Helsinki Citizens' Assembly-Vanadzor

HCA Vanadzor assessment to the provisions of the RA draft law on making amendments and addenda to the RA Law “On the legal regime of the state of emergency”

April 28, 2020

COVID-19 | Law Enforcement Practice Analysis | Publications | Human Rights in the State of Emergency | News | Legislative Proposals and Analysis

By the decision of RA NA President Ararat Mirzoyan and according to Article 100 of the RA Constitution and Article 41 of the constitutional law “On the National Assembly Regulations”, on April 28, an extraordinary session of the RA National Assembly was convened. The agenda included, inter alia,  RA Draft Law on making amendments and addenda to the RA Law “On the legal regime of the state of emergency”.


The justification of the draft underscores that in the context of a more comprehensive regulation of the state governance peculiarities in the state of emergency, it is necessary to  specify  the state of the Commandant and the Commandant’s Office in the current context of state governance system and legal relations thereof, as well as the state of acts adopted by the Commandant. 


While the RA Government’s decision 298-n, dated March 16, 2020, does not give rise to questions from the perspective of legislative substantiation, the legal power and meaning of the Commandant’s decisions in the RA legal system are very disputable.


The full document, together with the relevant substantiations, is available HERE.


Legislative changes should be made in line with the RA Constitution and requirements of international human rights law. In regard to this issue, the principle of necessity in the state of emergency requires that  emergency state measures be able to achieve their goals with the minimal changes of democratic procedures of decision-making and rules. Taking into consideration the rapid and unpredictable development of the crisis, relatively large legislative delegations might be necessary, which should be formed as concretely and clearly as possible in order to minimize any possibility of abuse.


Summing up, we can conclude that


  1. The Commandant’s decisions determining the restrictions of rights and freedoms after the declaration of the state of emergency in the RA contradict RA  Law “On the legal regime of the state of emergency”, RA Law “On Normative legal acts” and RA Constitution. 
  2. The regulation enshrined in the draft, that allows for a restriction of the right to personal freedom in case of the state of emergency caused by the epidemic and as orally ordered by the bodies involved for the implementation of measures used in the state of emergency, contradicts the RA Constitution and international human rights standards. Therefore, it should be eliminated. 
  3. Envisage by the RA Law “On the legal regime of the state of emergency” rights to independent medical aid, access to legal aid and information on the reasons  for being in areas designated for isolation for isolated persons.
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