Law on the Human Rights Defender

1. GENERAL PROVISIONS

Article 1. GENERAL PROVISIONS


The present Law defines the procedure of election and dismissal of the Human Rights Defender, as well as the powers, forms and the guarantees of his/her activity.

Article 2. HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDER


The Human Rights Defender (hereinafter referred to as the Defender) is an independent and unaltered official, who, guided by the fundamental principles of lawfulness, social co-existence and social justice, protects the human rights and fundamental freedoms violated by the state and local self-governing bodies or their officials.

Article 3. ELECTION OF THE DEFENDER


1. The post of the Defender shall be held by a person having attained the age of 25, who has high degree of prestige in the society, who the last five years lives in Republic of Armenia, who is a citizen of the Republic of Armenia and has right to vote.
2. The Defender shall be elected by the National Assembly by the votes of more than 3/5 of the total number of deputies from candidates for a term of 6 years, nominated by at least 1/5 of the National Assembly deputies.
The Defender should take the following oath upon his/her election:
“Having accepted the commitments of Human Rights Defender I swear hereby to be faithful to RA Constitution and laws, the principles of justice, social co-existence as to defend the human rights and fundamental freedoms of individuals and citizens.
I swear to act in impartial, honest and diligent manner”.
3. The Defender shall take office on the day when the term of office of the previous Defender expires. In the event the office of the Defender is vacant at the moment of the election, Defender shall take office on the next day following the election.
4. Next election of the Defender should be held in 40 days preceding the termination of Defender's powers.
 

Article 4. RESTRICTION ON OTHER ACTIVITIES OF THE DEFENDER


1. The Defender shall not engage in entrepreneurial activity, shall not hold any office in state or local self-governing bodies or commercial organizations and shall not perform other work for compensation, except for scientific, pedagogical or creative activities.
2. The Defender shall not be a member of any political party, nor shall he/she nominate his/her candidacy for elections, participate in pre-election campaigns.
3. Within 14 days after assuming Office, the Defender shall discontinue any activity that is inconsistent with the requirements of this Law.


Article 5. INDEPENDENCE OF THE DEFENDER


1. The Defender shall be independent in executing his/her powers and shall be guided only by the Constitution and the Laws of the Republic of Armenia, as well as recognized norms and principles of International Law. The Defender shall not be subordinated to any state or local self-governing body or official.
2. The Defender shall not be obligated to provide clarifications, not even as a witness, about the nature of a complaint or a document in his/her possession. He/she shall not make them accessible for familiarization with the exception of the cases and procedure not stipulated by the Law.
3. Defender’s decisions are not considered as administrative acts and not subjected to appeal.

Article 6. TERMINATION OF DEFENDER’S POWERS


1. The Defender’s powers shall terminate on the sixth year following the date of his/her oath.
2. The Defender’s powers shall be terminated before the appointed time only if:
1) a verdict of the Court convicting the Defender has entered into legal force;
2) the Defender expatriates the Republic of Armenia or got citizenship of other country;
3) the Defender reiterates resignation no later than 10 days, since he/she submits a letter of resignation to the National Assembly of the Republic of Armenia;
4) the Defender is declared incapable, missing or deceased by an effective decision of the Court;
5) in case of Defender’s death.
3. In case of existence of bases provided to the second part of the present article, the President of National Assembly informs the deputies about the early termination of Defender’s powers.
4. In case of termination of the Defender’s powers, new elections will be called within a month from the date when the post remains vacant.

Article 6.1 THE HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDER IN THE SPHERE OF INTERNATIONAL LAW


The Defender is recognized as an Independent National Preventive Mechanism provided by the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.
(The law is amended by Article 6.1 on 08.04.08 ՀՕ -14 Law)