International Legal Procedures

Since the day of its foundation, EcoRight has participated in international platforms for the protection of its rights foreseen by the Aarhus Convention. The purpose of presenting issues in international platforms is to ensure ecological rights and their legal practice on the national level. Particularly, members of EcoRight, together with other public organizations and environmental groups, have been involved in legal procedures disputing the legitimacy of the mining permit for the Teghut mine. Within the frameworks of this process, the Compliance Committee of the Aarhus Convention has twice adopted a decision purporting that decisions made by domestic judicial instances have violated a number of rights guaranteed by the Convention. Those two decisions were later approved by the Assembly of Parties to the Convention.

The first decision by the Compliance Committee on the violation of rights of public associations to access to justice, public participation in the decision-making process was adopted on December 17, 2010 and later approved by the Assembly during the June 29 to July 1 session of the Assembly. The second decision concerning the ensuring of rights foreseen by the Aarhus Convention was adopted by the Compliance Committee on June 28, 2013 and later approved during the December 17-20, 2013 session of the Assembly: As a party to the Aarhus Convention, with the decisions adopted by the Assembly of the Convention the official delegation from Armenia has in fact acknowledged that Armenia failed to ensure compliance with the Convention in terms of its judicial practice and legislative system. The Compliance Committee is currently reviewing issues related to the court case disputing the legitimacy of the mining permit for the exploitation of Amulsar mine, which have led to grave violations of the rights foreseen by the Aarhus Convention (Communication with the Compliance Committee regarding Amulsar is available here).

The decisions adopted within the frameworks of the conventional UN structures serve as basis for ensuring the direct application of ecological rights through judicial cases brought by non-governmental organizations against the government. Those decisions also serve as the basis required for initiating legislative changes aimed at ensuring further development of ecological rights.

Cooperation with international NGO’s is another instrument for presenting Armenia’s ecological problems in international platforms. In partnership with Cee Bankwatch, EcoRight’s representative took part in the annual meeting of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) in 2017. EBRD has a share in the charter capital of the mining company that has submitted a proposal for the exploitation of the Amulsar mine. During the aforementioned meeting, EcoRight presented the incompatibility of the exploitation of Amulsar mine with the Performance requirements of EBRD due to its contradiction with current legislation, violation of ecological standards and other reasons.

Appeal to the Special Rapporteurs of the United Nations Human Rights Council , questions of UN Special Rapporteurs and the response from the Ministry of Justice of Armenia.