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Government Names High Court Nominee


Armenia -- Vahram Avetisian, Yerevan, July 23, 2020

The government nominated on Thursday a candidate to replace one of the three members of Armenia’s Constitutional Court who were controversially dismissed last month.

The nominee, Vahram Avetisian, heads a civil law chair at Yerevan State University. He has previously worked in the Office of the Prosecutor-General and the private sector.

“I believe that I have necessary professional skills, experience and integrity to properly perform the duties of a Constitutional Court judge,” Avetisian told reporters after the announcement of his candidacy.

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian’s government enjoys a comfortable majority in the National Assembly, making Avetisian’s appointment to the Constitutional Court all but a forgone conclusion. The nominee said that if elected by the parliament he will strive for judicial independence and “harmonious” activities of the judicial, legislative and executive branches of government.

President Armen Sarkissian and an assembly of the country’s judges are due to name two other nominees for the high court.

The parliament approved last month constitutional amendments calling the gradual resignation of seven of the court’s nine installed before April 2018.Three of them are to resign with immediate effect. Also, Hrayr Tovmasian must quit as court chairman but remain a judge.

Tovmasian and the ousted judges have refused to step down, saying that their removal is illegal. They have appealed to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) to have them reinstated.

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