G. Harutyunyan, President of the RA Constitutional Court, received Guy De Vel, Director General of Legal Affaires, Mrs. Bojana Urumova, Special representative of the Secretary of the Council of Europe: they were accompanied by Mrs. Narine Nikolyan, Head of the European Department of the RA Ministry of Foreign Affaires.
The basic subject of discussion was on adoption of the Law on the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Armenia, particularly, with regard to enlargement of a number of subjects eligible to apply to Constitutional Court, which is undoubtedly very positive and noticeable change in the Constitutional Court activity.
Gaining of Experience before the Elections
Since the first year of formation (February 6, 1996) of the RA Constitutional Court, organizing the Annual Yerevan International Conference in cooperation with the European Commission “For Democracy through Law” of the Council of Europe (Venice Commission) has become a new tradition. Subject of the first Conference (held on 16-18, 1996) was “Constitutional Control and Democracy processes in the new independent countries”. This topic was nonrandom chosen, because the finding (using the experiences of other countries) of ways for constitutional justice establishment was urgent for the State formation.
One year later the International Organization “Conference of Organs of Constitutional Control of the Countries of Young Democracy” has been established, the activity of which was coordinated by the RA Constitutional Court.
On October 5
the 11th Yerevan International Conference titled “Role of Constitutional Courts towards Ensuring Democratic Elections” took place. The topic was an actual one, because the Republic of Armenia was on the threshold of presidential and parliamentary elections and the international experience in this field was very important.
As a whole, during the Conference the participants made very interesting reports. They presented the experience of European countries, the ways, which are useful for the colleagues. Nicolay Bondar (Russian Federation), Marian Grzybowski (Poland), Peter Kovacs (Hungary), Lubomir Dobrik (Slovak Republic), Felix Tokhyan (Armenia) and others made reports and presented the experience of their constitutional courts and through discussions compared the experience, approaches and nuances of examination of cases of the given countries.
The President of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Armenia G. Harutyunyan received Gael Martin-Micallef, Specialist of Division on Elections and Referendums of the Venice Commission. They spoke of cooperation between the RA Constitutional Court and Venice Commission, particularly with regard to organization and holding of International Conference.
The President of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Armenia G. Harutyunyan received Sonya Smith, Head of Aba mission in the Republic of Armenia. During the meeting they discussed a situation of the RA Constitutional Court raised after adoption of the Law on Constitutional Court (with regard to the enlargement of subject eligible to apply to the Court) and as co-organizers they also discussed the issues regarding organization of the traditional 11th Yerevan International Conference. Once again, taking the opportunity, Sonya Smith expressed her gratitude for having chance to participate and make an opening speech during the 11th Yerevan International Conference.
The President of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Armenia G. Harutyunyan received Susan Rutledge, Regional Corporate Governance Coordinator of Europe and Central Asia Region: she was accompanied by Karen Grigoryan, Coordinator of Regional Government in Armenia. Susan Rutledge presented the picture of Economic development in Armenia, getting from her own studies result, which in her opinion, is unsatisfactory.
They both set hope that there will be possible ways to develop the economy of the country in the future. Mr. Harutyunyan considered that this development will be possible and attached an importance to perspectives of democracy, especially, to establishment of constitutional democracy.
The Constitutional Court of the Republic of Armenia celebrated the 11 years of adoption of Constitution of the Republic of Armenia.
On July 4, a day before celebration of the adoption of the RA Constitution, a presentation with participation of high-ranking officials, politicians and jurists took place in the RA Constitutional Court. President of the RA Constitutional Court, Doctor of Law, Professor G. Harutyunyan presented brief report on “Constitutional amendments and Constitutional Justice in the Republic of Armenia”. Minster of Justice of the RA D. Harutyunyan and Ombudsman of the RA A. Harutyunyan have also made speeches during this presentation.
In the Embassy of the Republic of Armenia in the Russian Federation, it took place a presentation of co-authorised written book ”Constitutional basic notions in encyclopaedic dictionary” of G. Harutyunyan and M. Baglay, which had been published by “Norma” Moscow publishing-house.
Constitutional Court member V. Hovhannisyan was awarded with “Symbol of Constitutional Justice” medal for his faultless work in the position of Vice-President of the RA Constitutional Court. According to the new the RA Law on Constitutional Court, the Vice-President’s position is abolished.
The RA Constitutional Court organised a presentation dedicated to the 10 years of Constitutional Court formation.
President of the RA Constitutional Court G. Harutyunyan greeted the guests and presented a brief report on passed way and further tasks of the Constitutional Court, particularly, on the made and future amendments in the Constitutional Court functions, requested by the amended RA Constitution and the RA Law on Constitutional Court.
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On February 6, 1996, the RA Constitutional Court was formed. It was the first unprecedented institution in Armenian reality, which was called to guarantee the constitutional justice and affirm the supremacy of law.
During 10 years of its existence, the RA Constitutional Court made progresses, especially, in elaboration of conceptual approaches on issues of constitutional justice and in contribution of advanced experience of similar institutions.
Opinions on the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Armenia
Luzius Wildhaber, President of the European Court of Human Rights:
“International Conferences experience that has the RA Constitutional Court is very instructive: correct selection of topics, representative participation, wide use of methods of spread of experience. This all is very rich and useful experience for us. Thanks to the RA Constitutional Court, we had opportunity to get deeply acquainted with Armenian people, its culture and history”.
Rene van der Linden, President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe:
“We express our gratitude for periodically providing us with wide analytic information: it’s a great assistance for the Committee on Legal issues and Human Rights” of the Assembly”.
Egidijus Kuris, President of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania:
“Today we can proudly mention that in the name of the RA Constitutional Court, Armenia has become one of acknowledged international centres on constitutional justice issues”.
Hans Gameltoft-Hansen, Parliamentary Ombudsman of the Kingdom of Denmark:
“I am well acquainted with the RA Constitutional Court activity, particularly, with the efforts of the RA Centre of Constitutional Law, which promote to guarantee constitutional justice in the country. The co-authorised book “The Constitutional Review and its development in the modern world (a comparative constitutional analysis)” of G. Harutyunyan, President of the RA Constitutional Court and Arne Mavcic, Adviser to the Constitutional Court of Slovenia, Head of Legal-Informational Centre, is an unprecedented publication and a method itself of widely spread of experience and example of international recognition”.
Gianni Buquicchio, Secretary of the European Commission “For Democracy through Law” of the Council of Europe (Venice Commission):
“Thanks to the RA Constitutional Court activity, Armenia has become a school of democracy and experience of constitutional control. We have suggested in the Venice Commission to create an Internet Forum, trough which all the Constitutional Courts will have opportunity to negotiate, debate to each other, spread and receive information on the precedent experience regarding considered cases arisen before their courts. We were surprised when we knew that such program has already been prepared by the RA Constitutional Court. It means that there is a possibility to be immediately contacted, if during an examination of similar cases there is a necessity to be informed on decisions taken by other Constitutional Courts”.
Gagik Harutyunyan, President of the Constitutional Court:
“The Constitutional Court is a specialised institute of constitutional control, which is the result of independence of the Republic of Armenia and one of the important achievements of democracy, which is called to exercise duties of legislative, executive and judicial powers set forth by the Constitution, to provide the constitutionality of normative acts, to create guarantees for protection of human and citizens’ rights and freedoms”.
Formation process of the RA Constitutional Court
Since the first year of its formation, the Constitutional Court took serious steps in constitutional justice affirmation: i.e. to learn and spread the advanced experience of European countries. Consequently, the Court has become a member of the European Commission “For Democracy through Law” of the Council of Europe (Venice Commission). One year later, in October, the International Organization “Conference of the organs of constitutional control of the countries of young democracy” has been established, the activity of which was coordinated by the RA Constitutional Court. Since 1998, given Organization publishes “Constitutional justice in a new millennium” International Almanac (published in four languages) and G. Harutyunyan is the Chairman of Editorial Council. The International Almanac is forwarded to around 36 countries of the world.
In the second year of its formation, the RA Constitutional Court created Internet web-site and Electronic informational system, which is recognized as one of the best in the world.
A special compact disk has been prepared by the Constitutional Court, where the Constitutions of 150 countries and their comparative analysis are included. The International Association of Constitutional Law recognised it as an important program and placed it on the Internet site of the International Association. This unique program package translated into Russian and English is a concise material for constitutionalists and constitutional courts.
The RA Constitutional Court has elaborated a complex program of comparative analysis of the international official documents, where 1500 documents adopted by United Nations and all international European institutions are included (in Russian and English).
55 monographs and 191 scientific articles have been published by the Constitutional Court members and the staff members, 48 reports have been made during International Conferences, and 17 International Conferences have been invited (with participation of around 155 members of constitutional courts of different countries and 52 international experts).
During past 10 years the Constitutional Court has filed around 2500 various applications, adopted 754 Procedural decisions and heard 617 cases on constitutionality.
Constantly, the Constitution Court organized Republican Olympiads “Constitution and Law”, where more than 20.000 pupils and students participated. 3 collections of the best pupils’ works dedicated to the human rights protection have been published, Council of Young Researchers has been established in the RA Centre of Constitutional Law and library with the rich and newer literature has been established in the RA Constitutional Court.
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