Constitutional Court Must Have Broader Powers President Says

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–Armenian President Robert Kocharian met October 4 with participants in the seminar on "The problems concerning powers in the Constitutional Court."

The president pointed out that the holding of such a seminar in Yerevan for the fourth time testifies to the great attention paid to the problems of democratic development.

Chairman of the Constitutional Court Gagik Haroutiunian presented the details of the seminar. The participants in the meeting exchanged views on the approaches to settling the disputes over constitutional powers and constitutional justice.

The president pronounced for broader powers of the Constitutional Court and pointed out two major tasks: the Constitutional Court should be granted the right to comment on the laws and Constitution in case of necessity. According to the president–the range of legal subjects that have the right to apply to the Constitutional Court should also be reviewed. The participants in the meeting presented the experience of their countries and their opinions.

Kocharian believes that a number of measures aimed at improving the constitutional justice system should be taken–Chairman of the Constitutional Court Gagik Haroutiunian told a news conference October 5.

He singled out the issue of broadening the range of legal subjects that have the right to apply to the Constitutional Court–and stressed the need for changes in the powers of the Constitutional Court. According to him the president also finds these changes necessary–as both the president and the parliament–and the government encountered this problem.

According to Haroutiunian–the afore-mentioned problems are effectively resolved in the German Constitution wherein the issues of constitutional powers are combined with the interpretation of the Constitution. The CC chairman regards as dangerous–especially in countries going through transitional periods–entrusting the constitutional courts with powers to provide abstract interpretations of the Constitution. "I would rather support concrete interpretations related to the disputes over powers," the CC chairman’said.

Haroutiunian regarded as interesting the discussion held during the 4th Yerevan international seminar organized by the Constitutional Court of Armenia and the CE European Commission "Democracy through law."

The CC chairman’said that the topic of the seminar–"The problems of settling disputes over powers in the Constitutional Court," was most vital. The fact that chairmen of a dozen of constitutional courts asked their Armenian colleagues to present the materials of the seminar to them testifies to the great interest shown in the seminar.

Giving reasons for organizing the 5th international seminar on "The main trends of development of constitutional justice in the new millennium" in Yerevan–Haroutiunian pointed out that the constitutional justice of the 20th century should be summarized. The constitutional justice originated in Austria in 1920s and developed in the post-war period.

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