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Monday, 24 October 2016


Armenia beyond the law

2012-07-10 14:36

Armenia beyond the law. 27617.jpeg

A few days ago, on July 5, Armenia modestly celebrated Constitution day. The President delivered a message, experts and judges voiced their thoughts at the press conferences, and most people even did not know what kind of holiday it was and to what it is dedicated. Speakers talked about the flaws of the Basic Law, and even called for its reform. In their view, the state government system should be upgraded as soon as possible in accordance with the changing realities.


It's difficult to argue the fact that the Basic Law of Armenia does not meet all the aspirations of the citizens and it has many flaws in terms of ensuring full independence of the three branches of government (judicial, legislative and executive). However, the basic problems of the Armenian constitutionalism do not come from the very wording of the Constitution, but from the indifference of society and the elite to it. Rejection of the Law is an interesting phenomenon. Main reason for this is the lack of a truly independent judiciary, the main guarantor of human rights. This makes the people think that "homeland is mine, and the state is someone else's".

"Corruption has penetrated through the judicial system of the country. It does not protect human rights, more likely, violates them. I do not want to deal with the courts, since there is no guarantee that I can win the case because in the majority of cases the decisive factor is not justice and facts but the financial and administrative capacity. In short, there is a 90% chance that the winner will be one with "stronger back", who offered more", such is the view of Yerevan residents, interviewed by GTimes, who had to deal with the courts at least once. This shows that the level of distrust in the judicial system is quite high due to its weakness and inability to effectively protect human rights.

In general, if generalized, the judiciary is subservient to the executive branch, headed by the president in fact. Court is one of the basic institutions of democracy that is very poor in Armenia. Almost all reports on monitoring consists the following paragraph: "Inside the de jure independent judiciary there remain the de facto dependent judges, examples of which are both at legislative and practical levels. Thus, one of the main guarantors of security of the judiciary and judges has become the Council of Justice, which has received a new status under the Constitution. However, analysis of the legislation indicates that this body and, consequently, the whole judicial system are still in the sphere of influence of the President of Armenia". This is quote from the report of the Yerevan Press Club ("Monitoring of Democratic Reforms in Armenia").

A member of the Constitutional Court of Armenia Felix Tokhyan admitted at a recent press conference: "The judicial power is the weakest link in the structure of state power". In this case, the provisions of the Constitution are not so important. Here are the main two issues - the lack of political will and a clear need of an independent judiciary. In fact, it is about the attitude of society and the elite to the Law in general. Armenia has Constitution, but no constitutionalism.

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