“CONSTITUTIONAL CULTURE” INTERNATIONAL ANALYTICAL CENTER” FOUNDATION (CCIAC)
“The Constitutional Culture” International Analytical Center and “The Center of the Constitutional Law of the Republic of Armenia”, by the support of the Holy See and the Pontific Oriental Institute are co-organizing an international conference titled “Challenges of Spiritual and Legal Behavior of the Contemporary Individual and Imperatives of Their Overcoming”, to be convened in Rome on 17 – 18 November 2017.
It is also scheduled to organize two Round Table discussions within the framework of the Conference with wide international representation on the following topics:
a) The Role of Constitutional Culture in the Spiritual Character of Contemporary Individual;
b) The Spiritual Values in the Axiological System of Contemporary Constitutions.
The key note speakers of the conference are prominent experts of constitutional law, such as Dr. Andras Sajo, Dr. Bostjan Zupancic, former Judges of European Court of Human Rights, Dr. Robert Spano, the Judge and President of Section of the European Court of Human Rights, Dr. Ann Power, the Judge of the Kosovo Specialist Chambers, Dr. Christoph Degenhart, Professor at the University of Leipzig, Dr. Bakhtiar Tuzmukhamedov, the former Judge of the Appeal Chamber of International Criminal Tribunals for former Yugoslavia and Rwanda as well as other prominent constitutionalists. Dr. Gianni Buquicchio, the President of the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe will participate in the Opening Ceremony of the Conference.
INVITATION FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE
From October 30 to November 3, at the invitation of the Faculty of Law and the Center for Public Law at the University of Cambridge (Great Britain), Mr G. Harutyunyan, President of the RA Constitutional Court, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the International Analytical Center “Constitutional Culture,” delivered a lecture on “The main tendencies of constitutional developments in the countries of Eastern Europe and the former USSR” for academic staff of the Public Law Center at the University of Cambridge. The participants raised several questions, a number of important and precedentail decisions of the RA Constitutional Court were analyzed, as well as the characteristic features of the constitutional developments in the Republic of Armenia were analyzed in the framework of comparative analysis.
Within the framework of the working visit, Mr Harutyunyan had meetings with Professor Richard Fentiman, Chair of the Faculty of Law at the University of Cambridge, Professor David Feldman, Director of the Center for Public Law, and Mr David Wills, Squire Law Librarian. Mr Harutyunyan presented his new monographs in English to the library of the Faculty of Law and the Center for Public Law at the University of Cambridge.
During the meeting with the Chair of the Faculty of Law at the University of Cambridge, issues of current constitutional and legal developments in the Republic of Armenia, and the main domestic and international approaches to the issues of formation and development of constitutional culture were considered.
During the meeting with the Director of the Center for Public Law at the University of Cambridge, the main perspectives of further cooperation with the Center were considered. The parties specifically outlined the need for active steps to expand cooperation of the Center for Public Law and the International Analytical Center “Constitutional Culture.”
EXHIBITION “CONSTITUTION AND CULTURE” DEDICATED TO THE DAY OF THE CONSTITUTION
On July 4, an exhibition of works by the artist Rudik Petrosyan was opened in the Constitutional Court, which was dedicated to the Day of the RA Constitution.
“Constitution and Culture” is the name given to the event by the initiator of the exhibition Gagik Harutyunyan, President of the RA Constitutional Court. The idea of the exhibition was born as a result of the friendship of the statesman and the painter, and the occasion was the presentation of the English monograph “Constitutional Culture: the Lessons of the History and the Challenges of the Time” by Gagik Harutyunyan (in Strasbourg), where T. Jagland, Secretary General of the Council of Europe said the following: “Constitutional culture becomes an Armenian brand”.
The exhibition featured about 30 paintings by Rudik Petrosyan, among which the special place took the triptych “BIRTH OF THE CONSTITUTION” created by the artist.
Gregory the Illuminator and King Trdat are on the right side of the triptych. With a future-oriented gaze they symbolize the adoption of Christianity as the state religion in Armenia, as well as the systemic and value orientation of the Armenian people. In the centre of triptych the portrayal of abstract representation of perception of Ashtishat Assembly dated 365A.D. is presented, which with unique skills portrays: a) people with an unwavering will to self-knowledge and life in accordance with constitutional canons, b) harmony of the symbol of justice with public mood, c) creation of the Constitution by the wise men in the current social environment. These summarize the definition of the notion “constitution” presented in the New Haikazyan Dictionary of the Armenian Language published in 1837 in Venice as “Determination of borders and the Divine Providence”. On the left side of triptych is portrayed the Armenian historian Movses Khorenatsi, who assessed the canonical Constitution adopted by the Ashtishat Assembly as “established mercy through canonical constitution” which is inscribed on the parchment hold by the angels.
The exhibition featured also the paintings by artist Mary Petrosyan, daughter of Rudik Petrosyan.
The new published book “Constitutionalism: issues of diagnostics, monitoring and management” by Gagik Harutyunyan, President of the RA Constitutional Court, and H. Sargsyan and R. Gevorgyan, professors of Yerevan State University was also presented to the participants.
NEW BOOK OF ENCYCLOPEDIC VALUE
At the initiative of Professor G. Harutyunyan, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the International Analytical Center “Constitutional Culture”, and with the blessing of Catholicos of All Armenians Karekin II, the author’s collective is preparing to publish the two-volume book “Axiological Origins of Constitutional Culture in the Millennial Chronicle of the First Nation to Adopt Christianity as a State Religion”.
Secular and ecclesiastical specialists are involved in the preparation of the publication, and their regular working meeting was held on June 21, 2017.
The work of the author’s group and the editorial team is coordinated by Professor G. Harutyunyan. The editorial staff includes Arthur Vagharshyan, Head of the Chair of Theory and History of State and Law of the Yerevan State University, Artak Movsisyan, Acting Head of the Chair of the History of Armenia, and Supreme Archimandrite Shahe Ananyan, representative of the Supreme Patriarch.
Themes of the sections of the two-volume book will be presented by Artak Movsisyan, Azat Bozoyan, Aleksan Hakobyan, Ashot Voskanyan, Arman Yeghiazaryan, Gagik Harutyunyan, Gegham Badalyan, Grigor Tananyan, Hayrapet Margaryan, and Narine Mirzoyan.
This voluminous work will include various pages of the history of development of social relations, beginning with the ancient Armenian kingdoms (from Aratta to Urartu) to our times. In this work, the authors will disclose the historical necessity of convening the Secular Assemblies and then the National Ecclesiastical Assemblies, the peculiarities of their organization, as well as the scientific and legal role and significance of the adopted canonical constitutions. In the framework of a comprehensive comparative analysis, the National Ecclesiastical Assemblies of Vagharshapat, Ashtishat, Shahapivan, Dvin, Karin, Aghvаnk, Partav, Manazkert, Shirakavan, Ani, Hark, Lori, Dzagavan, Shugri, Homkla, Tarson, Sis, and Adana, as well as the “Armenian Book of Canons”, the scientific and legal heritage of Sahak Partev, David Alavkavordi, Nerses the Gracious, Mkhitar Gosh, and Smbat Sparapet, as well as the Lawcode of Polish Armenians, the Lawcode of Astrakhan Armenians, “The Snare of Glory” by Shahamirians, and the National Constitution of the West Armenians will be presented. The two-volume book will also be presented in English, and the broad international community will have an opportunity to get familiar with the formation and development of the Armenian legal and constitutional culture.
The book will be published in the spring of 2018.
RECEPTION AT THE CONSTITUTIONAL COURT
On February 6, Arpine Hovhannisyan RA Minister of Justice, Members of the Constitutional Court, Gevorg Danielyan,President of the Council of the Center of Constitutional Law, Hrayr Tovmasyan Head of the NA Staff, Academician Gagik Ghazinyan, Vardan Poghosyan, head of the legal project of the German Corporation for International Cooperation (GIZ), Grigor Muradyan, Head of Legal Department of the Staff of the RA President, Karen Matevosyan, President of Administrative Court, lawyers and constitutionalists were present at the reception dedicated to 21st anniversary of establishment of the RA Constitutional Court.
G. Harutyunyan, President of the Constitutional Court greeted the participants, congratulated on 21st anniversary of establishment of the CC and introduced the recent achievements of the RA CC underlining some important and significant events.
Mr. Harutyunyan highlighted the event organized in the scopes of the joint project of the Council of Europe and the European Union, where the first volume of the guidebook “Legal positions expressed in the decisions of the RA Constitutional Court and their implementation” (compiled with the assistance of the CC members and edited by Gevorg Danielyan, Adviser of the CC) was presented. Publication of 942 page voluminous book was implemented by the financial assistance of the European Union and the Council of Europe within the framework of joint project “Strengthening the independence, professionalism and accountability of justice system in Armenia” of the European Union and the Council of Europe.
This book presents the legal positions expressed in the decisions of the Constitutional Court and the process of their implementation. The book is designed for judges, officials, specialists, theorists involved in legal studies, as well as for the public. The legal positions expressed in the book are presented in the grounds of development of our legal system. The second volume is in the process of publication, which would include certain queries expressed in the annual reports of the Constitutional Court, and the latter would play significant role for further development of legal system.
The RA Constitution in four languages (Armenian, Russian, German and English) published by the initiative of the legal project of the German Corporation for International Cooperation (GIZ), as well as “Almanac” based on the materials of Pan-European International Conference held in Yerevan (which were successfully presented in Strasbourg recently) were also presented at the meeting. The Russian version of the issue of journal “Constitutional Justice” (which includes the main list of indicators of constitutional monitoring for the first time) was presented likewise.
This is important as the rest of the world now works in the way to develop such a system. In 2011 it was initiated by the UN, and in 2012 a system of indicators was developed. This publication actually suggests an open discussion by delivering the journal to more than 40 countries. A special working group has been formed in Armenia (at Yerevan State University) which deals with methodological issues and in nearest future, with the help of this method and indicators, assessment of constitutionality and constitutional culture for over 140 countries is planned.
It was also mentioned that the solemn ceremony of establishment of International Analytical Center “Constitutional Culture” foundation was held in Strasbourg. This newly created center has been already joined by 40 constitutionalists from 18 countries. During the reception the website of International Analytical Center “Constitutional Culture” foundation was introduced. It will contain an electronic journal, where materials of different authors will be published. The website was introduced by presenting images and video materials.
At the presentation the canvas of the painter Rudik Petrosyan “Birth of the Constitution” created on the basis of historical events (particularly, Ashtishat assembly) was introduced. It actually becomes one of the symbols of International Analytical Center “Constitutional Culture”.
А BOOK WHICH DESERVED PAN-EUROPEAN ATTENTION
In October 2016 the International Pan-European Conference organized by the RA Constitutional Court and Venice Commission was held, and Thorbjorn Jagland, Secretary General of the Council of Europe and Guido Raimondi, President of the European Court of Human Rights greeted the Conference with video-addresses. Simultaneously, the presentation of the International Analytical Center “Constitutional Culture” foundation was held. Prior to that the presentation of the book “Constitutional Culture: Lessons of History and Modern Challenges” (in Armenian) of Gagik Harutyunyan, President of the RA Constitutional Court, Doctor of Law, Professor was held.
And now, the English version of the book was presented in Strasbourg.
On January 26, in the premises of the Council of Europe, the event dedicated to the issues of constitutional culture organized together with the International Analytical Center “Constitutional Culture”, the German Corporation for International Cooperation (GIZ) and permanent representation of the Republic of Armenia was held.
T. Jagland, Secretary General of the Council of Europe, G. Buquicchio, President of the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe, A. Sajó, Vice-President of the European Court of Human Rights, judges of ECHR, members of diplomatic corps accredited to the Council of Europe, members of Armenian and foreign delegations and other officials were present at the event.
G. Harutyunyan, President of the RA Constitutional Court, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of International Analytical Center “Constitutional Culture”, member of the Bureau of the Venice Commission, Doctor of Law, Professor held an opening speech. He informed that in the framework of the 16-th anniversary of membership of Armenia to the Council of Europe, this event was dedicated to the foundation of International Analytical Center “Constitutional Culture” and publication of “Constitutional Culture: Lessons of History and Modern Challenges” monograph (in English), publication of the RA Constitution in four languages and almanac of the materials of Pan-European Conference held on October 20-23, 2016 in Yerevan.
In his address T. Jagland, Secretary General of the Council of Europe emphasized the active participation of the Republic of Armenia in all initiatives of the Council of Europe. “We are devoted to the Armenia which is stable, prosperous and looking to the future,” said Mr. Jagland, “Our relations are bilateral, and I appreciate the strong commitment of Armenia to dialogue and cooperation ... We appreciate the honest and engaged way by which Armenia is approaching various proposals.”
The English monograph “Constitutional Culture: Lessons of History and Modern Challenges” was presented by Alvina Gyulumyan, member of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Armenia who emphasized the practical and scientific importance of the book in the establishment of constitutional culture in the member states of Council of Europe.
Vardan Poghosyan, head of the legal project of the German Corporation for International Cooperation (GIZ), substitute member of the Venice Commission presented the recently published the 2015 edition of the amended Constitution in four languages.
The reception was followed.
Opening speech by G. Harutyunyan, President of the RA Constitutional Court, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of International Analytical Center “Constitutional Culture”, member of the Bureau of the Venice Commission, Doctor of Law, Professor [mp4, 10.4 mb]
ESTABLISHMENT OF THE NEW CENTER
On October 21, a reception on behalf of Mr. Serzh Sargsyan, President of the Republic of Armenia was organized at the Receptions House of the Government of the Republic of Armenia in honor of the Participants of Yerevan International Conference, organized by the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Armenia, European Commission for Democracy through Law of the Council of Europe (Venice Commission), Conference of the Constitutional Control Organs of the Countries of New Democracy, Center of the Constitutional Law of the Republic of Armenia (with the support of the Armenian Office of the German Corporation for International Cooperation (GIZ).
During the reception, the Solemn Ceremony of Establishment of the Foundation “International Public Analytical Center “Constitutional Culture”” took place.
Mr. G. Harutyunyan, President of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Armenia mentioned the necessity of establishing the Center and its main functions.
The idea of establishing the Center found a great response and received an offer of cooperation from a number of international analytical centers and individual experts, and it will carry out its functions with a wide involvement of the latter. In particular:
- conducting analytical work on issues of constitutional culture, as well as organization of international conferences, scientific and practical discussions;
- functional and institutional arrangements in different countries on the implementation of effective systems of diagnostics of constitutionalism and constitutional monitoring;
- preparation and publication of opinions about the real situation in connection with the constitutional culture in individual countries;
- active cooperation in this field with a number of international and regional organizations;
- support for civil society institutions on the issue of establishment and acceleration of constitutional culture, conduct of youth festivals and Olympiads;
- publishing the “Constitutional Culture” multilingual journal.
Speech of Dr. Gagik Harutyunyan, the President of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Armenia, on the occasion of establishment of “CONSTITUTIONAL CULTURE” International Analytical Center (in English, in Russian)
PHILIPPE BOILLAT AT THE RA CONSTITUTIONAL COURT
On October 19, G. Harutyunyan, President of the RA Constitutional Court hosted Philippe Boillat, Director General of Human Rights and Rule of Law, Council of Europe. Mr. Boillat was invited by the RA Constitutional Court to participate in Yerevan International Conference.
Mr. Harutyunyan and Mr. Boillat touched upon the issues of organization of the Conference, establishment of International Analytical Center “Constitutional Culture”, legislative reforms in the Republic of Armenia after constitutional reforms, as well as the activities of the RA Constitutional Court.
Mr. Boillat once again affirmed the readiness of the Council of Europe for active promotion in legal reforms in the Republic of Armenia.
Arman Tatoyan, RA Human Rights Defender also participated in the meeting.