Law

We believe that in order to address Armenia’s ecological problems in a well-grounded manner, those issues need to be assessed primarily in the context of rights.

In the legal realm, the vast majority of the activities of the organization and those of its members are directed at ensuring that the right to access to justice for civil society organizations is enshrined in Armenian law and judicial practice, as well as addressing main ecological issues through a judicial process (actio popularis)․ EcoRight launched extensive and comprehensive legal and research efforts in relation to domestic judicial instances, including the Constitutional Court of Armenia (see Letter to the President of the Constitutional Court, open letter to the Constitutional Court). At a public discussion initiated by the President of the Constitutional Court, the Armenia’s high court made the unprecedented move of directly stating in its Annual Report that regarding the issue of access to justice for civil society organizations the Court of Cassation of Armenia has interpreted the position of the Constitutional Court in its own way when depriving plaintiff organizations of their right to bring a case to court within the scope of the Teghut case. Following the exhaustion of domestic remedies, violations of ecological rights have also been discussed in international platforms.

As a result, a very poor formulation of the right to access to justice was incorporated into the new Armenian Law on Civil Society Organizations, which is not adhered to in administrative judicial practice.

When dealing with issues that arose from the irresponsible exploitation of Teghut, Tukhmanuk, Amulsar, Kajaran and many other mines, EcoRight has resorted to various legal mechanisms, including cooperation with the office of Armenia’s Human Rights Defender, special rapporteurs of the UN Human Rights Council, ( ; https://spcommreports.ohchr.org/TMResultsBase/DownLoadFile?gId=61537) and other legal mechanisms.

The detailed processes and outputs of activities implemented by Ecological Right can be found in relevant sections of this web site, including a huge volume of archived documents, correspondence with administrative authorities, as well as other materials that provide a lot of information with regards to main ecological issues, particularly mining in Armenia. The review of the legal and institutional systems of the mining sector has been summarized in research activities, which can also be found on the website.