Cases heard before the Administrative Court of the Republic of Armenia
The competence of the Administrative Court of the Republic of Armenia and the pending cases
In the Republic of Armenia, at present time, there exists a system of courts of general jurisdiction and the Administrative Court. Most cases are heard in the courts of general jurisdiction, but due to the need to increase the quality of justice carried out in cases arising out of administrative legal relations, a significant part of the administrative cases is assigned to the jurisdiction of the Administrative Court.
In accordance with the Administrative Procedural Code of the Republic of Armenia, the case may go through three stages. The case may be initially filed with the Administrative Court of the Republic of Armenia (First instance), which makes a decision on the merits of the case. Further, this decision, pending its entry into force, of the administrative court may be appealed to the Administrative Court of Appeal (Second instance). The last body examining the administrative case under appeal is the Civil and Administrative Chamber of the Court of Cassation (Third instance). As in the case of second stage appeal, the cassation appeal must be filed before entry into legal force. Please note, that the decisions of the Cassation Court of RA cannot be appealed and are final.
In accordance with Article 10 of the Administrative Procedural Code of the Republic of Armenia, the administrative court holds jurisdiction over all cases arising from public relations, including:
- Disputes arising from the passage, implementation, and exemption from public or alternative service;
- Disputes between administrative bodies, which cannot be settled by the jurisdiction;
- Cases of disputes on the suspension, or termination of activities of organizations operating or having the aim to operate in the field of public law, including the trade unions.
The authority of the Administrative Court does not apply to cases that are subordinate to the Constitutional Court, criminal proceedings related to the competence of the courts of general jurisdiction, as well as, matters related to the execution of sentences.
Please note, cases that deal with more than one associated courts with different requirements, some of which are the jurisdiction of the Administrative Court, and others fall under the court of general jurisdiction, the court that will consider and give verdict is the one where the original application has been submitted. To all intents and purposes, the understanding of ‘original application’ is defined in the Administrative Procedural Code of the Republic of Armenia as that, from which all other applications and the rest of the requirements are derived and based on. Considering the requirements for derivatives in civil legal disputes, the Administrative Court shall apply the rules of civil procedural code, if their use does not contradict the principles of the administrative process.
Hearing at the Administrative Court and its participants
The main types of case hearing in the administrative process are the civil proceedings, however, unlike individual cases, the civil proceedings in the Administrative Court have characteristic features. This is explained by the fact that the legislator has outlined the types of claims that can be made to protect the plaintiff’s rights, however, please note, that the Administrative Procedural Code has fixed types of procedures for hearing a case.
The participants of the administrative proceedings are the plaintiff and the defendant (the parties), as well as third parties. The plaintiffs can be represented by any natural or legal person, administrative body, or official. The defendants are represented by the administrative body, the official, natural or legal person against whom the action is brought/filed. Third parties are natural and legal persons or public bodies whose rights are affected, or likely to be affected as a result of the received consideration of the case and the verdict, as well as, government bodies including their officials, whose powers are, or may be associated with the verdict.
Types of claims in the administrative process of the Republic of Armenia
The first of these is contesting the claim. This type of action gives the plaintiff an opportunity to abolish all, or part of the act of the administrative authority (IE: judgment, order, decision), including abolishing acts adjacent to an administrative act. If the administrative act was challenged in administrative proceedings before the appeal court and the claim was rejected, the claim includes a claim for cancellation of the adjacent act. The lawsuit contesting must be presented no later than two months from the date of the administrative act and before it comes into legal force.
Furthermore, in the administrative proceedings in RA, another claim is for enforcement, which allows the applicant to request the administrative body to adopt a more favorable administrative act, which may have been denied previously. It is important that the claim of coercion includes the requirement for challenging this act. The claim of coercion should be presented within two months from the date of notification of the claimant to refuse to accept a specific administrative act.
In case of a claim to complete an act, the claimant shall submit a request to commit certain actions, or refrain from such actions, which are not aimed at the adoption of an administrative act. In addition, this allows a hearing to require the adoption of the administrative act, which was not accepted by the administrative body in the statutory period, provided that the act is passed. Please note, that the act shall be deemed accepted at the end of the period provided for the adoption of an administrative management body if the latter has not fulfilled obligations to the imposition of an administrative act in a certain statutory period. The claim for the commission of acts is presented in the following terms:
- Within one month from the date of which the person was notified of the rejection of the administrative act;
- Within two months from the date when the deadline expired, that was set for the adoption of an administrative act;
- Within three months from the date when the complaint was submitted to the commission.
The claim for recognition submitted to the court may demand to recognize the presence, or absence of a relationship if the plaintiff cannot use one of the claims above. Also, a claim may be submitted with a view to recognize the administrative act null and void.
Additionally, the verdict enables the recognition of a wrongful and/or void administrative acts of interference, or exhausted all other ways of the execution of a claim, or otherwise acts or omissions if the claimant is genuinely interested in the act of recognition, wrongful act or omission, meaning:
- There is a risk of re-enactment of a similar act of administrative intervention or re-committing acts in a similar situation;
- The applicant intends to claim financial compensation for damage to property,
- The act aims to restore the honor, dignity or business reputation of the plaintiff.
Claims for acts of recognition to be declare void may be filed with the Administrative Court regardless of the date of the act. In the cases of acts recognizing administrative intervention misconduct, no longer legally binding acts, or act about the omission of unlawful actions of recognition may be submitted to the Administrative Court of the Republic of Armenia within five years after the act had lost validity, or the act or omission has exhausted itself. In cases involving the recognition of the presence, or absence of a legal claim, the claim is served within the five year period, which is calculated from the date of occurrence or termination of the legal relationship.
Please note, that the cases or acts do not necessarily need to be filed separately. The plaintiff has the right to combine multiple claims in one action if they are directed against the same defendant and interrelated. Along with the above-mentioned types of actions, it may be required to eliminate the consequences arising as a result of the contested administrative act, or contested actions and/or inaction, or refusal to accept an administrative act, or failure of an administrative act.