“The Opinion of the Venice Commission adopted on 19 June and made public today makes it possible to solve the problems that have been at the centre of the constitutional crisis between the Armenian National Assembly and the Constitutional Court", said Marija Pejčinović Burić, Secretary General of the Council of Europe.
In its Opinion, the European Commission of Democracy through Law (the “Venice Commission”) clarified the scope of the Constitutional Court's review in the framework of the process of amending the Constitution and acknowledged the National Assembly's power to revoke its own decision calling for a referendum. Moreover, it recognised that the aim of implementing fully the provisions of the Constitution of 2015 concerning the composition of the Constitutional Court is legitimate. To reconcile this aim with the need to preserve the judges' security of tenure and their independence, the Venice Commission recommended that judges who have not yet completed a term of office of 12 years should be able to stay in office until completion of this term, and that judges who have already served a term of 12 years should be able to benefit, before being replaced, from a new transitional period whose length should be determined by the Armenian authorities. The Venice Commission regretted that amendments which do not provide for such a transitional period were tabled in the National Assembly on the day of the adoption of the Opinion.
"I invite all authorities to be guided by the Venice Commission recommendations to overcome the constitutional crisis through smooth implementation of the relevant provisions of the 2015 Constitution and in accordance with Council of Europe standards," concluded the Secretary General.