On October 23, 2018, initiated by ‘Partnership for open society’, a discussion titled ‘The role of strategic litigation in justice system’ was carried out within the framework of public discussions titled ‘New Armenia: justice and good governance reform agenda’.
The second analysis of the strategic cases of the Helsinki Citizens' Assembly Vanadzor was also presented at the discussion. It was carried out by lawyer-expert Ara Ghazaryan by the order of HCA Vanadzor.
The first research was conducted in 2011.
The RA acting Minister of Justice Artak Zeynalyan and Artyom Sedrakyan – head of Criminal Procedure and Military Personnel Rights Protection Department at Human Rights Defender’s Office of the Republic of Armenia- also took part in the discussion.
A. Zeynalyan highlighted the role of strategic litigation , its influence on the development of rights and on judicial practice. The acting minister welcomed both the implementation of strategic litigation and the organization of such discussions about them.
Touching upon the role of strategic litigation, the representative of the RA Human Rights Defender mentioned that often, especially in governmental bodies, the strategy is pushed to the background and they try to solve the daily problems.
‘The essence of strategic litigation is to achieve a long-term change, that is to say, when we initiate a case, we do not aim at solving a particular problem as a result of the case, but rather we strive to obtain such legal assessments or legal positions on the basis of which legislative or practice change should be achieved’, mentioned HCA Vanadzor president Artur Sakunts.
He also touched upon certain cases of case-law importance and their impact on legislation and practice issues.
Lawyer-expert Ara Ghazaryan presented the strategic importance of court cases based on the analysis of 37 court cases of HCA Vanadzor. He emphasized that the aim of the analysis is not the favourable outcome of the proceedings, but rather the evaluation of the impact on legislation, practice and most importantly, legal consciousness.
Lawyer Karen Tumanyan and lawyer Araks Melkonyan – expert of ‘Protection of rights without borders’ organization – also shared their experience of strategic litigation.
Analysis of HCA Vanadzor strategic cases includes Organization’s 37 court cases of 2011-2017 time period. They were classified in accordance with fundamental rights and strategic importance. When evaluating strategic importance, a number of factors were taken into consideration, including raising an essential issue of law, public interest in the case and the impact it has on court practice.
Besides the analysis, the research also includes description of all the discussed cases.