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Armenia

Armenia

The system of government in Armenia is that of a Parliamentary Republic. The current Constitution was adopted on July 5, 1995, by way of popular referendum and proclaims Armenia as being a sovereign, democratic State, founded on the principles of social justice and the rule of law. Article 3 of the Constitution establishes the office of the President, the National Assembly (Armenian Parliament) and local self-governing bodies as well as, the right of the people to vote at elections or referenda based on universal, equal and direct suffrage by secret ballot. The Constitution also embodies the principle of separation of powers. State power is divided between the executive, legislature and judiciary.

The President is responsible for Constitutional order and ensuring the proper functioning of the legislative, executive and judicial authorities (Article 49 of the Constitution). The people of Armenia elect the President for a five-year term. The same person cannot hold the office of President for more than two consecutive terms. The President is vested with the authority to approve laws drafted by the National Assembly. The President also has the prerogative to dissolve the National Assembly (Article 55(3) of the Constitution) and appoints and removes the Prime Minister (Article 55(4)). The President appoints the President of the Constitutional Court (Article 55(10)) and may grant pardons to convicted individuals (Article 55(17)). In accordance with Article 56 of the Armenian Constitution, the President may also issue orders and decrees that are enforceable throughout the Republic.

Executive power in Armenia is vested in the Government, which is composed of the Prime Minister and the Ministers. Article 85 of the Constitution stipulates that the structure and rules of operation of the Government are established by a decree of the President, who in turn, acts in this regard on advice from the Prime Minister. Pursuant to Article 89, the Government presents its work schedule (Art.89(1)), the draft State budget (Art.89(2)) and financial reports (Art.89(2)) to the National Assembly for approval.

Legislative power in Armenia is vested in the National Assembly. Pursuant to Article 63 of the Constitution, the National Assembly is comprised of 131 members (deputies) elected on the basis of a general, secret, equal and direct right to vote. The National Assembly has a mandate to exercise legislative power for a period of four years.

Legislative procedure: Laws and National Assembly resolutions are adopted by a majority votes of Members present at the meeting if more than half of the overall number of delegates participated in the voting (Article 71 of the Constitution). A bill that has passed through voting in the Parliament is forwarded to the President for his acceptance. However, the President has the right to return any draft Bill to the National Assembly with a recommendation for further deliberation (Article 55(2) of the Constitution). In such case, the National Assembly is obligated by the power of Article 72 of the Constitution, to deliberate on the returned bill, on the basis of priority. In the event the National Assembly should not accept the objections and suggestions of the President, it once again adopts the returned law by a majority of votes. Article 73 of the Constitution establishes six standing committees, and gives the discretion to establish ad hoc committees, for the purpose of preliminary consideration of draft laws (or in the case of ad hoc committees, for the purpose of review of special draft legislation).

Judicial power in Armenia is vested in the courts. The courts of general jurisdiction are the tribunal courts of first instance, the courts of review and the Court of Appeals. The Constitution establishes a body called the Judicial Council (Article 94 of the Constitution) for the purpose of ensuring the autonomy of all judicial bodies. The President heads the Judicial Council. The Minister of Justice and the Chief Prosecutor are the vice-presidents of the Council. The Judicial Council has authority over the entire judicial system. It operates on the basis of a separate act, and with the President as chairman of this body together with his authority to appoint and dismiss judges, creates a system in which the powers of the judiciary are not entirely independent.

The Constitutional Court is comprised of nine members, of whom the National Assembly appoints five and the President appoints the remaining four. The President appoints the president of the Constitutional Court from among the members of the Constitutional Court. The Constitutional Court is responsible for ensuring the conformity of all laws, Presidential decrees and governmental resolutions, with the Constitution (Article 100(1) of the Constitution). The Constitutional Court is not a court of appeal from ordinary courts. Also, ordinary individuals may not file claims with the Constitutional Court. Article 101 of the Constitution prescribes that only MPs, electoral candidates; the President, the National Assembly, and the Government may file a direct appeal with the Constitutional Court.

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Armenia is:

  • OSCE Participating State since 30 January 1992
  • Member State of the United Nations since 2 March 1992
  • Member state of the Council of Europe since 25 January 2001
 

Status of Ratification of the Main International Human Rights Treaties, Conventions and other instruments

CoE Convention on Laundering, Search, Seizure and Confiscation of the Proceeds from Crime and Financing of Terrorism (2008)01 October 2008
CoE Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (2008)01 August 2008
Convention on the Political Rights of Women (1954)24 January 2008
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Legal Reviews

Opinion on the Draft Criminal Procedure Code of the Republic of Armenia

Date : 23 April 2013 English [0.34 MB]

Annex 1 to Opinion on the Draft Criminal Procedure Code of the Republic of Armenia

Date : 23 April 2013 English [1.67 MB]

Opinion on Selected Issues Regarding the Admissibility of Appeals to the Cassation Court of the Republic of Armenia

Date : 29 November 2012 English [0.15 MB]
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Parliament

Constitutional Court