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Consultative Council of European Prosecutors
Draft Questionnaire for CCPE Delegations


During the last years, extensive measures have been carried out in Armenia to bring the protection of the human rights in line with the international standards, tens of international human rights treaties have been ratified, and the legislation of the Republic of Armenia has been improved.
The amendments to the Constitution of the Republic of Armenia were adopted through a national referendum on 27 November 2005. Article 3 of the Constitution states that the human being and the dignity, fundamental rights and freedoms thereof are ultimate values. The state ensures the protection of fundamental human and civil rights and freedoms in conformity with the principles and norms of the international law. The state is bound by fundamental human and civil rights and freedoms as a directly applicable rights. The right to freedom is closely related to inviolability – i.e. to the human security and freedom guaranteed by the state - which excludes any offence against the person, honour and dignity of a human being. Therefore, pursuant to Article 14 of the Constitution, “human dignity shall be respected and protected by the state as an inseparable foundation of human rights and freedoms.”
The state ensures the protection of human rights and freedoms through legislative body, by establishing a national legal system. It is worth mentioning that the amended Constitution of the Republic of Armenia has also adhered to the direct transposition of international treaty provisions into the national legislation. Thus, pursuant to the constitutional provision, international treaties ratified by the Republic of Armenia are a constituent part of the legal system of the Republic of Armenia and prevail over the national laws. Therefore, pursuant to the relevant provision of Article 6 of the Constitution, where contradiction exists between norms prescribed by ratified international treaties and norms prescribed by national laws, the provisions of the treaty apply.
Article 17 of the Constitution of the Republic of Armenia clearly prescribes that “no one shall be subjected to torture or inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. All persons arrested, detained or deprived of liberty shall have the right to be treated with humanity and with respect for dignity”.
The new Criminal Code of the Republic of Armenia was adopted on 18 April 2003. In accordance with internationally accepted principles and values, the Criminal Code is based on the principles of legality, equality before the law, inevitable liability, fault-based liability, justice and humanity. Thus, Article 11 of the Criminal Code prescribes that the Criminal Code of the Republic of Armenia serves to provide for physical, mental, material, ecological, and other human security, and that no one shall be subjected to torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

Question 2
Exclusive powers are vested in prosecution authorities by the Constitution of the Republic of Armenia (Article 103) with regard to exercising control over the legality of inquest and preliminary investigation and of the application of punishments and other compulsory measures. The Law of the Republic of Armenia on Prosecutor’s Office entered into force on 1 May 2007. This Law regulates the issues related to the control over the legality of inquest and preliminary investigation, of the application of punishments and other compulsory measures.
Pursuant to Article 29 of the Law of the Republic of Armenia on Prosecutor’s Office, punishment means the forms of punishment provided for by criminal statute (fine, confiscation of property, detention, imprisonment, etc.). And other compulsory measure means deprivation of liberty in cases provided for by points 2 to 7 of part 1 of Article 16 of the Constitution of the Republic of Armenia, as well as the use of physical force, firearms or special means by special services.
Pursuant to Article 29 of the Law of the Republic of Armenia on the Prosecutor’s Office, when exercising control over the legality of the application of punishments and other compulsory measures, the prosecutor is entitled to:

    (1) Visit all the places where people deprived of liberty are held, without any restrictions and at any time;
    (2) Familiarise with the documents, on the basis of which the person has been subjected to a sentence or other compulsory measures;
    (3) Check the conformity with the legislation in force of orders, instructions, and decisions of the administration of bodies enforcing sentences and other compulsory measures, which concern the fundamental rights of the person subjected to a sentence or other compulsory measures. When discovering an act that contradicts the legislation, the prosecutor files a motion to revise it; when the prosecutor considers that a delay may lead to grave consequences, the prosecutor is entitled to suspend the validity of the act and to file a motion to revise it;
    (4) Question persons subjected to a sentence or other compulsory measures;
    (5) Release immediately persons kept illegally in places of deprivation of liberty and in penal and disciplinary isolators of such places, and, if a person was deprived of liberty on the basis of a legal act of the administration of the place of deprivation of liberty, then the person that adopted such an act is obliged, upon the prosecutor’s instruction, to immediately annul the act;
    (6) In case of doubt that the rights and freedoms of persons subjected to a sentence or to other compulsory measures have been violated, to demand explanations from officials on actions taken by them or on their inaction.

Question 3

Pursuant to the Penitentiary Code of the Republic of Armenia, the execution of a sentence, as well as imposition of compulsory medical measures combined with execution of the sentence, must not be accompanied by physical violence against a person, as well as by actions which can lead to socio-psychological degradation of a person. No person, deprived of liberty upon a judgment, shall be subjected to torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. No circumstance may serve as a ground for justifying torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
Pursuant to Article 2 of the Law of the Republic of Armenia on the Custody of Arrestees and Remand Prisoners adopted on 26 February 2002, an arrestee or a remand prisoner shall be respectively kept under arrest or remand detention based on the principles of legality, equality before the law of arrestees and remand prisoners, humanity, respect for individual rights, freedoms and dignity, in accordance with the Constitution of the Republic of Armenia, the Criminal Code of the Republic of Armenia and the Criminal Procedure Code of the Republic of Armenia, as well as generally recognised principles and norms of international law. It is prohibited to exercise physical violence, as well as carry out inhuman or degrading actions against an arrestee or a remand prisoner.

The abuse and excess of official powers by an official, as established by Articles 308 and 309 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Armenia, are also deemed as criminal offence and are punishable by up to four years of imprisonment depending on the type of offence.

Question 4

With a view to complying with the requirements of the Convention, a number of amendments have been made to the legislation of the Republic of Armenia to reduce the risk of exposure to torture or other cruel treatment in the Republic of Armenia.
Article 16 of the Constitution of the Republic of Armenia prescribes that a person may be deprived of liberty in cases and in the manner prescribed by law. The law may envisage deprivation of liberty only in the following cases:
(1) The person has been convicted by a competent court for committing a crime;
(2) The person has not complied with a court order that has entered into legal force;
(3) To ensure the performance of certain duties prescribed by law;

    (4) There is a reasonable doubt that a criminal offence has been committed, or when it is necessary to prevent the commission of a criminal offence by a person or to prevent his/her absconding after the committal thereof;
    (5) To place a minor under educational supervision or bring him/her before another competent authority;
    (6) To prevent spread of infectious diseases or public danger emanating from persons with mental illnesses, alcoholics, drug addicts or vagrants;
    (7) To prevent unauthorised entry of a person into the Republic of Armenia, to expel or extradite him/her to another country.

Each person deprived of liberty shall be informed immediately about the reasons thereof in a language comprehensible for him/her, and in case a criminal charge is brought against, of the charges as well. Each person deprived of liberty shall have the right to inform immediately thereon the person of his/her own choosing.

Question 5

According to Article 53 of the Criminal Procedure Code of the Republic of Armenia, in the course of pre-trial proceedings the prosecutor is, inter alia, authorised to assign the inquest body and the investigator to prepare materials for instituting criminal proceedings in connection with the incident of crime.

The Prosecutor’s Office of the Republic of Armenia is critically engaged in organising and implementing effective control over observance of the requirements of the law in penitentiary establishments and places of applying other compulsory measures. In its sessions, the Board of the Prosecutor’s Office has regularly discussed issues relating to the rights of the convicts, remand prisoners and arrestees, their living conditions, healthcare services, improvement of the manner and conditions of serving the sentence, release on parole or due to grave illness, persons having committed acts posing public danger in a state of insanity, and many other issues, as well as undertaken necessary measures aimed at restoring the violated rights of such persons and eliminating the shortcomings identified.

Question 6

On 3 August 2006, the Government of the Republic of Armenia adopted Decision No. 1543-N on Approving the Internal Regulations for Remand Facilities and Correctional Establishments of the Penitentiary Service of the Republic of Armenia, which entered into force on 3 December 2006. The Internal Regulations define and regulate the manner of exercising the rights, freedoms and duties of remand prisoners and convicts, the rules of conduct of remand prisoners and convicts, the medical care and conditions and rules of keeping personal hygiene, the assurance of living conditions for remand prisoners and convicts, their work, education, access to books, magazines and journals, the manner of establishment and operation of self-governing associations of convicts, participation in religious ceremonies, the manner of granting visits, the manner of receiving and delivering parcels and packages, the manner of receiving and making monetary transfers, the filing of proposals, requests and complaints by remand prisoners and convicts, the correspondence, and the manner of granting telephone conversations and short-time leaves, etc. Compliance with the requirements of the Internal Regulations is compulsory for the administration of the remand facility and correctional establishment, remand prisoners and convicts, as well as other persons visiting remand facilities or correctional establishments.
Issues relating to human rights, including explication of issues regarding torture and degrading treatment have been incorporated in the curriculum of the professional and combat-readiness trainings organised for police officers. Relevant educational courses are also held at the Academy and the Educational Centre of the Police of the Republic of Armenia. Human rights issues are studied at the Police Academy of the Republic of Armenia within the framework of Human Rights and the Police, International Humanitarian Law and Constitutional Law subjects. Under the auspices of the OSCE, a special lecture room was opened at the Educational Centre of the Police of the Republic of Armenia designed for trainings on human rights.

Question 7

See the Answers for Question 4

Question 8

Pursuant to Article 29 of the Law of the Republic of Armenia on the Prosecutor’s Office, when exercising control over the legality of the application of punishments and other compulsory measures, the prosecutor is entitled to visit all the places where people deprived of liberty are held, without any restrictions and at any time; check the conformity with the legislation in force of orders, instructions, and decisions of the administration of bodies enforcing sentences and other compulsory measures, which concern the fundamental rights of the person subjected to a sentence or other compulsory measures. When discovering an act that contradicts the legislation, the prosecutor files a motion to revise it; when the prosecutor considers that a delay may lead to grave consequences, the prosecutor is entitled to suspend the validity of the act and to file a motion to revise it; question persons subjected to a sentence or other compulsory measures; release immediately persons kept illegally in places of deprivation of liberty and in penal and disciplinary isolators of such places, and, if a person was deprived of liberty on the basis of a legal act of the administration of the place of deprivation of liberty, then the person that adopted such an act is obliged, upon the prosecutor’s instruction, to immediately annul the act; in case of doubt that the rights and freedoms of persons subjected to a sentence or to other compulsory measures have been violated, to demand explanations from officials on actions taken by them or on their inaction.


Question 9
According to Article 12 of the Penitentiary Code of the Republic of Armenia, convicts have the right to the following:

      (1) To be informed - in their native language or other language which they understand - of their rights, freedoms and duties, manner and conditions of execution of the sentence imposed by the court, amendments thereto, recommendations, requests and complaints, as well as on relevant international documents;

(2) Courteous treatment towards themselves;

      (3) To file requests and complaints regarding violations of their rights and freedoms, in person or through a counsel or a legal representative, with the administration of the punishment execution body or establishment, their superior authorities, the court, prosecutor’s office, human rights defender, state and local self-government bodies, non-governmental associations and parties, mass media, as well as with international human rights bodies or organisations;

(4) Health care, including receiving sufficient food, and medical treatment;
(5) Social security;
(6) To receive legal assistance;
(7) Personal safety;
(8) Freedom of thought, conscience and religion, political or other opinions;

      (9) To communicate with the outside world, including maintaining correspondence, have visits, enjoy telephone communication, literature and available mass media;

(10) To rest, including open air walk or exercise, as well as to eight hours of night sleep;
(11) To be called by their name and surname;

      (12) to apply to the head of the punishment execution body or establishment, as well as to authorities carrying out control and supervision over that body or establishment, with a request for a personal meeting;

(13) To participate in civil transactions;
(14) To receive education that is available and provided for by law, engage in creative work;

      (15) To purchase, from a shop or a mini-shop of the punishment execution establishment or through the latter’s administration, additional food and basic necessities;

(16) To receive and make money transfers, receive and send parcels and packages.
As for the conditions of keeping in custody and treatment of arrestees, remand prisoners or imprisoned persons, they are regulated, as mentioned above, by law of the Republic of Armenia on the Custody of Arrestees and Remand Prisoners adopted by the National Assembly of the Republic of Armenia on 6 February 2002 and the Regulation approved by the Decision of the Government of the Republic of Armenia No. 543-N of 3 August 2003, which envisage liability for breaching the principles, conditions and manner prescribed thereby. Nevertheless, information regarding physical ill-treatment in penitentiary establishments under the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Armenia is thoroughly investigated and relevant measures are imposed on the offenders. Special attention is attached to proper recording of possible injuries of remand prisoners and convicts and to accurate response mechanisms to their complaints.
However, there are cases where penitentiary officers are compelled to use physical force or special means in accordance with the law, when remand prisoners and convicts do not obey the lawful orders of the personnel of the penitentiary establishment, hinder the performance of their duties or commit unlawful actions. Each case of using physical force or special means is recorded. Where a prisoner disagrees to the actions of penitentiary administration, he/she can appeal against them, as well as against any action violating his/her rights. In case of inflicting injury to the health or causing death of a prisoner as a result of using physical force or special means, it is mandatory to send a written communication thereon to the Head of the Penitentiary Department and the prosecutor. Prosecutors carrying out oversight get familiar, on regular basis, with the cases of using force or special means, for determining the proportionality of the use thereof to the nature and level of the threat of the offence or resistance. The use of physical force or special means as a punishment is excluded.
In accordance with point 4 of the Executive Order of the President of the Republic of Armenia No. NK-328-NG of 28 December 2004, and point 4.4 of the Order of the Head of the Police of the Republic of Armenia No. 5-Ag of 31 January 2005, practical steps were undertaken towards ensuring a minimum floor space of 4 square meters per person for all persons kept in custody facilities, sufficient intra-cell lighting (including natural light) and ventilation, mattress and night bedclothes, and for persons under administrative detention - an opportunity to take a hot bath at least once a week. Cells and sanitary installations are kept in hygienically sufficient condition. Handout food rations for arrestees were increased upon the Decision of the Government of the Republic of Armenia No. 587-N of 15 May 2003. Nevertheless, due to the increase of the number of detainees, detention facilities often become overcrowded creating certain difficulties for fully implementing the above-mentioned provisions; such issues will be settled resultant to the reforms of the existing infrastructures and the construction of new ones.
Construction of several new penitentiary establishments, as well as termination of operation of some old ones is planned within the framework of the infrastructure reforms activities. Within this framework, a completely new penitentiary establishment will be put into operation following the completion of construction works which have commenced in 2007 on the site adjacent to the town of Echmiatsin, after which the operation of “Sevan” penitentiary establishment under the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Armenia will be terminated, and a completely new penitentiary establishment will be constructed in lieu. The operation of “Gyumri” penitentiary establishment under the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Armenia, as well as the exploitation of those premises of “Vanadzor” penitentiary establishment which are old and unfavourable for persons serving their sentence has already been terminated. The new building of “Vanadzor” penitentiary establishment under the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Armenia was opened in the town of Vanadzor on 19 March 2007. Facility, space and cell conditions of the new building are exemplary in comparison to other similar institutions in the territory of the Republic of Armenia and are, to the extent possible, in line with the international standards. The surface of cells provides each inmate with at least 4 square metres space, the cells have wide windows, toilet facilities are completely separated, backyards of required quantity and surface are available, etc. The institution is designed for holding remand prisoners and convicts serving their sentence in “closed type” correctional establishments. Currently, each remand prisoner and convict held in “Goris" penitentiary facility under the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Armenia is provided with at least 4 square metres of living space. In 2006, refurbishment works were initiated in the institution: toilets have been separated; the heating system has been renewed. The refurbishment works are ongoing. A new building for “Goris” penitentiary establishment in compliance with modern requirements is planned to be constructed in the nearest future.
A special emphasis is also put on life-sentenced prisoners. During 2006, significant work has been carried out to improve the cell conditions of the life-sentenced prisoners. Custody conditions of the life-sentenced prisoners, including education and work related issues are permanently in the focus of attention of penitentiary officers. Issues relating to involvement of the life-sentenced prisoners in rehabilitation programmes are being discussed with the International Prison Reforms Organisation, as a result of which an efficient settlement of the mentioned issues based on international practices is expected. For ensuring their active communication with the outside world, in addition to their access to telephone calls, visits, library, there are TV sets, radio sets, tape recorders in almost all cells, a number of newspapers and entertainment magazines, monthly papers and other periodicals are also often distributed to convicts through which they are able to keep in touch with the outside world.

Question 10

In detailed please see the answers to the Question 4

According to the Article 353 of the Criminal Code of Armenia( Failure to carry out a court act) willful failure by an official to carry out an effective court sentence, verdict or other court act, or hindrance to their implementation, is punished with a fine in the amount of 300 to 500 minimal salaries, or with arrest for the term of 1-3 months, or with imprisonment for the term of up to 2 years.
According to the Article 103 of Constitution of Armenia, prosecutor has right to initiate criminal case, but he/she has not right to initiate disciplinary procedure. The prosecutor also has right to bring actions in court to defend the State interests.
Question 11

According to relevant legislation, the prosecutors have right without any limitation to visit remand facilities or correctional establishments. Due to purpose of their visits, prosecutors can make reports.

Question 12
The answer is the same as it is in Question 11.

Question 13
According to the Article 103 of the Constitution of Armenia, prosecutors shall oversee the legality of preliminary inquiries and investigations.
According to the Article 53 ( The Powers of the Prosecutor at the Pre-trial Proceedings of the Criminal Case) of the Criminal Procedural Code of Armenia:
1. The prosecutor is authorized to conduct the following during the pre-trial proceedings:

    1) to institute and carry out criminal prosecution and to start proceedings of cases instituted by the body of inquiry, the investigator, to cancel the decision of the body of inquiry and the investigator on suspension of a case, to institute a criminal case based on court motion, to cancel the decision of the body of inquiry and the investigator rejecting the institution of a criminal case and to institute a criminal case.
    2) to investigate personally the criminal case in its full volume, passing necessary decisions during the preliminary investigation and implementing investigatory and other procedural actions in accordance with provisions of this Code;
    3) in case of a crime, instructs the body of inquiry and the investigator to prepare the materials for the institution of a criminal case.
    4) To instruct the body of inquiry and the investigator to conduct urgent investigatory measures or conduct them personally;
    5) To participate in the inquest;
    6) To carry out prosecutorial management of the inquest and the preliminary investigation.

Question 14

The administration of remand facilities or correctional establishments is obliged to accept, without any quantitative restrictions, proposals and requests submitted, as well as complaints filed by remand prisoners or convicts. Proposals and requests submitted, as well as complaints filed by remand prisoners or convicts are sent to addressees within three working days following their delivery. The administration of remand facilities or correctional establishments examines the proposals, requests and complaints addressed to them in the manner and within the time limits prescribed by the legislation of the Republic of Armenia. The answers to proposals, requests and complaints are submitted to a remand prisoner or a convict upon signature and, if desired, are attached to his/her personal file. Proposals, requests and complaints addressed to the administration of remand facilities or correctional establishments are attached to the personal file of a remand prisoner or a convict respectively. Upon taking the proposals, requests and complaints from а remand prisoner or a convict, the representative of the administration of a remand facility or correctional establishment makes an entry in the relevant register on taking thereof, where the remand prisoner or the convict also signs to that effect.

Question 15
In case of serious illness or death of an arrestee or remand prisoner, the administration of detention facility or remand facility immediately informs thereof to the close relatives of the arrestee or remand prisoner, to the body conducting criminal proceedings and the prosecutor conducting oversight. In case of serious illness or death of a foreign arrestee or remand prisoner, the administration of a relevant establishment immediately informs thereof to its superior body, which in its turn informs the agencies concerned, including the diplomatic mission or the consular office of the relevant state.

    Regrettably, due to housing and technical conditions, it is not expedient to establish women’s unit in the “Hospital for Prisoners” penitentiary establishment under the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Armenia. Medical and sanitary conditions and services for women are planned to be enlarged in “Abovyan” penitentiary establishment under the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Armenia. Female remand prisoners and convicts, where appropriate, are hospitalised in medical facilities of health care institutions, which is regulated by the Decision of the Government of the Republic of Armenia No. 825-N of 26 May 2006.
    The Penitentiary Service has adopted the following approach with regard to cases of self-injury: in each similar case, special written communications are received by the Penitentiary Department and immediate measures are taken for identifying and specifying the causes of the incident, personal, psychological and health conditions of the person having committed the act concerned, as well as circumstances relating to the incident, and for elaborating a relevant intervention plan. For the purpose of exercising control over the cases of self-injury and for enhancing the activities carried out for their prevention, the officers of the social, psychological and legal activities and security units of the Penitentiary Department were given a relevant assignment by the Head of the Penitentiary Department of the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Armenia for arranging a meeting with persons who have committed self-injury, and for reporting on actions taken.
    In collaboration with the social, psychological and legal activities and security units, persons inclined to self-injury are placed under the supervision of medical staff. Whenever it is found out that the case of self-injury does not carry the purpose of committing a specific offence, but is rather caused by reasons of psychological or psychiatric nature, it is not considered as an offence and social and psychological activities are carried out with the person concerned.

Question 16

According to the Article 53 ( The Powers of the Prosecutor at the Pre-trial Proceedings of the Criminal Case) of the Criminal Procedural Code of Armenia:
1. The prosecutor is authorized to conduct the following during the pre-trial proceedings:

    1) to institute and carry out criminal prosecution and to start proceedings of cases instituted by the body of inquiry, the investigator, to cancel the decision of the body of inquiry and the investigator on suspension of a case, to institute a criminal case based on court motion, to cancel the decision of the body of inquiry and the investigator rejecting the institution of a criminal case and to institute a criminal case.
    2) to investigate personally the criminal case in its full volume, passing necessary decisions during the preliminary investigation and implementing investigatory and other procedural actions in accordance with provisions of this Code;
    3) in case of a crime, instructs the body of inquiry and the investigator to prepare the materials for the institution of a criminal case.
    4) To instruct the body of inquiry and the investigator to conduct urgent investigatory measures or conduct them personally;
    5) To participate in the inquest;
    6) To carry out prosecutorial management of the inquest and the preliminary investigation.

Question 17

According to the Article 103 of the Constitution the prosecutors’ office of Armenia represents a unified system, headed by the Prosecutor General.

Question 18

According to the Article 55 point 17 of the Constitution of Armenia the President of the Republic of Armenia may grant pardons to convicted individuals.
According to the Article 81 part 1st of the Constitution of Armenia upon the recommendation of the President of the Republic of Armenia the Parliament may declare an Amnesty.
According to the Article 29 part 5 of the Law on Prosecutor’s office of Armenia the prosecutors shall participate in court trials during release cases.
Question 19

According to the Article 62 of the Law on Prosecutor’s office of Armenia the Prosecutor’s school is responsible for organization of prosecutors annual and additional trainings.

Question 20
According to the Articles 52 of the Criminal Procedural code of Armenia
1. The prosecutor is a state official, who conducts, within the limits of his/her competence, at all stages of the criminal procedure, the criminal prosecution, supervises the legitimacy of the preliminary investigation and inquest, supports the prosecution in court, appeals against the court verdicts and other decisions. The prosecuting attorney supporting the prosecution in court is called the prosecutor.
2. The prosecutor is entitled to lodge to the accused or to a person, who bears proprietary responsibility for the actions of the latter, a claim [suit] in protection of the interests of the state.
3. During the exercise of his/her powers at the proceedings of criminal case the prosecutor is independent and submits only to law. He/she shall execute the legitimate instructions of the superior prosecutor. If the subordinate prosecutor considers the instruction illegitimate, he/she appeals it to a superior prosecutor without executing it.
Article 54. Powers of the Prosecutor During Consideration of the Criminal Case or Materials in the Court
1. During consideration of the criminal case by the court, the prosecutor:

    1) declares challenges;
    2) brings motions;
    3) expresses opinion regarding the motions of other participants of the trial;
    4) ensures the presentation to the court of the evidences; gives to the body of inquiry mandatory assignments for the submission of the evidence to court;
    5) participates in the examination of case materials;
    6) objects against unlawful actions of other party;
    7) objects against unlawful, groundless actions of the presiding person;
    8) requests the inclusion into the protocol of court session of records regarding circumstances mentioned by him;
    9) exercises the right to dismiss criminal prosecution against the accused;
    10) announces the indictment in the court, makes the opening and closing speeches and a remarks in the court of first instance and the appellate court, and be present at the session of the Cassation Court;
    11) appeals the verdict and other court decisions in cases prescribed by this Code;
    12) exercises other powers, prescribed by this Code.

2. The prosecutor, participating in the court session is obligated to:

    1) To obey to the order in the court session and observe the legitimate instructions of the presiding person;
    2) exercise other powers, prescribed by this Code.

3. Participation of the prosecutor in court is mandatory during consideration of criminal cases.
Question 21

In 2008, the National Assembly of the Republic of Armenia adopted a Law on Making a Supplement to the Law of the Republic of Armenia on the Human Rights Defender, which proclaimed the Defender as the national preventive mechanism provided for in the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.
Following the supplements to the Law, the Office of the Human Rights Defender has undertaken to establish a cooperation framework with NGOs. A number of meetings with the representatives of NGOs, as well as seminars with the participation of international experts were held. Cooperation formats were discussed, and further steps were identified.

    Having regard to Article 47 of the Law of the Republic of Armenia on the Custody of Arrestees and Remand Prisoners, as well as to Article 21 of the Penitentiary Code of the Republic of Armenia, the procedure for carrying out public monitoring in the penitentiary establishments and bodies, as well as the composition of the Public Monitoring Group carrying out such monitoring was approved by the Order of the Minister of Justice of the Republic of Armenia No. QH-66-N.

Public monitoring in penitentiary establishments and bodies under the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Armenia is carried out by the Public Monitoring Group. The Public Monitoring Group is a monitoring body dealing with the issues of respect for the rights and freedoms of persons held in remand facilities and correctional establishments of the Penitentiary Service (prisoners), as well as of persons under the control of penitentiary bodies.
The goals of the activities of the Group are: to conduct public monitoring of protection of the rights of prisoners and persons under the control of penitentiary bodies; to improve the working and living conditions for prisoners in penitentiary establishments; to report to the public on the issues relating to the penitentiary service; to launch activities aimed at the detection and prevention of human rights violations in the Penitentiary Service, and numerous other tasks.
The composition of the Group is approved by the Order of the Minister of Justice of the Republic of Armenia based on the relevant documents submitted by the candidate organisation. Preference is given to organisations that were involved in the implementation of the above-mentioned objectives or human rights protection over the past year.
The Group may consist of no less than seven and no more than twenty one persons. Each non-governmental organisation may have only one representative in the Group. The Group operates on a voluntary basis. The Group currently consists of eleven members.
The Group may, where appropriate, involve relevant qualified experts in its activities. Upon the motion of the Group, the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Armenia issues a temporary pass for the expert to visit penitentiary establishments and bodies.
Members of the Group are entitled to free access to penitentiary establishments and bodies, to get familiar with the contents of various documents, including, upon the consent of a prisoner or a person under the control of penitentiary bodies, with their personal files and correspondence, except for confidential documents, to get familiar with the situation in the establishment, as well as to meet prisoners and persons under the control of penitentiary bodies.

Monitoring is conducted through visiting penitentiary establishments and bodies, and submitting reports to the Minister of Justice of the Republic of Armenia and to the public based on these visits. Three types of reports (progress reports, annual reports and urgent reports) are submitted, in regard with which the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Armenia presents its comments.
Progress reports may cover specific cases of violation of the rights of prisoners and persons under the control of penitentiary bodies, as well as cases when the penitentiary establishments and bodies hinder the exercise of the Group's powers. Urgent reports cover facts, conclusions on gross violations of human rights detected in the Penitentiary Service that require urgent solution.
All Group members sign under the decision on approving progress or annual reports; in addition, where one of the Group members disagrees to any of the points in the report approved by the decision, a relevant note is made to that effect or an individual opinion is attached to the report.
In February 2008 – May 2009 the Group submitted one annual report, one progress report and three urgent reports.

On 10 March 2006, a Public Monitoring Group for the detention facilities under the Police of the Republic of Armenia was formed pursuant to the Order of the Head of the Police of the Republic of Armenia of 14 January 2005 on Approving the Rules of Procedure for the Public Monitoring Group for the Detention Facilities under the Police of the Republic of Armenia.
According to this Rules of Procedure, the Public Monitoring Group for detention facilities under the Police of the Republic of Armenia (hereinafter referred to as detention facilities) is a monitoring body dealing with the protection of rights and freedoms of persons detained in detention facilities.
The Group consists of no less than seven and no more than twenty one persons. Furthermore, each non-governmental organisation may have only one representative in the Group. The Group currently consists of nine members.
With a view to carrying out its activities, the Group members have the right to free access to detention facilities; to meet persons detained in detention facilities; to get familiar with the internal legal acts regulating the activities of detention facilities, with personal file and correspondence of a person detained in a detention facility upon his/her consent, except for documents constituting state or official secret.
In this case, the Group member holds the office in the Group for a term of three years and is issued a document certifying his/her membership.
Members of the Group may visit detention facilities on any day, including non-working days. Members of the Group may, as a rule, meet a person detained in the detention facility in private or, at the wish of the Group member, in the presence of a representative from the administration of the detention facility.
To ensure fully-fledged monitoring, the Group members must visit no less than half of all detention facilities under the Police of the Republic of Armenia at least once a year.
The Group conducts monitoring through visiting detention facilities and submitting reports to the Head of the Police of the Republic of Armenia and to the public based on these visits.
The Group submits two types of reports (progress and annual), in regard with which the Police of the Republic of Armenia provides its comments.

    (1) Progress reports cover specific cases on violation of rights of persons detained in detention facilities, as well as on hindering the exercise of the Group’s powers.
    (2) Annual reports cover general situation in detention facilities, main problems and recommended solutions, outcomes of the activities conducted by the Group, etc.

In recent three years, a number of large-scale reforms were implemented in detention facilities under the Police of the Republic of Armenia as a result of the activities of the Group. Some detention facilities were closed due to the lack of relevant conditions. Conditions of some detention facilities were improved.

Article 117 of the Penitentiary Code of the Republic of Armenia prescribes the procedure for deferment of the serving of sentence and releasing from the sentence. Pursuant to part 1 of the said Article, if the convict is a pregnant woman or has a child under the age of three or suffers from a grave disease preventing the serving of the sentence, as well as where further serving of the sentence may cause serious consequences for the convict or the family members thereof (fire or other natural disasters, grave illness or death of the sole family member capable to work, or other exceptional circumstances), the motion on deferment of the serving of sentence or releasing from the sentence is filed with the court by the head of the body or establishment executing the sentence. The motion shall be accompanied by the profile of the convict, the consent of a relative on placement of the convict and her child and providing them with accommodation and appropriate living conditions, or a statement certifying that the convict has an accommodation and appropriate living conditions to have the child reside with her, or medical conclusion on pregnancy, or a copy of birth certificate of the child, or statements on other circumstances, as well as the personal file of the convict.
Article 27 of the Law of the Republic of Armenia on the Custody of Arrestees and Remand Prisoners determines the specifics of holding women and juveniles under arrest or remand detention.
According to this Article, female and juvenile arrestees or remand prisoners are provided with improved living conditions in detention facilities and remand facilities.
Female and juvenile arrestees and remand prisoners enjoy the right to daily walks of no less than two hours, during which they have an opportunity to do some physical exercises.
Female remand prisoners have the right to have their children under the age of three reside with them while they are in custody.
Female arrestees or remand prisoners who are pregnant or have their children residing with them are provided with appropriate living conditions, as well as specialised medical services.
It is prohibited to place pregnant women or women with children in a disciplinary cell as a sanction.
In case of illness, improper performance of parental duties, demonstrating cruel treatment against the child, as well as committing violations of internal regulations, the administration of the detention facility or remand facility may file a motion with the court on depriving the remand prisoner of parental rights and (or) placing the child in the care of other persons.
Female pregnant arrestees or remand prisoners, nursing mothers, juveniles, as well as ill arrestees or remand prisoners are provided with special handout food, the menu and minimum rations of which are determined by the Government of the Republic of Armenia (Article 43 of the Law).
According to Article 31 of the Law, arrestees are put in solitary confinement in detention facilities, and the following remand prisoners are held separately in remand facilities:

      (1) Men from women;
      (2) Juveniles from adults;
      (3) First-time remand prisoners from those who have previously served a sentence in the form of imprisonment, etc.

When releasing from custody or remand detention, persons who need care due to the condition of their health, as well as pregnant women, women with infants, and juveniles, the administration of the detention facility or remand facility gives prior notice on their release to their close relatives or other persons. In case of absence of close relatives, the necessary assistance is provided by the administration of the given establishment.
The above-mentioned persons are transferred to their places of residence accompanied by close relatives or other persons or an officer of the given establishment (Article 43).

      (d) Judgments of the European Court on violations of Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms

So far the European Court of Human Rights has rendered three judgments against Armenia finding a violation of Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights (“No one shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment”).

      (1) In respect of the case of Mkhitaryan v. Armenia (Application No. 22390/05), the Court delivered its judgment on 2 December 2008, where it found that there had been a violation of Article 3, and Article 6 §§ 1 and 3 (a)-(d) of the Convention, as well as of Article 2 of Protocol No. 7.
      (2) In respect of the case of Tadevosyan v. Armenia (Application No. 41698/04), the Court delivered its judgment on 2 December 2008, where it found that there had been a violation of Article 3, and Article 6 §§ 1 and 3 (b)-(d) of the Convention, as well as of Article 2 of Protocol No. 7.
      (3) In respect of the case of Kirakosyan v. Armenia (Application No. 31237/03), the Court delivered its judgment on 2 December 2008, where it found that there had been a violation of Article 3 of the Convention.

All judgments of the European Court of Human Rights are envisaged to be executed in the form of monetary compensation in August 2009.

      PART 3
      Information on the measures undertaken for the implementation of the conclusions and recommendations of the Committee against Torture on the second periodic report of the Republic of Armenia

Below is presented information on the implementation of the recommendations in point 39 of Doc. A/56/4 of the UN Committee against Torture, per sub-points:
(a) See Part 1 (12)-(14) of the Report.
(b) See Part 1 (54), (57), (58), (93), (94), (108)-(129) of the Report.
(c) By the Decision of the Government of the Republic of Armenia No. 1015 of 19 October 2001, the institutions under the authority of the Department of Execution of Criminal Sanctions of the Ministry of Interior Affairs of the Republic of Armenia were reorganised into penitentiary establishments operating under the authority of the central agency of the Penitentiary Service of the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Armenia, and a Penitentiary Service was established within the system of the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Armenia, which includes the Penitentiary Department and the establishments under its authority.
The objective of the transfer to the authority of the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Armenia of the Penitentiary Department and the establishments under its authority was to improve the whole system of the penitentiary service, as well as contribute to the improvement of conditions of detainees, and ensure the highest protection of their rights.
The Law of the Republic of Armenia on the Custody of Arrestees and Remand Prisoners enacted on 7 March 2002 pursues the same goal. The Law defines the general principles, conditions and procedures for holding arrestees or remand prisoners under arrest or in remand detention in accordance with the Criminal Procedure Code of the Republic of Armenia, the rights of arrestees and remand prisoners, guarantees for ensuring their rights, as well as their duties, and the procedure for releasing these persons from arrest or remand detention.
This Law prohibits physical violence, as well as inhuman or degrading actions against arrestees or remand prisoners (Article 2).
The Law thoroughly regulates also the procedures for transferring persons held in remand facilities to detention facilities, procedure for transportation of remand prisoners, internal regulations of detention facilities and remand facilities, defines the legal status of arrestees and remand prisoners, their rights, as well as guarantees for ensuring them.
In addition to the above-mentioned legal acts, the National Assembly of the Republic of Armenia adopted the Penitentiary Code of the Republic of Armenia on 24 December 2004. It is aimed at defining the procedure for and terms of executing criminal sentences and imposing compulsory medical measures combined with execution of the sentence, as well as ensuring necessary conditions for correction of the convict, and protecting the rights and freedoms of the convict.
Pursuant to Article 6 of the mentioned Code, the execution of a sentence, as well as imposition of compulsory medical measures combined with execution of the sentence, must not be accompanied by physical violence against a person, as well as such actions which can lead to socio-psychological degradation of a person.
No person, deprived of liberty upon a judgment, shall be subjected to torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. No circumstance may serve as a ground for justifying torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
Thus, the establishment of the Penitentiary Department and the transfer of the establishments under its authority to the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Armenia, as well as the above-mentioned legislative reforms serve as significant pre-conditions for establishing an independent monitoring system in detention facilities.
(d) 678 crimes were recorded in the Armed Forces of the Republic of Armenia in 2007, 12 of which were cases of violence with fatal outcomes. 9 of them were cases of murder, 6 of which were committed by the adversary, 3 by comrade-in-arms, and 3 were cases of violence causing suicide.
During the given period, the Armed Forces of the Republic of Armenia recorded 76 cases of criminal violations of statutory relations, 44 of which resulted in the institution of a criminal case. 33 of them were sent to court upon indictments, which resulted in the conviction of 37 persons.
80 cases of abuse were recorded in 2007, 50 of which resulted in the institution of a criminal case. 36 of them involving 43 servicemen were sent to court upon indictments, which resulted in the conviction of 29 persons. 32 servicemen were arrested for abuse, as well for criminal incidents involving non-statutory relations. Remand detention was imposed on 41 persons as a measure of restraint.
In 2007, 34 criminal cases were instituted with regard to cases with fatal outcome recorded in the Armed Forces of the Republic of Armenia. 10 of them involving 18 persons were sent to court upon indictments, from which 7 cases resulted in the conviction of 9 persons. 15 persons were arrested in connection with criminal cases instituted with regard to incidents with fatal outcomes, and remand detention was further imposed on them as a measure of restraint.
In 2007, the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Armenia planned and implemented complex measures to reduce, to the extent possible, the number of cases of murder, suicide, violent actions, emergency cases and accidents resulting from non-statutory relations. The activities of the Supernumerary Groups for the Prevention of Suicides and Mutilations were continuously monitored, and adequate measures were undertaken to increase their effectiveness. Due attention was paid to educational and socio-psychological activities during combat duty, guard and garrison service.
In 2007 the cooperation with the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Armenia with non-governmental organisations was enhanced. During one year, 14 visits to 71 military units, as well as to military hospitals were made jointly with the representatives from the coordinating council “Zinvor” of non-governmental organisations, which unifies about 51 non-governmental organisations.
During 11 months of 2008, 773 crimes were recorded in the Armed Forces of the Republic of Armenia, from which 512 military crimes, and 261 general crimes. During 11 months of 2008, 66 cases of death were recorded, as a result of which 69 servicemen died, including 25 people from disease, 14 people from car accidents, 2 people from violation of rules of handling of weapons, 8 people from casualty, 2 people from exposure of mine, 9 people from murder, whereas 3 people were murdered by the adversary, and 8 people committed suicide. Moreover, 2 cases of murder and 2 cases of suicide occurred due to violence and non-statutory relations.
During 11 months of 2008, the Armed Forces of the Republic of Armenia recorded 84 cases of criminal violations of statutory relations. 154 criminal cases were instituted in connection with death, abuse, criminal violations of non-statutory relations; 85 servicemen were convicted. In regard with the mentioned cases 12 servicemen were arrested, remand detention was imposed on 25 persons as a measure of restraint.
In 2008 the following measures were undertaken to reduce non-statutory relations in the Armed Forces of the Republic of Armenia:

      - Oversight proceedings are filed on all servicemen having committed mutilation, execution of which is delegated to more skilled employees,
      - With a view to continuously keeping the conditionally sentenced serviceman within the operative sight, preventive oversight proceedings are filed,
      - Prior to conscription, preventive measures towards servicemen are carried out through “Personal Record Books”,
      - The heads of the units of the Military Police Department of the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Armenia, jointly with commanders of the military units of increased criminogenic environment, develop plans for preventive measures and carry out preventive measures.

(e) Article 11 of the Judicial Code of the Republic of Armenia adopted on 21 February 2008 by the National Assembly of the Republic of Armenia covers the independence of the judge and the autonomy of the court.
Thus, according to this Article, in administering justice and performing other powers provided for by law, the judge is independent, is not accountable to anyone and, inter alia, is not bound to give any explanation, except for the cases envisaged by law. It is prohibited to interfere in the activities of a judge in a manner not envisaged by law. Any such act is subject to criminal prosecution.
Section 3 of the same Code defines also the procedure for the formation of the Council of Justice and its powers, Article 106 of which relates to the Disciplinary Committee of the Council of Justice. The said Committee consists of three members of the Council of Justice; two of them are two judge members and one is academic lawyer. The Disciplinary Committee is formed by the principle of rotation. The Disciplinary Committee is entitled to institute disciplinary proceedings against a judge or chairperson of the courts of first instance and of appeal, and, upon the request by the Ethics Committee of the Council of Court Chairmen, to institute disciplinary proceedings against a judge of the Court of Cassation, chamber chairperson and the Chairperson of the Court of Cassation, as well as to file motions to that effect with the Council of Justice.
The power to subject a judge to disciplinary liability is vested in the Council of Justice on the following grounds: an obvious or grave violation of a provision of substantive law in the administration of justice; an obvious and grave violation of a provision of procedural law; regular violations or a grave violation of work discipline; regular violations or a grave violation by the judge of the Code of Conduct.
The power to institute disciplinary proceedings is vested in the Minister of Justice, the Disciplinary Committee of the Council of Justice and the Chairperson of the Court of Cassation only against a chamber judge and chamber chairperson of the Court of Cassation.
Disciplinary proceedings may be initiated where a decision of the Cassation Court is available, which confirms that an obviously illegal judicial act was rendered in the administration of justice when resolving a case or matter on the merits, or the judge committed an obvious and grave violation of the rules of procedural law in the administration of justice.
The reasons for instituting disciplinary proceedings also include: an application by a person; a communication from an official of a state or local self-government body; a motion filed by the Ethics Committee of the Council of Court Chairpersons; a judicial act issued by the international court with participation of the Republic of Armenia, which establishes that a court of the Republic of Armenia, while examining the case concerned, committed a violation of human rights and fundamental freedoms prescribed by the relevant international treaty of the Republic of Armenian.
According to Article 157 of the Judicial Code of the Republic of Armenia, the Council of Justice may, as a result of reviewing the matter related to the disciplinary liability of a judge, impose any of the following disciplinary sanctions on the judge:

      (1) Warning;
      (2) Reprimand, which is combined with depriving the judge of 25% of his/her salary for a period of six months;
      (3) Severe reprimand, which is combined with depriving the judge of 25% of his/her salary for a period of one year;
      (4) Filing a motion with the President of the Republic to terminate the powers of a judge.

The latter shall be imposed where a grave disciplinary offence or periodic disciplinary offences committed by the judge render him/her incompatible with the position of a judge.
When examining matters of subjecting a judge to disciplinary liability, the Council of Justice acts as a court. The decision is made in the consultation room. After declaring the completion of case examination, the Council of Justice declares the venue and date of pronouncing the decision. Decisions of the Council of Justice are published in the Official Journal of the Republic of Armenia and on the official website of the judiciary of the Republic of Armenia (www.court.am).
As to holding a judge criminally liable for the errors made while rendering a judgment, a judge may be subjected to criminal liability in accordance with Article 352 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Armenia only for rendering an obviously unjust judgment or other judicial act with mercenary purposes or other personal motives. The mentioned act is punishable by a fine in the amount of 300-fold to 500-fold of the minimum salary, or by deprivation of the right to hold certain positions or to engage in certain activities, or by imprisonment for a term of 2 to maximum 7 years.
The above-mentioned forms of disciplinary liability provided for by the legislation of the Republic of Armenia, as well as the above-mentioned Article on holding judges criminally liable, are not aimed at weakening the judiciary, but at ensuring the principle of equality of all before the law and elimination of impunity, which is one of the cornerstones of building a democratic state.
In 2006 the Council of Court Chairpersons of the Republic of Armenia approved the anti-corruption strategy for the judiciary system of the Republic of Armenia, the annex of which defines that the remuneration of the judge should be sufficient for independent, just and effective implementation of the broad powers vested in the judge. The Law of the Republic of Armenia on Official Rates of Remuneration of Senior Officials of Legislative, Executive, and Judicial Authorities has also been amended, increasing the official rate of remuneration of judges.
(f) See Part 1 (81)-(91) of the Report.
(g) Death penalty was abolished in Armenia in 2003 by the adoption of the new Criminal Code, which was also enshrined in Article 15 of the Constitution of the Republic of Armenia proclaiming that no one shall be sentenced to death or executed. In addition, on 9 September 2003 the Republic of Armenia ratified the Protocol No. 6 to the Council of Europe Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, concerning the abolition of death penalty, and on 19 May 2006 signed the Protocol No.13 to the Council of Europe Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, concerning the abolition of death penalty in all circumstances.