Statement on the Report of the 119th Plenary Session of the Venice Commission15.07.2019
The Report of the 119th Plenary Session of the Venice Commission (the “Report”) has been published in limited circulation, which contains important observations on processes taking place in Armenia. In particular:
1) As a result of discussions between Armenian authorities and a delegation of high Council of Europe officials, led by the Director General on Human Rights and the Rule of Law and including the Secretary of the Commission, agreement was reached that it would be neither necessary nor useful to carry out a general vetting of all sitting judges.
2) The delegation and Armenian authorities have also agreed that instead of carrying out a general vetting of all sitting judges, disciplinary procedures should be strengthened and a link with the asset declaration system should be established.
3) A statement made by Vahe Grigoryan, newly-elected judge of the Constitutional Court, questioning the legitimacy of 7 of the 9 judges of the Constitutional Court, who had been elected prior to the entry into force of the 2015 Constitutional amendments, was not considered reasonable.
4) Taking into account Article 213 of the revised Constitution, the fact that the Chairman and members of the Constitutional Court, appointed prior to the entry into force of the foregoing amendments, shall serve until the end of their term of office prescribed by the Constitution amended in 2005, was considered as “clear” and “unambiguous”.
5) As mentioned in the Report, it was disturbing that the aforesaid statement had been applauded in the Parliament.