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CONSTITUTION

 

CHAPTER 7.

COURTS AND THE SUPREME JUDICIAL COUNCIL

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Article 164.

The Status of a Judge

  1. When administering justice, a judge shall be independent and impartial and act only in accordance with the Constitution and the laws.
  2. A judge may not be held liable for opinions expressed or judicial acts rendered in the course of administering justice, unless features of a crime or disciplinary offence are present.
  3. Criminal prosecution of a judge of the Constitutional Court with respect to the performance of his duties may be initiated only with the consent of the Constitutional Court. With respect to performance of his duties, a judge of the Constitutional Court may not be deprived of liberty without the consent of the Constitutional Court, except when caught at the time of or immediately after the commission of a crime. In this case, deprivation of liberty may not last longer than 72 hours. The Chairman of the Constitutional Court shall be immediately informed of depriving a judge of the Constitutional Court of liberty.
  4. Criminal prosecution of a judge with respect to the performance of his duties may be initiated only with the consent of the Supreme Judicial Council. With respect to the performance of his duties, a judge may not be deprived of liberty without the consent of the Supreme Judicial Council, except when caught at the time of or immediately after the 40 commission of a crime. In this case, deprivation of liberty may not last longer than 72 hours. The Chairman of the Supreme Judicial Council shall be immediately informed of depriving a judge of liberty.
  5. The grounds and procedure of subjecting a judge to disciplinary liability shall be stipulated by the Law on the Constitutional Court and the Judicial Code.
  6. A judge may not hold office not stemming from his function in other state or local selfgovernment bodies, or hold any position in commercial organizations, or engage in entrepreneurial activities, or perform any other paid work, except for scientific, educational, and creative activities. The Law on the Constitutional Court and the Judicial Code may stipulate additional requirements on incompatibility.
  7. A judge may not engage in political activities.
  8. The powers of a judge shall terminate upon the expiration of the term of office, loss of citizenship of the Republic of Armenia or acquisition of the citizenship of a different state, entry into legal force of a convicting court judgment in respect of him or the criminal prosecution being terminated on a non-acquittal basis, entry into legal force of a court judgment that declares him as legally incapable, as missing, or as having deceased, or in case of his resignation or death.
  9. The powers of a Constitutional Court judge shall be terminated by a decision of the Constitutional Court, and the powers of a judge shall be terminated by a decision of the Supreme Judicial Council, in cases of violating the incompatibility requirements, engaging in political activities, the health condition rendering the discharge of his powers impossible, or committing a grave disciplinary offence.
  10. Remuneration corresponding to the high status and liability of a judge shall be set for judges. The amount of remuneration of judges shall be stipulated by law.
  11. Details related to the status of judges shall be stipulated by the Law on the Constitutional Court and the Judicial Code.

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Article 173.

The Supreme Judicial Council

The Supreme Judicial Council is an independent state body that shall safeguard the independence of courts and judges

Article 174.

Composition and Formation Procedure of the Supreme Judicial Council

  1. The Supreme Judicial Council shall consist of 10 members.
  2. Five of the members of the Supreme Judicial Council shall be elected by the General Assembly of Judges from among judges having at least 10 years of judge experience. Judges of all instances of courts shall be included in the Supreme Judicial Council. The member elected by the General Assembly of Judges may not be a court chairman or a Cassation Court chamber chairman.
  3. Five of the members of the Supreme Judicial Council shall be elected by the National Assembly by at least a three-fifths majority vote of the total number of parliamentarians, from among legal scholars and other reputed lawyers that are citizens of only the Republic of Armenia, and have voting right, strong professional qualities, and at least 15 years of professional work experience. A member elected by the National Assembly may not be a judge.
  4. The Supreme Judicial Council members shall be elected for a term of five years without the right to be reelected.
  5. The Judicial Code may stipulated incompatibility requirements for the Supreme Judicial Council members elected by the National Assembly.
  6. The Judicial Code may stipulated a requirement to suspend the powers of the judge members during their term in the Supreme Judicial Council.
  7. The Supreme Judicial Council shall elect the Council Chairman from among its composition, in the manner and for the time period stipulated by the Judicial Code, successively from among the members elected by the General Assembly of Judges and the members elected by the National Assembly. 8. Details of the formation of the Supreme Judicial Council shall be stipulated by the Judicial Code.

Article 175.

Powers of the Supreme Judicial Council

  1. The Supreme Judicial Council shall:
  2. 1) Prepare and approve the list of judge candidates, including the list of candidates for career advancement;
    2) Propose to the President of the Republic the candidates of judges subject to appointment, including appointment through career advancement;
    3) Propose to the President of the Republic the candidates of court chairmen, including Cassation Court chamber chairmen, subject to appointment;
    4) Propose to the National Assembly the candidates of Cassation Court judges and chairman;
    5) Solve the question of transfer of judges to another court;
    6) Solve the question of giving consent to initiating criminal prosecution against a judge or depriving him of liberty with respect to the performance of his duties;
    7) Solve the question of imposing disciplinary liability upon a judge;
    8) Solve the question of terminating the powers of judges;
    9) Approve the estimate of its costs and the cost estimates of courts, and present them to the Government for incorporation in the draft State Budget in the manner stipulated by law; and
    10) Form its staff in accordance with law.
    2. When discussing the question of imposing disciplinary liability upon a judge, as well as in other cases stipulated by the Judicial Code, the Supreme Judicial Council shall act as a court.
    3. The Supreme Judicial Council shall adopt sub-legislative normative legal acts in the cases and manner stipulated by law.
    4. Other powers and the operating procedure of the Supreme Judicial Council shall be stipulated by the Judicial Code.
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