Rafayel Papayan was born in 1942, December 22 in the family of the playwright Aramshoot Papayan.
1965 graduated from the Russian and Foreign Languages Pedagogical University named after V. Bryusov.
1965-1967 worked as a teacher at the secondary school located in the Village of Ujan at the "Ashtarak" Region of RA.
1967-1968 was a junior fellow at the Department of Russian Languages at the Russian and Foreign Languages Pedagogical Institute named after V. Bryusov.
1969 was a junior fellow at the Cabinet of the Literary Relations of the Yerevan State University.
1969-1971 was an aspirant at University of Tartu (Dorpart) Check the Spelling.
1972 Defended his graduate thesis at the University of Tartu.
1972-1980 Was a lecturer, then a Docent at the Yerevan State University.
1975 Was one of the founders of the Armenian Helsinki Group aimed at the discovery and publication of the various Human Rights abuses in the Soviet Armenia.
1981-1982 was a Senior Fellow at the Department of Armenian Studies of the Yerevan State University.
1982-87 was a political prisoner in Moldova. Was accused of anti-soviet propaganda and agitation and was imprisoned for 4 years, later the sentence was commuted to a 2 year deportation. The sentence was lifted due to the reforms of the Gorbachev era.
1987-88 was unemployed.
1989 was the Founder and President of the Armenian League for Human Rights.
1989 was the Founder and Chairman of the Armenian Studies at the Yerevan State Conservatory.
1990-95 was a deputy of the Supreme Council of the RA, a member of the Standing Committee of Human Rights, a member of the Supreme Council of the RA.
1992 was a member of the Religious Council at the Holy See of St. Etchmiadzin.
1994-97 was a member of the inter-parliamentary council on Orthodoxy.
1995 was awarded by the Russian Orthodox Church and by the All Russian Patriarch Alexis II (B) the medal of St. Daniel Moskovsky for the "Services provided to the Holly Church".
1995-97 was elected as a deputy of the National Assembly of the RA, was the Chairman of the Standing Committee on Education, Science, and Culture.
1997 was a member of the Constitutional Court.
1998, April 23 was awarded the Highest Qualification of a Judge.
2003, August 15 was awarded the medal of St. Nerses Shnorhali by the Catholicos of All Armenians Garegin B.
Was the author of numerous works both scientific and literary which were published in Moscow, St Petersburg, Estonia, Paris and elsewhere. Works include:
The Analytical Tipology of National Musicological Units, Yerevan 1981,
"Tagnapner" (Anxieties) Collection of Poems, Yerevan 1991,
"To Anahit" Collection of Poems for preschool and secondary school students, Yerevan 2002,
"The Christian Roots of Modern Law" St. Echmiadzin Press 2002.