Venice Commission President urges all sides in Armenia to exercise restraint

Gianni Buquicchio, the president of the Venice Commission, an advisory body to the Council of Europe, has called on Armenia’s institutions to exercise restraint and mutual respect  in order to deescalate a conflict relating to the Armenian Constitutional Court. Earlier this month, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) had expressed concern over “the high level of tension” between the Armenian Prime Minister’s Office and the Presidency of the Constitutional Court.

The Venice Commission statement says:

“Following my statement of 29 October 2019, I remain preoccupied about the open conflict involving the Constitutional Court of Armenia. I share the concerns of the rapporteurs of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe in this respect.

I would like to recall the recommendations made in the opinion of the Venice Commission adopted in October 2019 that any early retirement scheme at the Constitutional Court has to remain truly voluntary, exclude any undue political or personal pressure on the judges concerned and must be designed not to influence the outcome of pending cases.

Recent public statements and acts do not meet these criteria and will not be conducive to deescalating the situation.

Democratic culture and maturity require institutional restraint, good faith and mutual respect between State institutions.

I call again on all sides to exercise restraint and to de-escalate this worrying situation in order to ensure the normal operation of the constitution of Armenia.”

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