Helsinki Citizens' Assembly-Vanadzor

Provisions deteriorating a person’s legal condition should not have a retroactive effect

January 29, 2024

Law Enforcement Practice Analysis | Project։ Protection of the rights of conscripts and servicemen | Legislative Proposals | Legislative Proposals and Analysis

A number of civil society organizations, namely, Law Development and Protection Foundation, Transparency International Anti-Corruption Center NGO, Democracy Development Foundation, Protection of Rights without Borders and Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly-Vanadzor published a joint opinion on the RA draft law “On making an amendment to the Law on Military Service and Status of a Serviceman”.


The Organizations find problematic the narrowing of the scope of servicemen who are beneficiaries of the social safeguard in question (Article 1 of the Draft). According to the acting regulation, not having an accommodation by right to property in the administrative area of the service or a permanent (factual)  place of registration at the same distance  is considered a need for improving housing conditions, while the proposed regulation considers 60 km distance as such. According to the organizations, this change is a setback from the state’s social policy.


Further, it is even more problematic that the right to monthly monetary compensation in case of not providing a service apartment is terminated also for contractual servicemen for whom this right has already been generated, but who do not meet the new conditions established under Article 1 of the Draft (a transitional provision envisaged under point 2 of Article 2 of the Draft) The Organizations stress that the mentioned provision directly contradicts Article 73 of the RA Constitution, whereby a constitutional safeguard is provided that laws and other legal acts deteriorating the legal condition of a person shall not have retroactive effect. Moreover, in its decision DCC-723, the Constitutional Court addressed a similar regulation and expressed its position that new regulations cannot affect rights obtained by a person under legislation acting in the past.


Summing up, the organizations recommend removing the Draft from circulation or at least removing the provision under Article 2 of the Draft. 


Click to read the full opinion. 

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