a) Armenia / b) Constitutional Court / c) / d) 05-11-2013 / e) / f) On the conformity with the Constitution of the provisions of the Civil Code / g) Tegekagir (Official Gazette) / h) .
Keywords of the Systematic Thesaurus:
Fundamental Rights - Civil and political rights - Right to compensation for damage caused by the State.
Keywords of the alphabetical index:
Moral damage / Right to compensation, pecuniary compensation for non-pecuniary damage.
The right to pecuniary compensation for moral damage derives from the Constitution, several legislative provisions, as well as international obligations undertaken by the state. The manner of such compensation shall be prescribed by law.
I. The applicant petitioned the Constitutional Court, challenging that Article 17 of the Civil Code was unconstitutional because it failed to include moral damage as a type of harm and to guarantee compensation for it.
II. The Court held that the key component of human dignity is avoiding moral suffering conditioned by individual characteristics. In cases of illegal deprivation of liberty or search, the damage caused to a person may not automatically be equated to compensation for physical or pecuniary damage. In such cases, the compensation would not be proportionate to the psychological suffering.
The Court also stated that torture, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment is accompanied by moral suffering, which may even be more extensive than potential physical (bodily) or material damage. The Court stressed that it is impossible to compensate the damage caused to a person and his/her dignity without rational and just compensation for moral damage.
The Court pointed out that several legislative acts include provisions concerning pecuniary compensation for non-pecuniary damage. Simultaneously, the Court noted that the institute of pecuniary compensation of non-pecuniary damage, anyway, is not completely regulated by national legislation.
The Court also emphasised that the state s obligation to guarantee pecuniary compensation for moral damage derives from a number of judgments by the European Court of Human Rights in the cases against Armenia, notably the case of Khachatryan and others v. Armenia (application no. 23978/06, 27.11.2012) and the case of Poghosyan and Baghdasaryan v. Armenia (application no. 22999/06, 12/06/2012).
Based on the above, the Constitutional Court declared the challenged provision in breach of the Constitution and void as it does not include moral damage as a type of damage and does not ensure possibility for its compensation.
The Court held that the challenged provision is invalidated on 1 October 2014.