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The document ceased to be valid since  April 9, 2018 according to part 2 of article 166 of the Law of the Republic of Armenia of  February 10, 2018 No. ZR-95

JUDICIAL CODE OF THE REPUBLIC OF ARMENIA

of April 7, 2007 No. ZR-135

(as amended on 09-12-2015)

Accepted by National Assembly of the Republic of Armenia on February 21, 2007

Part 1. Judicial authority

Section 1. Judicial system

Chapter 1. General provisions

Article 1. Judicial authority

Judicial authority is performed by courts according to the Constitution of the Republic of Armenia (further - the Constitution) and the laws of the Republic of Armenia.

Article 2. Subject of regulation of this Code

This Code governs the relations connected with the organization and activities of judicial authority, and also conciliation so far as they do not belong to the Constitutional court of the Republic of Armenia.

Article 3. Courts

1. The highest degree of jurisdiction of the Republic of Armenia, except questions of the constitutional justice, is the Court of cassation of the Republic of Armenia (further - Court of cassation) designed to provide uniform application of the law.

2. In the Republic of Armenia also Trial Courts and Appeal Courts are effective.

3. Trial Courts are:

1) courts of law;

2) Administrative court.

4. Appeal Courts are:

1) Criminal Appeal Court;

2) Civil Appeal Court;

3) Administrative Appeal Court.

5. The administrative court and Administrative Appeal Court are specialized freighters.

Article 4. Judge

1. The judge is person appointed in the procedure established by the law to position of the chairman, President of Chamber and judge of Court of cassation, and also the judge or chairman of justices of the first instance and Appeal Court.

2. Each judge is allocated with competence to perform justice.

Article 5. Court jurisdiction limits

Reference of any question to court jurisdiction is determined by court based on the law.

Article 6. Obligation of manifestation of respect for court

1. All shall show respect for court.

2. Manifestation of the disrespectful relation to court attracts application of the judicial sanction, and also other responsibility provided by the law.

3. The prosecutor shall respect independence and impartiality of court and, in particular, shall not call the actions in question legality of court resolution or interfere with its execution, except for implementation of the right to protest of court resolution.

Article 7. Right to judicial protection

1. Everyone has the right to judicial protection of the rights and freedoms.

2. Nobody can be deprived of the right to public consideration of the case in reasonable time by competent, independent and just trial in the conditions of equality and with observance of all requirements of objectivity.

3. Everyone has the right to perform the right to judicial protection as by means of the representative or the lawyer, and personally.

Chapter 2. Principles of activities of judicial authority

Article 8. Implementation of justice according to the law

Courts perform justice according to the Constitution of the Republic of Armenia, the ratified international treaties and the laws of the Republic of Armenia.

Article 9. Autonomy of judicial authority

1. Judicial authority is autonomous.

2. Self-government of judicial authority is performed by means of the self-government institutions established by this Code.

Article 10. Judge's Depolitizirovannost

1. The judge cannot be the member of any batch or be engaged otherwise in political activities. In any circumstances the judge shall show political restraint and neutrality.

2. The judge can participate in elections of state bodies and local government bodies only as the voter. The judge cannot participate in election propaganda.

3. Professional discussions or the conclusions on drafts of the legal acts regulating activities of judicial authority or concerning it, discussion and the announcement, including public about normal activities of judicial authority by judges or professional associations of judges, or bodies of judicial self-government are not violation of the principle of depolitizirovannost.

Article 11. Independence of the judge and independence of court

1. The judge when implementing justice and other powers provided by the law is independent.

2. The judge when implementing justice and other powers provided by the law is not accountable to someone, including shall not make any explanations, the cases except for provided by the law.

3. The intervention in activities of the judge which is not provided by the law is forbidden. Similar offense is criminally pursued. For government employees it attracts also administrative responsibility up to release from post or dismissal from service according to the procedure, established by the relevant laws regulating public service.

4. The judge shall report without delay in the Commission on ethics and disciplinary matters of General meeting of judges about the intervention in its activities which is not provided by the law in connection with implementation of justice and other powers provided by the law. If the commission on ethics and disciplinary matters considers that there was intervention in activities of the judge which is not provided by the law, then she shall address to relevant organs with the petition for involvement of perpetrators to responsibility.

5. The judge cannot be interrogated as the witness on the case in the course of continuance in office considered by him and after the termination of powers.

Article 11.1. The principle of accidental distribution put

1. Between judges of case are distributed based on the principle of the accidental choice, according to the procedure, established by Chapter 2.1 of this Code.

Article 12. Restriction for occupation by the judge certain types of activity

The judge cannot be engaged in business activity, hold the position which is not connected with its obligations in state bodies or local government bodies, position in the commercial organizations, to perform other paid work, except scientific, pedagogical and creative work.

Article 13. Immunity of the judge

1. The judge is inviolable.

2. The judge cannot be detained, except as specified, when detention is performed at the time of crime execution or directly after it. The President of the Republic and the chairman of Court of cassation are instantly informed on detention of the judge. The decision on detention goes to the President of the Republic and the chairman of Court of cassation not later than in 24 hours from the moment of detention. The bodies and officials who performed detention shall provide easy access of the chairman of Court of cassation to the place where the detained judge contains and to provide its appointment to the judge.

3. The conclusion of the judge into custody, attraction it as the person accused, administrative prosecution judicially without the consent of the President of the Republic given based on the offer of Advice of justice of the Republic of Armenia is not allowed (further - Council of justice).

4. From the moment of initiation of criminal prosecution concerning the judge public prosecutor's supervision of pre-judicial production on this case is performed by the Attorney-General of the Republic of Armenia (further - the Attorney-General).

5. It is not allowed to subject the judge to the drive. The authorized state body after identification of the judge subjected to the drive without documents shall exempt it immediately.

6. Criminal case upon removal by the judge obviously of miscarriage of justice, the decision or other court resolution from mercenary or other personal purposes cannot be initiated if such act is not repealed by superior court.

7. Entry into court house for the work of search, examination, seizure of documents or property is performed with the consent of the chairman of justices.

8. The judge cannot be exposed to civil responsibility for damnification owing to improper execution of the service duties, except for case when harm is done owing to offense, committed is intentional.

9. The announcement of warlike or emergency state does not cancel the immunity guarantees fixed by this Article.

Article 14. Irremovability of the judge

1. The judge is irremovable.

2. The judge stays in position before achievement of age of 65 years by him. Powers of the judge which continuance in office expired stop next day after achievement of age of 65 years by it.

3. In case case cannot be considered in this court owing to objectively arisen insufficiency of number of judges, the judge can be sent by the decision of Council of chairmen of the courts to court of the same instance for a period of up to 6 months. The specified term can be prolonged only before completion of the consideration of the case which is in production of the judge. The same judge cannot be sent to business trip repeatedly within one year after the end of the previous business trip.

4. In case case cannot be considered in this court owing to objectively arisen insufficiency of number of judges, the judge of the same instance provided by part 7 of this Article can be sent by the decision of Council of chairmen of the courts to this court.

5. Voided.

6. In case of reducing number of judges preference throughout continuance in office is given in court first of all to the chairman of justices and then the senior on age to judges. Powers of the laid-off judge do not stop, and he continues to stay in position if this Code does not provide other. The status of these judges, including the right to the salary and surcharges, the right to inclusion in the list of job development or leaving in the list, remain before achievement of the age of continuance in office of the judge established by the Constitution if this Code does not provide other.

7. If the law provides abolition of court or chamber of Court of cassation, then the corresponding judges are considered reserve, and their status, including the right to the salary and surcharges, the right to inclusion in the list of job development or leaving in the list, remain before achievement of the age of continuance in office of the judge established by the Constitution if this Code does not provide other.

8. Voided according to the Law of the Republic of Armenia of 28.12.2013 No. ZR-169

Article 15. Equality before the law and court

1. All are equal before the law and court.

2. Discrimination of the rights, freedoms and obligations depending on floor, race, skin color, ethnic or social origin, genetic signs, language, religion, outlook, political or different views is forbidden, to belonging to ethnic minority, property status, the birth, disability, age or other circumstances of personal or social nature.

3. Everyone by consideration of the case has the right to give as legal argument of reasons for the court resolution of court of the Republic of Armenia which took legal effect (including statutory interpretations) on any other case with similar actual circumstances.

4. Reasons for court resolution of Court of cassation or the European Court of Human Rights (including statutory interpretations) on the case having certain actual circumstances are obligatory for court when considering the case on similar actual circumstances, except for case when the last, adducing powerful arguments, proves their inapplicability to these actual circumstances.

Article 16. Principles of implementation of effective justice

1. In court for the purpose of ensuring effective consideration of the case the preparatory stage of legal proceedings of case with participation of the parties is, as a rule, performed.

2. Trial in court of law of the first instance is, as a rule, performed according to the simplified procedures, the established sudoproizvodstvenny law.

3. Legal proceedings, as a rule, shall come to an end with one judicial session.

4. Preparation of case for legal proceedings and legal proceedings shall be performed in reasonable time.

Article 17. Principle of competitiveness of legal proceedings

Legal proceedings, the cases except for provided by the law, are competitive.

Article 18.

Voided

Article 19. Legal proceedings language

1. Legal proceedings in the Republic of Armenia are conducted in Armenian.

2. Persons participating in the case having the right to appear in court in language, preferable to them, if they provide transfer into Armenian.

3. The court provides with translation service of the persons who are participating in case on criminal case and not knowing Armenian at the expense of the Republic of Armenia.

4. The court provides with translation service of the physical persons participating in case on administrative cases and the established law to civil cases at the expense of the Republic of Armenia if they do not know Armenian and prove that have no sufficient means for ensuring paid transfer.

5. In case of need rendering translation service at the expense of the Republic of Armenia the translator is appointed based on the judgment according to the procedure, established by the Government of the Republic of Armenia (further - the Government). The size and payment procedure of translators are established by the Government.

Article 20. Publicity of hearing of cases

1. Hearing of cases in courts of the Republic of Armenia open.

2. Legal proceedings or its part are conducted behind closed doors only by a court decision, in the cases and procedure provided by the law for reasons of protection of moral principles of society, public order, state security, private life of participants of process or interests of justice. Legal proceedings on cases on adoption upon the demand of the adoptive father are carried out behind closed doors.

3. Final part of the court resolution resolving case on being is disclosed in proceeding in open court. Final part resolving case on the substance of court resolution on cases on adoption can be disclosed only with the consent of the adoptive father.

4. Everyone has the right to examine legal case on which the court resolution resolving case on being took legal effect. Person can get acquainted with part of the case considered in the closed judicial session, and case on adoption only by a court decision, which took out court resolution.

Article 21. Additional judgment

1. The court on criminal and administrative cases along with sentence, the decision or determination shall in the presence of the corresponding bases pass the additional decision which draws the attention of the corresponding officials of state body or local government body to such fundamental breaches revealed during legal proceedings which were allowed during pre-judicial production on administrative or criminal case.

2. The additional judgment shall be motivated. The additional decision can be announced in judicial session according to the judicial discretion.

3. The additional decision goes to the higher head of the official who allowed violation, and in the absence of that - to the official who allowed violation which shall consider it after receipt of the decision in a month.

Article 21.1. Maintaining legal statistics and ensuring publicity

1. For ensuring efficiency, transparency and accountability to society courts conduct legal statistics.

2. Requirements imposed to legal statistics are:

1) objectivity, justification, impartiality of statistics,

2) reliability, accuracy, comparability of statistical data in time and space,

3) relevance, stability and integrity of statistical information,

4) periodic publication of aggregated statistical data,

5) availability, publicity of statistical information.

3. The government establishes form and content of the statistical card of legal case by the form of legal case, the list and procedure for publication of statistical data (data) which are subject to obligatory publication, the description of contents of statistic reports. Surely published statistical data (data) shall contain the data provided by parts 9-12 of this Article.

4. Council of chairmen of the courts establishes procedure for filling of the statistical card, procedure for maintaining legal statistics, and also, proceeding from need of effective implementation of functions of judicial activities, can establish additional statistical classifications of maintaining legal statistics.

5. In case of modification in statistical qualifiers, they are used only from next year after modification.

6. Collection and maintaining legal statistics performs judicial department of the Republic of Armenia (further – Judicial department).

7. The judicial department according to the procedure and in the terms established by the decision of Council of chairmen of the courts represents semi-annual and annual reports on statistical data of activity of the courts to approval of Council of chairmen of the courts.

8. The judicial department provides availability to the public of the statistical data collected based on the statistical card of legal case except for provided by the law of information which is not subject to publication. Statistical data the Judicial department publishes on official the Internet to the page of judicial authority, in the special Section for the publication of statistical data.

9. About each Trial Court and the judge, on criminal, civil and administrative cases, are published, in particular, following these (data):

1) number of judges,

2) total quantity of the cases in the beginning of the accounting period which passed since the last accounting period

3) total quantity of the cases received for the accounting period

4) total quantity of the cases completed for the accounting period (including, based on permission of case on being, suit abatement and so on)

5) total quantity of cases for the accounting period with suit abatement,

6) average duration of trial of case on the number of meetings,

7) the average duration of trial of case on time (calculation unit – hour) (including, on the average duration of realization of stages of preparation for legal proceedings, trials, and the conclusions of court resolution),

8) cases of pre-judicial production, by types,

9) total quantity of incomplete cases for the accounting period,

10) quantity of the appealed court resolutions, by types,

11) quantity of rejected court resolutions, by types,

10. About each Appeal Court, structure of court and the judge are published, in particular, following these (data):

1) these (data), 4-7, 9-11 parts 9 of this Article provided by Items 1, of 2,,

2) total quantity of the complaints received for the accounting period

3) total quantity of the claims returned for the accounting period

Put 4) against intermediate court resolutions, by types of acts and on the courts which signed the appealed act.

11. About Court of cassation, as regards each chamber, the data provided by part 9 of this Article, except for Item 4-6, 8, 9 parts 9, and also the data provided by Items 2-4 of part 10 of this Article are published. Data, stipulated in Item 7 parts 9 of this Article, are calculated on days.

12. Annually, no later than till January 31st of the next year, are published by judicial department also following these (data):

1) the budget of courts, including, comparison of finance costs in comparison with the previous accounting period, on courts, the average salary of judges and comparison with the previous accounting period,

2) the general amount of the paid state tax,

3) in authority punishments of judges, the number of the initiated disciplinary productions, on the subjects which initiated production and to the bases of initiation of production, the number of cases with by the Council stopped by production of justice on the subjects which initiated production, types of the appointed authority punishments, total quantity of repeated confirmation of disciplinary responsibility.

4) comparison of the data provided by parts 9-12 of this Article with data of previous year.

Chapter 2.1. Distribution of cases in courts

Article 21.2. Procedure for distribution of cases in Trial Courts

1. The criminal, civil and administrative cases which arrived in court are without delay brought in the computer program and on the same day, in 20:00, at the accidental choice, regularly distributed between the judges of this court having the corresponding specialization disregarding priority of introduction of cases.

2. If uniform distribution of cases is impossible, then cases are distributed with calculation of that the difference between the cases submitted each of judges of the corresponding specialization was no more than one. In this case next day, in case of distribution of cases, first of all at the accidental choice on one case are transferred to those judges who as a result of distribution of previous day received the smaller number of cases, and other cases are distributed in general procedure between all judges.

3. Transfer of cases to chairmen of the courts, the judges who are members of council of justice or members of the commission on ethics and disciplinary matters of Council of justice or General meeting of judges or members of the commission by training is performed in general procedure, but the number of the cases submitted them shall be twenty five percent less every month, than the average number of the cases submitted in month to one judge of the corresponding specialization of this court for last 6 months.

4. Council of chairmen of the courts, within the percentage range established by part 3 of this Article determines specific percent of the cases submitted chairmen of the courts on courts, the judges who are members of the commission on ethics and disciplinary matters of Council of justice or General meeting of judges or members of the commission by training.

5. Council of chairmen of the courts in exceptional cases, considering loading in court of the chairman of justices, the judge who is the member of the commission on ethics and disciplinary matters of Council of justice or General meeting of judges or the member of the commission by training can establish the interest rates exceeding the maximum interest rate (twenty five percent) provided by part 3 of this Article.

6. In the presence of case (cases) of special complexity in production of the judge, the judge can address to Council of chairmen of the courts with the offer to temporarily remove the name and surname from the distribution list or to establish separate interest rate of the cases distributed to it. In this case, Council of chairmen of the courts can make the decision on temporary removal of name and surname of the judge from the distribution list or to establish separate interest rate of the cases distributed to it, having established for this purpose certain term which cannot exceed 6 months, and in exceptional cases – 1 year.

7. If the judge to be on vacation (including 20-dnevny term before leave) or is sent to business trip (including 20-dnevny term before business trip and 30-day term before the termination of term of business trip) or is absent because of temporary disability, or its powers were suspended, or before execution of its retirement age there were 3 months, then the name and surname of this judge shall be temporarily removed from the distribution list, having specified legal basis and term.

8. In case of appointment of the new judge, distribution of cases to this judge is performed in general procedure.

9. If court of general instance the chairman of this court, according to rules of cognizance, the established law has residences in which at least two judges of the same specialization act, then, determines the residence where case shall be considered, and distribution of cases between the judges acting in this residence is performed in the general procedure established by this Article.

10. If in the residence of court there is only one judge, and according to rules of cognizance, the established law, the chairman of justices decided that case shall be considered in this residence, then the procedure for distribution put, provided by this Article, is not applied in this residence, and the case is submitted this judge.

11. If the brought case, according to the law, is subject to consideration in the joint list of judges, that this case, in the procedure established by this Article, the judicial structure is given to the judge, the chairman, and other judges of judicial structure are determined in the procedure established this Articles.

12. Features of distribution of cases of separate types are established by Council of chairmen of the courts, based on the principle of accidental distribution of cases established by this Article so far as it in fact (mutatis mutandis) is applicable to establishment of these features.

13. The procedure for distribution put, not requiring permission in essence, establishes Council of chairmen of the courts.

Article 21.3. Procedure for distribution of cases in Appeal Court

1. The cases brought in Appeal Court are submitted judges (in case of claims against the court resolutions resolving case on being – to chief judges) according to the procedure, established by parts 1-8 and 12 of Article 21.2 of this Code.

2. Cases on claims against the court resolutions resolving case on being and cases on claims against the court resolutions which are not resolving case on being are entered into the computer program and distributed separately.

3. For consideration in joint structure of cases on claims against the court resolutions resolving case on being in Appeal Court the judicial structures consisting of three judges are created.

4. Chairmen of Appeal Courts are not the judicial parts which are created in the procedure established by part 3 of this Article, only the cases on claims against the court resolutions which are not resolving case on being, according to the procedure, established by parts 1, of the 2 and 6 Article 21.2 of this Code are submitted them, and in case of cases on claims against the court resolutions resolving case on being they replace the absent judges of judicial structure, in the cases and procedure established by Council of chairmen of the courts.

5. The judicial structure is headed by that member of this structure to whom in the procedure established by this Article the specific case was submitted.

6. Every year on January 1 on one judge from the judicial structures created in the procedure established by part 3 of this Article in turn at the accidental choice pass into other judicial structure.

Article 21.4. Procedure for distribution of cases in Court of cassation

1. In case of decision making by Court of cassation about acceptance of case in production, this case it is entered into the computer on the same day and distributed between judges of this chamber according to the procedure, established by parts 1-8 and 12 of Article 21.2 of this Code. As a result of distribution the judge reporting on this case is determined.

2. The cases are not submitted the chairman of Court of cassation and chairmen of chambers and their names surnames do not join in the distribution list unless the chairman of Court of cassation or chamber of Court of cassation files about it the written application to Council of chairmen of the courts. In that case Council of chairmen of the courts makes the decision on inclusion of name and surname of the chairman of Court of cassation or chamber of Court of cassation in the distribution list, having established also interest rate provided by parts 4 or 5 of Article 21.2 of this Code.

Article 21.5. The procedure for redistribution put

1. If the judge is sent to business trip, or the term of its business trip is finished or if he was transferred to other court or on this case declared rejection or before was involved in trial of this case, or its powers were stopped or suspended, then the cases submitted this judge in the help of the computer program for the accidental choice regularly are distributed between other judges of the corresponding specialization of this court.

2. In case of absence of the judge because of temporary disability, the procedure for redistribution of the cases submitted it establishes Council of chairmen of the courts.

Article 21.6. Computer ensuring distribution of cases in courts

1. Distribution of cases between judges and, in stipulated in Clause 21.3 of this Code cases, forming of joint judicial structures are performed by means of the special computer program.

2. In case of start of the computer program confidentiality of data, excepting possible external intervention is provided.

3. If actions of the resulted force majeure distribution of cases cannot be performed by computer method, then cases in alphabetical order of surnames of judges are distributed by the chairman of justices without delay after their acceptance. In that case, the chairman of justices without delay reports about it to the chairman of Court of cassation and Council of chairmen of the courts.

4. Illegal intervention in process of distribution of cases by means of the computer program between judges can result in criminal liability.

Chapter 3. Court of law

Article 22. Competence of court of law

1. To court of law all cases are jurisdictional, except for put, cognizable to Administrative court.

2. The court of law exercises control of pre-judicial stage of criminal proceedings according to the procedure, established by the criminal procedure legislation.

3. Court resolutions of court of law can be protested only in appeal procedure.

Article 23. Entry into force of court resolutions of court of law

1. The court resolutions of court of law resolving case on being take legal effect in month from the moment of their announcement. By the law other term of the introduction of these acts can be provided in legal force.

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