianni Buquicchio, President of the European Commission “For Democracy through Law” (Venice Commission) of the Council of Europe, Professor G. Harutyunyan, President of the RA Constitutional Court, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the International Analytical Center “Constitutional Culture”, Valery Zorkin, President of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation, Alexander Konovalov, Minister of Justice of the Russian Federation, Andrei Klishas, Chairman of the Committee on Constitutional Legislation and State Building of the State Duma of the Russian Federation, Ivetta Macejkova, President of the Constitutional Court of the Slovak Republic and Kim Yi-Su, Acting President of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Korea.

President of the RA Constitutional Court will make a report on “Legal security of the country from the perspective of systemic constitutional monitoring”, and new doctrinal approaches will be presented on this issue, which are most relevant to the establishment of stable democracy in all countries.

Delegations of constitutional and supreme courts of dozens of countries take part in the Conference.

The RA CC Press Service

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May 15, 2017

INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE

On May 16-19, the 7th International Legal Forum will be held in St. Petersburg, within the framework of which the International Conference “Constitutional Justice: Doctrine and Practice” will be organized.

More than 100 representatives of constitutional and supreme courts of dozens of countries will take part in the Conference.

One of the main speakers at the Conference is Professor G. Harutyunyan, President of the RA Constitutional Court, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the International Analytical Center “Constitutional Culture”.

The theme of the report of the President of the RА Constitutional Court is “Legal security of the country from the perspective of systemic constitutional monitoring”. New doctrinal approaches will be presented on this issue, which are most relevant to the establishment of stable democracy in all countries.

The RA CC Press Service

April 5, 2017

CZECH AMBASSADOR AT THE RA CONSTITUTIONAL COURT

On April 5, G. Harutyunyan, President of the RA Constitutional Court hosted Petr Mikyska, Ambassador of the Czech Republic to the Republic of Armenia (at the request of the Ambassador).

Issues on further cooperation between the RA Constitutional Court and the Czech Constitutional Court were discussed.

The RA CC Press Service

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April 3, 2017

GUESTS AT THE CONSTITUTIONAL COURT

On April 3, G. Harutyunyan, President of the RA Constitutional Court hosted (at their request) the representatives of the Observation Mission of the Council of Europe Ms Simona Granata-Menghini, Deputy Secretary of the Venice Commission, Mr Richard Barrett, member of the Venice Commission, and Mr Manuel Gonzalez Oropeza, Judge of the Federal Electoral Court of Mexico.

The guests presented the outcome of their observations on the parliamentary election process, highlighted new solutions provided by the Electoral Code, and the use of technical means which have had a positive influence in the electoral process. They were also interested in further legislative processes for ensuring constitutional provisions.

Exhaustive answers were given to the questions of the guests.

The RA CC Press Service

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March 31, 2017

HEAD OF THE OBSERVATION MISSION IN THE CONSTITUTIONAL COURT

On March 31, G. Harutyunyan, President of the RA Constitutional Court hosted Ignacio Sanchez Amor, Head of the short-term observation mission of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights.

Mr. Amor is a member of the Spanish Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee and serves as Head of the Spanish Delegation to the OSCE PA.

Mr. Amor was interested in the procedure and peculiarities of judicial protection of the electoral right in the Republic of Armenia in the light of constitutional reforms, as well as the role of the Constitutional Court in the issue of judicial protection of electoral right.

Mr. Harutyunyan briefed in detail both the current procedure and the overall situation of legal regulation, resulting from the adoption of the new Electoral Code and constitutional amendments. Exhaustive answers were given to all questions of the guest.

The RA CC Press Service

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March 10, 2017

PRESIDENT OF THE RA CONSTITUTIONAL COURT IN VENICE

On March 9, the meeting of the Enlarged Bureau of the European Commission “For Democracy through Law” of the Council of Europe (Venice Commission) was held. G. Harutyunyan, President of the RA Constitutional Court, member of the Bureau of the Venice Commission participated in the meeting. Issues related to the constitutional and legislative reforms in a number of countries were considered at the meeting of the Bureau.

On March 10, the Plenary Session of the Venice Commission opened, the agenda of which also included issues related to the legislative reforms of the Republic of Armenia, in particular, information was provided regarding the Constitutional Law of the Republic of Armenia “On the Human Rights Defender” and the Constitutional Law of the Republic of Armenia “On Parties”. The agenda of the Plenary Session also included the preparation of the conclusion on the draft Law of the Republic of Armenia “On the Constitutional Court”. Within the framework of the Plenary Session, Mr. Harutyunyan briefed members of the Commission on the progress of the drafting process of the Law of the Republic of Armenia “On the Constitutional Court”.

The issue of constitutional reforms in Kazakhstan was also included in the agenda of the Plenary Session of the Venice Commission. As co-rapporteur of the Commission, Mr. Harutyunyan delivered a report at the meeting.

The activities of the Venice Commission will continue on March 11. At the end of the Plenary Session, the Meeting of the Bureau of the World Conference on Constitutional Justice will be held, and G. Harutyunyan will participate in that Meeting. The agenda of the Bureau of the World Conference includes issues related to the convening and holding of the Congress of the World Conference on Constitutional Justice, to be held in September this year in Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania.

The RA CC Press Service

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February 27, 2017

GUESTS AT THE CONSTITUTIONAL COURT

On February 27, G. Harutyunyan, President of the RA Constitutional Court hosted Ambassador Jan Petersen, Head of Election observation mission (OSCE/ODIHR) for upcoming Parliamentary elections in Armenia in 2017, and Kseniya Dashutina (Expert, OSCE/ODIHR).

The guests were interested in the peculiarities of judicial protection of electoral right by the Constitutional Court, based on the new requirements of the RA Electoral Code.

Mr. Harutyunyan presented the guests the peculiarities and legal basis of judicial protection of electoral right by the Constitutional Court envisaged by the Electoral Code, drew parallels between the norms of the Electoral Code and relative norms of the RA Law on the Constitutional Court, as well as answered the questions interesting the guests.

It was also noted that on these issues the Center of Constitutional Law of the Republic of Armenia, Central Electoral Commission of the Republic of Armenia, Armenian Office of the German Corporation for International Cooperation (GIZ) and Administrative Court of Appeal of the Republic of Armenia organize a seminar titled “New Electoral Code of the Republic of Armenia and peculiarities of judicial protection of electoral right”, and the members of this mission interested in legal issues may attend this event.

The RA CC Press Service

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February 6, 2017

RECEPTION AT THE CONSTITUTIONAL COURT

On February 6, Arpine Hovhannisyan RA Minister of Justice, Members of the Constitutional Court, Gevorg Danielyan,President of the Council of the Center of Constitutional Law, Hrayr Tovmasyan Head of the NA Staff, Academician Gagik Ghazinyan, Vardan Poghosyan, head of the legal project of the German Corporation for International Cooperation (GIZ), Grigor Muradyan, Head of Legal Department of the Staff of the RA President, Karen Matevosyan, President of Administrative Court, lawyers and constitutionalists were present at the reception dedicated to 21st anniversary of establishment of the RA Constitutional Court.

G. Harutyunyan, President of the Constitutional Court greeted the participants, congratulated on 21st anniversary of establishment of the CC and introduced the recent achievements of the RA CC underlining some important and significant events.

Mr. Harutyunyan highlighted the event organized in the scopes of the joint project of the Council of Europe and the European Union, where the first volume of the guidebook “Legal positions expressed in the decisions of the RA Constitutional Court and their implementation” (compiled with the assistance of the CC members and edited by Gevorg Danielyan, Adviser of the CC) was presented. Publication of 942 page voluminous book was implemented by the financial assistance of the European Union and the Council of Europe within the framework of joint project “Strengthening the independence, professionalism and accountability of justice system in Armenia” of the European Union and the Council of Europe.

This book presents the legal positions expressed in the decisions of the Constitutional Court and the process of their implementation. The book is designed for judges, officials, specialists, theorists involved in legal studies, as well as for the public. The legal positions expressed in the book are presented in the grounds of development of our legal system. The second volume is in the process of publication, which would include certain queries expressed in the annual reports of the Constitutional Court, and the latter would play significant role for further development of legal system.

The RA Constitution in four languages (Armenian, Russian, German and English) published by the initiative of the legal project of the German Corporation for International Cooperation (GIZ), as well as “Almanac” based on the materials of Pan-European International Conference held in Yerevan (which were successfully presented in Strasbourg recently) were also presented at the meeting. The Russian version of the issue of journal “Constitutional Justice” (which includes the main list of indicators of constitutional monitoring for the first time) was presented likewise.

This is important as the rest of the world now works in the way to develop such a system. In 2011 it was initiated by the UN, and in 2012 a system of indicators was developed. This publication actually suggests an open discussion by delivering the journal to more than 40 countries. A special working group has been formed in Armenia (at Yerevan State University) which deals with methodological issues and in nearest future, with the help of this method and indicators, assessment of constitutionality and constitutional culture for over 140 countries is planned.

It was also mentioned that the solemn ceremony of establishment of International Analytical Center “Constitutional Culture” foundation was held in Strasbourg. This newly created center has been already joined by 40 constitutionalists from 18 countries. During the reception the website of International Analytical Center “Constitutional Culture” foundation was introduced. It will contain an electronic journal, where materials of different authors will be published. The website was introduced by presenting images and video materials.

At the presentation the canvas of the painter Rudik Petrosyan “Birth of the Constitution” created on the basis of historical events (particularly, Ashtishat assembly) was introduced. It actually becomes one of the symbols of International Analytical Center “Constitutional Culture”.

The RA CC Press Service

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January 27, 2017

А BOOK WHICH DESERVED PAN-EUROPEAN ATTENTION

In October 2016 the International Pan-European Conference organized by the RA Constitutional Court and Venice Commission was held, and Thorbjorn Jagland, Secretary General of the Council of Europe and Guido Raimondi, President of the European Court of Human Rights greeted the Conference with video-addresses. Simultaneously, the presentation of the International Analytical Center “Constitutional Culture” foundation was held. Prior to that the presentation of the book “Constitutional Culture: Lessons of History and Modern Challenges” (in Armenian) of Gagik Harutyunyan, President of the RA Constitutional Court, Doctor of Law, Professor was held.

And now, the English version of the book was presented in Strasbourg.

On January 26, in the premises of the Council of Europe, the event dedicated to the issues of constitutional culture organized together with the International Analytical Center “Constitutional Culture”, the German Corporation for International Cooperation (GIZ) and permanent representation of the Republic of Armenia was held.

T. Jagland, Secretary General of the Council of Europe, G. Buquicchio, President of the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe, A. Sajó, Vice-President of the European Court of Human Rights, judges of ECHR, members of diplomatic corps accredited to the Council of Europe, members of Armenian and foreign delegations and other officials were present at the event.

G. Harutyunyan, President of the RA Constitutional Court, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of International Analytical Center “Constitutional Culture”, member of the Bureau of the Venice Commission, Doctor of Law, Professor held an opening speech. He informed that in the framework of the 16-th anniversary of membership of Armenia to the Council of Europe, this event was dedicated to the foundation of International Analytical Center “Constitutional Culture” and publication of “Constitutional Culture: Lessons of History and Modern Challenges” monograph (in English), publication of the RA Constitution in four languages and almanac of the materials of Pan-European Conference held on October 20-23, 2016 in Yerevan.

In his address T. Jagland, Secretary General of the Council of Europe emphasized the active participation of the Republic of Armenia in all initiatives of the Council of Europe. “We are devoted to the Armenia which is stable, prosperous and looking to the future,” said Mr. Jagland, “Our relations are bilateral, and I appreciate the strong commitment of Armenia to dialogue and cooperation ... We appreciate the honest and engaged way by which Armenia is approaching various proposals.”

The English monograph “Constitutional Culture: Lessons of History and Modern Challenges” was presented by Alvina Gyulumyan, member of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Armenia who emphasized the practical and scientific importance of the book in the establishment of constitutional culture in the member states of Council of Europe.

Vardan Poghosyan, head of the legal project of the German Corporation for International Cooperation (GIZ), substitute member of the Venice Commission presented the recently published the 2015 edition of the amended Constitution in four languages.

The reception was followed.

The RA CC Press Service

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Video

Opening speech by G. Harutyunyan, President of the RA Constitutional Court, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of International Analytical Center “Constitutional Culture”, member of the Bureau of the Venice Commission, Doctor of Law, Professor [mp4, 10.4 mb]

Address by T. Jagland, Secretary General of the Council of Europe [mp4, 9.1 mb]

Speech by A. Gyulumyan, member of the RA Constitutional Court [mp4, 10.7 mb]

Speech by V. Poghosyan, head of the legal project of the German Corporation for International Cooperation (GIZ), substitute member of the Venice Commission [mp4, 10.3 mb]

 

January 10, 2017

PAYING RESPECT TO AKBAR HASHEMI RAFSANJANI

On January 10, G. Harutyunyan, President of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Armenia visited the Embassy of Islamic Republic of Iran in Armenia to pay respect to the memory of Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, former President of Iran.

G. Harutyunyan, who was the vice president the inter-governmental committee on development of Armenian-Iranian relations and had several official meetings with Mr. Rafsanjani, greatly appreciates his role in the formation and strengthening of the Armenian-Iranian relations.

Mr. Harutyunyan made the following note in the book of condolence of the Embassy:

"I express my deepest condolences on the occasion of the death of Mr. Rafsanjani, who was a wise state leader, and I was honoured to meet with him many times building cornerstones for the establishment and development of friendly relations between our countries”.

The RA CC Press Service

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