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Arpine Hovhannisyan participated in the 109th Plenary Session of the Venice Commission

09/12/2016

Minister of Justice of the Republic of Armenia Arpine Hovhannisyan today participated in the 109th Plenary Session of the Venice Commission. The Opinion of the Venice Commission on the draft Law of the Republic of Armenia "On the Human Rights Defender" will be approved during this session.

Presenting the main innovations, the Minister of Justice stated that the gap of the existing law had been filled and the powers of the Defender as the National Preventive Mechanism had been defined. The Draft has also stipulated the power of the Defender to engage independent specialists and representatives of non-governmental organisations. "We have also envisaged the mandatory condition of sending the draft laws and other legal acts regarding human rights and freedoms for the opinion of the Defender in order to ensure the proper role of the Defender in the development of the legislation in this field," Arpine Hovhannisyan said.

The Minister also touched upon the amendments that have been made to the Draft based on the issues discussed during the meeting with the representatives of the Venice Commission, as well as the recommendations submitted by the deputies during the parliamentary discussions over the Draft. In particular, the specific functions of the Defender as an Ombudsman and the Defender as the National Preventive Mechanism have been clarified, the principle of transparency has been added, and the relevant guarantees have been prescribed for the financial independence of the Defender.

In closing, the Minister expressed certainty that with the adoption of this Constitutional Law, in Armenia the Human Rights Defender would have better and more effective instruments to accomplish the Defender's constitutional mission in the best possible way.

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