Helsinki Citizens' Assembly-Vanadzor

Attestation of police officers is necessary to have conscientious and professional policemen

January 22, 2020

Activities | Legal Support | Legal Support | Project։ Stability of HCA Vanadzor in the light of democracy and human rights challenges in the Republic of Armenia 2019 | Publications | News | State Institutions | Civilian Oversight and Monitoring

The RA law “On Service in Police” which has acted since January 7, 2012, sets the exact procedure of attestation of officers in the police system. In particular, Article 15 (1), (2) and (3) of the Law “On Service in Police”, set the following,


1 Every year, at least 1/3 of police officers are subject to mandatory attestation. 
2 The regular attestation of police officers is conducted once every three years.
3 Snap attestation of a police officer is conducted at least 1 year after the regular one.


On October 8, 2011, the law on making amendments and addenda to the RA Law “On Service in Police” was adopted and entered into force on January 7, 2012.  The mentioned law recognized invalid Article 15 (1), (2), and (3).


According to the amendments and addenda made to the law, the fourth part of Article 15 was edited as follows, “Attestation of a police officer is conducted based on the decision reasoned by the official who has the power to appoint a police officer to a position, but not more than once a year”. 


Taking into account these changes, on November 11, 2019, HCA Vanadzor sent inquiries to Smbat Norekyan, commander of the RA Traffic Police  officer battalion of the 5th troop (regarding the police officers working under his supervision), then to Arman Sargsyan, Head of RA Police, to find out under what conditions and in what procedure the decision on a police officer’s attestation is made by the person who has the power to appoint a police officer to a position.

The RA Traffic Police informed in their response that Law HO-2018-N dated December 17, 2014, recognized invalid the fourth part of Article 14 of the RA Law “On Service in Police”, “promotion in middle and junior police groups is made only after serving in their position for at least 1 year”. With regard to the implementation of a police officer’s attestation based on the reasonable decision by the person who has the power to appoint to a position , the service clarified that as a result of Article 14 part 4 being recognized invalid, there was no further need to conduct police officers’ attestation.  


Responding to the letter addressed to the Head of the Police, the RA Police Staff Policy Department stated that attestation of police officers was not conducted because, “Article 15 of the RA Law “On Police Service” does not envisage a mandatory regular procedure for the attestation of police officers”.

Despite the fact that many changes have been made to the relevant provisions of attestation of police officers, Article 15 part 4 of the law envisages the procedure of implementing attestation of police officers based on a reasonable decision by the officer who has the power to appoint to a position, which, however, is not applied. 


It should also be mentioned that the necessity of police officers’ attestation is also indicated by the disreputable conduct of police officers after the adoption of the law, especially during demonstrations, such as “Electric Yerevan”, “Against the mandatory pension fund”, seizure of Erebuni police station, Sari Tagh events, Potests of mothers in black. Many media covered the protests conducted in front of State Revenue Committee by persons importing cars, the media also touched upon the lack of professionalism in police officers’ attempts at “dispersing the demonstration”. 


With this regard, on December 4, 2019, HCA Vanadzor sent a letter to the Police Head Arman Sargsyan, claiming to organize attestation for the policemen who have an active role in the video to determine the adequacy of their professional knowledge and work skills. Police Department of Yerevan city refused to conduct it reasoning that Article 15 of the law does not envisage a mandatory attestation.   


Based on the aforementioned, HCA Vanadzor claims its position that attestation of police officers is necessary to increase public trust in the police and in policemen and to have quality, professional and conscientious personnel in the police system. 


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