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The RA Police developed the RA Draft Law “On making amendments and addenda to the RA Law “On State Duty”” and placed it for public discussion on 30 June 2020. The draft law contains discriminatory legal regulations.
The draft envisages higher rates of state duty for getting a passport in case of not having or having refused an ID card. According to Article 1 of the Draft, the state duty is “1.3 envisaged as 8 times the base duty to provide (exchange) a passport to a citizen of the Republic of Armenia who does not have or has refused to receive an identification card”. While, according to Article 14 part 1 of the Law, the state duty for issuing a passport to an RA citizen is charged in the amount of the base duty.
The regulations envisaged by the Draft are discriminatory, as there is no objective ground for differentiating the state duty between persons who are being issued passports based on the condition of having or not having an identification card. Besides, the Draft also does not take into account the condition that based on certain religious beliefs, some citizens are not able to meet the law requirement of providing fingerprints, as doing this obligation is impossible for persons with religious beliefs, and no alternative legal conditions are in place for such cases. Those persons are deprived of the opportunity to exercise their right to get an identification card and therefore also to fully participate in legal relations.
“Discrimination is the manifestation of different attitudes to persons in esentially similar situations whithout any objective ground and reasonable explanation”.
In its DCC-1224 decision dated 7 July 2015, the Constitutional Court mentioned that, “discrimination takes place when differentiated approach is manifested to this or that person/persons in the frame of the same legal status, in particular, when they are deprived of this or that right, or when their rights are restricted, or they are given privileges”.
Thus, setting a higher rate of state duty for such persons based on the condition of not having an ID card is discriminatory, as there is no such difference between those having and those not having an ID card that can amount to justified higher rates of state duty for those persons when issuing a passport.
HCA Vanadzor presented its position and recommended:
♦To remove from circulation the RA Draft Law “On making amendments and addenda to the RA Law On State Duty” placed for public discussion on 30 June 2020 on the grounds of being discriminatory.
♦To establish principles of calculating and charging the state duty (state duty system) in the Law On State Duty, by including, inter alia, the principles of legal equality and absence of discrimination.
You can familiarize yourselves with the position HERE.