Law 15:34 21/06/2019 Armenia

Armenian expert slams new Constitutional Court judge’s statement as ‘absurd, unlawful’

Constitutional law expert Vardan Ayvazyan strongly condemned the recent statement of Vahe Grigoryan, a newly elected Constitutional Court judge questioning the legitimacy of the court chairman and six other members, as ‘absurd, anti-constitutional and unlawful.’

“I even find it pointless to comment on such a statement. It doesn’t fit into any logic and is absurd,” the expert told Panorama.am.

Addressing lawmakers in a swearing-in ceremony on Thursday, Grigoryan argued the Constitutional Court now consists of ‘judges’ rather than ‘members’ according to the amendments that took effect in 2018. The new judge claimed that only he and Arman Dilanyan, a Constitutional Court judge elected last year, are eligible to serve as judges and take part in decision making.

Grigoryan also declared that he is solely taking over the ‘powers and duties of the Constitutional Court chairman’ since Dilanyan is absent from Armenia at the moment.

Ayvazyan regretted most the fact that Grigoryan’s statement was met with applause by the ruling My Step faction MPs.

He stressed the judge’s statement signals that the country’s Constitution and legal system are gradually losing their value.

The expert claims Grigoryan has violated two articles of the Constitution by making such a statement.

“He has breached Articles 166 and 213 of the Armenian Constitution,” Ayvazyan explained.

Under Article 166, judges of the Constitutional Court are elected by the National Assembly for a term of twelve years, by at least three fifths of votes of the total number of Deputies. The Constitutional Court is composed of nine judges, of which three judges are elected upon recommendation of the Armenian president, three judges upon recommendation of the government, and three judges upon recommendation of the General Assembly of Judges. The General Assembly of Judges may nominate only judges. The same person may be elected as a judge of the Constitutional Court only once.

According to the same article judges hold office until attaining the age of sixty-five, whereas judges of the Constitutional Court — until reaching the age of seventy.

Article 213 stipulates that the chairperson and members of the Constitutional Court appointed prior to the entry into force of Chapter 7 of the Constitution continue holding office until the expiry of the term of their powers specified in the Constitution with the amendments of 2005. After Chapter enters into force, the nominations for vacant positions of the court judges are made successively by Armenia’s president, the General Assembly of Judges, and the government.



Source Panorama.am
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