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Գլխավոր դատախազ Աննա Վարդապետյանի ղեկավարությամբ խորհրդակցություն՝ Երևան քաղաքի դատախազությունում

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The RA Prosecutor’s Office Division of Public Relations, head of the Division – Arevik Khachatryan

13.12.2021 | Clarification

Taking into account the discussions on the issue of parliamentary immunity examined by the decision SDO-1619 of the RA Constitutional Court, we consider it necessary to refer to the findings of the decision of the Constitutional Court.

 

In particular, the positions of the RA Prosecutor's Office regarding this issue, based on the literal interpretation of Article 96 of the RA Constitution was that the immunity of the RA National Assembly deputy refers to initiating criminal prosecution against the person having such a status depriving him of his liberty. Consent must be sought from the National Assembly of the Republic of Armenia and the National Assembly ought to give its consent to the criminal prosecution of a person or the deprivation of liberty that has already taken place before obtaining the status of deputy.

 

It is obvious clear from the decision of the Constitutional Court that the latter, actually agreed with the above-mentioned approach, expressing the clear will of the Constitution.

 

At the same time, the Constitutional Court has taken an absolutely unpredictable approach depriving him/her from liberty before he or she had a status of Deputy. The reasoning is that the continuation of the previous deprivation of liberty towards a specific person after receiving the status of a deputy may hinder the activity of the National Assembly.

 

The position of the Constitutional Court is first of all problematic in the sense that it gives grounds to consider the abuse of parliamentary immunity as a means of avoiding state coercion for the previous crime. In this respect, the circumstance recorded by the decision of the Constitutional Court is important, that the process of overcoming the parliamentary immunity has a political component, the outcome of which depends on the will of the political forces represented in the National Assembly. This approach, for example, means that a person who has been sentenced for more than ten years imprisonment for murder or rape can be included in the list of candidates, held the status of a deputy, or simply be released from criminal liability.

 

In this sense, the idea of ​​functional necessity underlying immunity is distorted. The point is that the deputy of the National Assembly of the Republic of Armenia is granted immunity, ostensibly, in order to ensure the freedom of his activity, to exclude criminal prosecution and deprivation of liberty conditioned by that. Simply, the deputy is inviolable. Therefore, insofar as the criminal prosecution initiated against a person before receiving the mandate of a deputy, the deprivation of liberty that took place cannot be conditioned by his deputy activity, cannot be connected with restricting his freedom, therefore parliamentary immunity cannot be extended to him.

 

It is worth mentioning that the RA Constitutional Court has recorded with his decision the rejection of immunity or the restriction in a successful and real democratic state is tendency. And though the strengthening of democracy is considered as a characterizing feature for not democratic countries the RA Constitutional Court strengthens that institution with its dangerous legal interpretation.