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THE LAW

OF THE REPUBLIC OF ARMENIA

ON THE JUDICIAL SYSTEM

OF THE REPUBLIC OF ARMENIA

 

CHAPTER 1.

GENERAL PROVISONS

Article 1. Legislation on the Judicial System of the RA

The system and formation of courts of the RA shall be established by the Constitution of the RA and the present Law.

Article 2. Administration of Justice Only By the Court

In the RA justice shall be administered only by courts. During its administration judges shall be independent and subordinate only to law.

Establishment of extraordinary courts shall be prohibited.

Appropriation of the authority of the State court shall be punished by law.

Article 3. Administration of Justice

In the RA justice shall be administered

1. by examining and resolving in sessions cases on civil and economic disputes connected with human and civil liberties, rights and lawful interests, and with rights and lawful interests of the State and juridical persons,

2. by examining and resolving cases on administrative offenses,

3. by examining criminal cases in sessions, by recognition of guilt of persons who have committed an offense, imposition on them of punishment established by law, by bringing in a verdict of not guilty and justifying innocent people.

Article 4. The Right of Judicial Protection

Every person shall have the right of judicial protection of his rights and liberties confirmed by the Constitution of the RA, the international treaties of the RA, laws and other legal acts.

Article 5. Equality before Law and Court

Everybody shall be equal before law and court and shall be equally protected by law without discrimination.

Citizens irrespective of their nationality, race, sex, language, religion, political or other views, social origin, property or other status shall have all the rights, liberties and responsibilities established by the Constitution and laws of the RA.

Article 6. Administration of Justice In Compliance With Law

Courts shall administer justice in compliance with the Constitution of the RA, international treaties and laws of the RA.

Article 7. Consideration of Cases by One or a Collegium of Judges

Cases in courts of first instance shall be considered only by one judge. Examining cases alone the judge acts as a court.

Cases in appellate courts shall be considered by three judges.

Cases in Court of Cassation shall be considered jointly by the majority of judges and the presiding person of the chamber.

Article 8. Language of Court Proceedings

In the RA court proceedings shall be conducted in Armenian. In the cases stipulated by law persons who are involved in a case and do not know Armenian shall have the right to get acquainted with the materials and to speak a different language in the court with the help of a translator.

Article 9. Publicity of Case Consideration

In courts of the RA cases shall be considered in open sessions.

Court consideration behind closed doors shall be conducted only by a court decision in cases and in the order stipulated by law for the reasons of protecting the interests of society morals, social order, State security, personal life of opponents or the interests of justice.

In all cases court resolutions, sentences, as well as other final decisions (which actually resolve a case) shall be promulgated in an open session.

Article 10. System of Courts of the RA

The following courts operate in the RA:

Courts of First Instance,

Appellate Courts,

the Court of Cassation.

Article 11. Appointment of Judges

The Chairmen and judges of courts of first instance, the Chairmen and judges of appellate courts, the Chairman of the Court of Cassation and the Chairmen and judges of its chambers shall be appointed by the President of the Republic in the order established by Article 55, point 11 of the Constitution of the RA.

Article 12. Summary of Judicial Statistics Results and of Judicial Practice, Fulfillment of Judicial Acts

The Ministry of Justice of the RA:

CHAPTER 2.

COURTS OF FIRST INSTANCE

Article 13. Concept and Distribution of Courts of First Instance

In essence a court of first instance is a court which shall consider all the cases on civil, economic, criminal, military and administrative offenses, as well as solves problems connected with taking into custody, with permission for search in apartments, as well as with the restriction of the right for secrecy of correspondence, telephone conversations, postal, telegraphic and other means of communication in the order established by law.

A court of first instance shall exercise other powers provided by law.

There shall be seventeen courts of first instance operating in the RA

There shall be one court of first instance operating in each region of the RA, the judicial territory of which shall be the administrative territory of the given region. There shall be seven courts of first instance operating in the city of Yerevan, the judicial territory of each corresponding to the administrative territory of the given community (communities).

The seats of a court of first instance shall be situated in the administrative territory of the corresponding region (community, communities).

Article 14. Courts of First Instance in the City of Yerevan and Their Composition

Courts of first instance in the city of Yerevan shall be:

Article 15. Courts of First Instance in the Regions and Their Composition

Courts of first instance in the regions shall be:

Article 16. The Chairman of a Court of First Instance

The Chairman of a court of first instance:

Article 17. Personnel of a Court of First Instance

One position of a session secretary and one assistant shall be stipulated for each judge of a court of first instance. The court shall have a personnel chief, an accountant, an archivist and other employees the number of which shall correspond to the staff size approved by the Government.

CHAPTER 3.

APPELLATE COURTS

Article 19. Concept of an Appellate Court, Its Personnel and Distribution

The appellate court is a court, which shall actually consider once more the cases considered in a court of first instance on the basis of an appeal for rehearing.

The appellate court shall not be constrained by the argumentations of the appeal for rehearing and considers the case in full volume.

Decisions, resolutions and sentences of an appellate court shall come into force from the moment of their promulgation. Sentences of an appellate court (and its other final decisions which actually resolve a case) to criminal and military cases shall come into legitimate force after the deadline established for submission of an appeal for cassation, if such appeals have not been submitted in the order established by the code of criminal proceedings.

There are three appellate courts operating in the RA:

The judicial territory of an appellate court shall be the territory of the RA.

The seat of appellate courts shall be the city of Yerevan.

Article 19. The Chairman of an Appellate Court

The Chairman of an appellate court

Article 20. Personnel of an Appellate Court

One position of an assistant shall be stipulated for each judge of an appellate court.

Positions of session secretaries shall be stipulated for an appellate court, one for each three judges.

An appellate court shall have a personnel chief, an accountant, an archivist and other employees the number of which shall correspond to the staff size approved by the Government.

CHAPTER 4.

THE COURT OF CASSATION

Article 21. Concept of the Court of Cassation, Its Distribution and Personnel

The Court of Cassation is a court which shall reconsider the resolutions, sentences and other final decisions which actually resolve a case that have come into legitimate force in courts of first instance and appellate courts, sentences of an appellate court (and its other final decisions which actually resolve a case) to criminal and military cases that have not come into legitimate force on the basis of appeals for cassation submitted against these acts.

A decision of the Court of Cassation shall come into legitimate force from the moment of its issuance and shall not be subject to appeal.

There shall be one Court of Cassation operating in the RA.

The Court of Cassation shall be comprised of:

Each chamber of the Court of Cassation shall be comprised of its Chairman and 5 judges.

The judicial territory of the Court of Cassation shall be the territory of the RA.

The seat of the Court of Cassation shall be the city of Yerevan.

Article 22. Grounds for Submission of an Appeal for Cassation

The grounds to submit an appeal for cassation shall be:

Article 23. The Chairman of the Court of Cassation

The Chairman of the Court of Cassation acts as a judge.

The Chairman of the Court of Cassation

Article 24. The Chamber Chairman of the Court of Cassation

The chamber Chairman of the Court of Cassation acts as a judge.

The chamber Chairman of the Court of Cassation:

Article 25. Personnel of the Court of Cassation

One position of an assistant shall be stipulated for each judge of the Court of Cassation.

Two secretaries and one clerk shall be given to each chamber of the Court of Cassation. The Court of Cassation shall have a personnel chief, an accountant, an archivist and other employees the number of which shall correspond to the staff size approved by the Government.

CHAPTER 5.

THE COUNCIL OF COURT CHAIRMEN

Article 26. Structure of the Council of Court Chairmen

The Council of Court Chairmen shall consist of the Chairman of the Court of Cassation, Chairmen of its chambers, Chairmen of appellate courts and courts of first instance.

The Chairman of the Council of Court Chairmen shall be the Chairman of the Court of Cassation.

A special structural body shall be created in the personnel of the Court of Cassation with the purpose of assistance to the operation of the Council of Court Chairmen, which shall exercise the powers of the personnel of the Council of Court Chairmen.

Article 27. Authority of the Council of Court Chairmen

The Council of Court Chairmen:

Article 28. Order of Operation of the Council of Court Chairmen

The Council of Court Chairmen shall operate on the basis of regulations established by it.

The meetings of the Council of Court Chairmen shall be summoned and conducted by the Chairman of the Court of Cassation or on his recommendation by a Chairman of some other court.

The meetings of the Council of Court Chairmen shall be summoned when necessary, but not less than once a quarter.

The meeting of the Council of Court Chairmen shall be considered to be competent when two third of council members are present at the meeting. Decisions shall be adopted in voting with the majority of votes of members participating at the Council meeting.

Judges, law scholars, as well as other specialists may be invited to the meeting of the Council of Court Chairmen.

CHAPTER 6.

CONCLUDING PROVISIONS

Article 29. Financing of Courts

The courts shall be financed at the expense of the State budget each in a separate paragraph.

Article 30. Court Seal

Every judge shall have a numbered seal with the picture of the RA Emblem and the name of the court.

For the fulfillment of financial operations the Chairman of the court shall have a seal with the picture of the RA Emblem and the name of that court.

Article 31. Symbols of Judicial Authorities

The RA flag shall be raised on the court building.

The RA Emblem shall be present and the RA flag shall be placed in the courtroom.

Article 32. Coming Into Force of the Present Law

The present law shall come into force on January 12, 1999.

The provision in Article 12, point two of the present law concerning the authority of the Ministry of Justice to arrange and enforce sentences shall come into force on May 1st, 1999.

From the moment of coming into force of the present law, the law of the Armenian SSR of December 4th, 1981 on «Judicial System of the Armenian SSR» with its subsequent amendments and supplements shall lose its force, and so shall the resolution No 535 of the Council of Ministers of the Armenian SSR of October 13th, 1988 on «The Establishment of Charter of the State Arbitration of the Armenian SSR and the Rules of Consideration of Economic Disputes by the State Arbitration», the law of July 25, 1992 "On Creation of a Military Court in the Judicial System of the RA", the resolution of the National Assembly of July 25, 1992 "On Application of the Law on Creation of a Military Court in the Judicial System of the RA" and the resolution of the Presidium of the National Assembly of September 12, 1992 "On the Approval of the Charter of Military Courts of the RA".

Article 33. Transitional Provision

Articles 26-28 of the present law shall come into force from the moment of the official promulgation of the present law. Moreover:

The Council of Court Chairmen shall operate until January 12, 1999 with a membership comprised of the Chairman of the Court of Cassation, the Chairmen of its chambers and of regional (town) people’s courts,

Having the membership mentioned in the present Article the Council of Chairmen shall not exercise the powers provided by points 2 and 4 of Article 27.

07.06.1998

Permanent Commission on State and Legal Issues

3.03.1998

Permanent Commission on State and Legal Problems