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 website of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Armenia has been created as part of the Partnership for Good Governance (PGG II) Project ''Support to the judicial reform – enhancing the independence and professionalism of the judiciary in Armenia'' co-funded by the European Union and the Council of Europe. The views expressed herein can in no way be taken to reflect the official opinion of either party.