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The appeal court decisions in the Republic of Armenia

The appeal court rulings

The final judicial act authorizing the merits of the case is called the court’s decision. The decision of the trial court may interfere with certain procedural and substantive rules of law, or incorrectly installing the actual circumstances of the case, with the result violating the legally protected rights and interests of the parties. To protect the rights violated by the court, RA legislation provides for the possibility of appeal against judicial acts in order of appeal and cassation.

First stage appeal against the decision of the trial court

The appeal is fed directly to the appellate court in person or sent by mail. In the RA, the appeal is a judicial review of acts which have not entered into legal force. A complaint may be filed within one month from the date of publication of the decision of the court of first instance. This must be filed before the entry into legal force. The RA has the concept of so-called ‘incomplete appeal’. This is essentially a revision of the previous decision, which has not entered into legal force and which the court examines only the process of consideration of the said case at first instance. The Court of Appeal is entitled to change the decision of the court of the first instance, or return the case for reconsideration in the court of first instance thus subjecting the previous decision to new verification process and solution.

The appeal will not be considered only if an agreement was made to waive the right to file an appeal, or the person filing the complaint has expressed their position on this issue before the trial court at first instance. The appeal shall be in writing and shall indicate the appealing person’s name, the names of participants in the case, the name of the court against whom the appeal is being launched. The most important thing in the complaint is a reference to the Court of First Instance’s violations of substantive or procedural law, which influenced the miscarriage of justice. If you think there is a violation of certain rules and laws, it is necessary to bring the necessary justification with reference to the rules and laws of the relevant legal acts, the decision of the Cassation Court, the ECHR judgment and the decision of the Constitutional Court.

In the final part of the application one must specify one’s requirement and attach it with a list of the required documents. Reasons and justifications of the appeal cannot be supplemented or amended. Remember that the court has no right to go beyond the grounds and justification of the appeal. If the complaint is granted in whole or in part, the case goes to trial in the lower court for a new trial, within the repealed act, or the appealing court will change the verdict.

Submission of a cassation

The Court of Cassation of the RA is the third court, carrying out a revision of judgments of the Court of Appeal. The last adopted decision of the Cassation Court of the Republic of Armenia shall be binding on the lower courts in making their judicial acts. The decision of the Cassation Court carries the force of precedent. The same must be said of the judgments of the European Court of Human Rights, the legal requirements which are binding for the RA courts on legal grounds which may be invoked to lodge complaints. In addition, the court of cassation contributes to a uniform practice of application of legislation and examine cases which raise the question of law in general. Therefore, in practice the Court of Cassation does not consider the vast majority of cases, and returns them, looking at only a narrow range of disputes, where violations are most egregious.

In order to lodge a case with the cassation court one must make sure the case was already looked at in the appeal court. The Civil Procedure Code of the Republic of Armenia states that the cassation complaint may be submitted only to the extent unfavorable to the complainant. As in the case of appeal, appeal in cassation in RA is reviewed before it is entered into legal force (see above). The case is served if there are violations of substantive or procedural law. Appeal shall be filed in person or through the mail, along with all necessary documents.

As in the case of an appeal courts, the appeal to cassation courts also must meet certain procedural requirements. It is necessary to provide the name of the court, names of the person filing the complaint and its procedural status. Following this the person filing the appeal will need to specify the claims, their justification with reference to the necessary legal acts and so on. As a result of the case, the court may uphold the adopted decision of the lower court, either fully or partially cancel the decision of the Court of Appeal, set aside the Court of Appeal and approve the decision of the court of first instance, or to send the case for retrial and so on. Please note that the adopted decision of the court of Cassation of the Republic of Armenia is final and is not subject to further appeals.

Appeal to the European Court of Human Rights

The European Court of Human Rights legally allowed to consider disputes between States and Nationals, is of the last resort, which legally can interfere and correct the errors and abuses of the RA courts, as and when required.  

According to practice, the fundamental condition for the acceptance of appeal for consideration at ECHR, is the exhaustion of all domestic internal appeals.  Additionally the ECHR may refuse to look at the case if the 6-month deadline for submitting a complaint has expired, it is anonymous, already considered similar to previous decision, contains no relevant new facts, or is subject of another procedure of international investigation. The complaint is directed in several ways: by e-mail to the address indicated on the official web portal of the ECHR or by sending an email to the email address specified on the resource of the ECHR.

Please note that the applicant may be exempted from paying for legal assistance, travel and accommodation costs if he/she does not have the necessary funds. In support of the legal aid from ECHR, please add to the list of attached required documents a statement of income, issued by the tax authorities of the Republic of Armenia. The above gives hope to the possibility of the restoration of justice, obtaining compensation for the wrongful actions of judges and courts. In no case should a person turn a blind eye to the violation of their legal rights and freedoms.