a) Armenia / b) Constitutional Court / c) / d) 29-01-2008 / e) DCC-731 / f) On the conformity with the Constitution of Article 47.2 and 47.3 of the Law on State Pensions / g) Tegekagir (Official Gazette) / h) .
Keywords of the Systematic Thesaurus:
Fundamental Rights - Equality - Scope of application - Social security.
Fundamental Rights - Civil and political rights - Procedural safeguards, rights of the defence and fair trial - Access to courts.
Fundamental Rights - Economic, social and cultural rights - Right to a pension.
Keywords of the alphabetical index:
Pension, labour record, judicial confirmation, impossibility
A person cannot be deprived, on a formal basis, of the opportunity to seek confirmation of a legal fact in a judicial manner where this is necessary for him or her to obtain a pension right.
The applicant challenged a provision of the Law on State Pensions, under which it was only possible to obtain confirmation in a judicial manner of a ten year period of one's labour record, although twenty five confirmed years were needed. The applicant suggested that this was out of line with Article 18 of the Constitution, which envisages the right of judicial protection.
The Constitutional Court observed that the logic behind the legislation dictated that the amount of a pension will depend upon insurance payments and insurance labour records. If somebody is deprived of the possibility of confirming their labour record, this logic is infringed. Somebody might in fact have made payments, but will not be able to prove it and will therefore not receive a complete pension.
The insurance labour record is the legal fact upon which the right to an insurance pension is based. The legislator preserved the competence of confirmation of the labour record to the court. At the same time, however, the new legislation had subjected the implementation of this competence to formal restrictions that effectively deprived a person from the possibility of applying to the court to seek confirmation of the legal facts that would guarantee their pension entitlement. Equally, the court was now unable to implement effectively and thoroughly its competence under the law.
The Constitutional Court found that the disputed provisions did not simply contravene Article 18 of the Constitution. They were out of step with Article 37 of the Constitution, insofar as they did not just impede workers in their quest for confirmation of their factual insurance labour records, but also the right to a pension, which forms part of social insurance rights. If somebody is unable to prove their labour record for a time exceeding the required period (twenty five years), this means that they cannot get a higher pension, as the years exceeding the required labour record play an essential role in determining the amount of pension payable.
The Constitutional Court found that the implementation of the disputed provision violates the principles of equality, prohibition of discrimination, and the constitutional principles of rule of law and legal certainty.