The Cadastre Committee put for public discussion the Draft Law on Making amendments and addenda to the RA Law on State Registration of Rights to Property, which contradicts the principles and rules developed by international organizations regarding advocacy activities.
Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly Vanadzor published their position regarding the draft on e-draft.am, and presented the following substantiations.
Part 6 of Article 11 of the Law on State Registration of Rights to Property establishes the list of subjects that, for implementation of their powers established by the RA legislation, get the information envisaged under part 5 of the same Article without the consent of the holders. The draft proposes to remove from the list the advocates accredited in the Republic of Armenia.
When developing the draft, the Cadastre Committee was guided not by the presumption of integrity and legality, but rather, that of ungrounded, improper receipt and disposal of information, mentioning that “having a license of an advocate cannot be a sufficient ground for providing information, since an information inquiry may also be not related to a specific case and the need for protecting the rights of a certain person”.
The Draft thus views the advocate not as someone protecting human rights in a manner prescribed by law, a special subject of the public protecting human rights and freedoms, but as a person “having a license”, which is total disrespect for the institute of advocacy and the whole community of advocates. Besides, the draft author did not present any statistics or confirmed information regarding abusing the opportunity established by law or using it out of the scope of obligations related to providing legal assistance.
Lawyers play a fundamental role in strengthening the rule of law and protecting human rights. States have to guarantee that these persons be able to exercise their profession without undue restrictions.
When implementing their powers, i.e., providing legal assistance to their client, the regulation of accessibility of the necessary information is aimed at ensuring effectiveness of the advocate’s work and is conditioned by the special status of the advocate as a person protecting human rights. The restriction proposed by the draft is ungrounded, and is an undue interference with the advocate’s work, it reduces effectiveness of the advocate’s work and contradicts international legal regulations. Thus, we recommend withdrawing the Draft from circulation.
Click here to read the full position. (in Armenian)