Constitutional Law of The Republic of Armenia on Human Rights Defender

CHAPTER 5. ACTIVITIES OF THE DEFENDER IN SEPARATE AREAS

Article 27.  The Defender as the National Preventive Mechanism


1. The objective of the Defender's activities as the National Preventive Mechanism shall be the prevention of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment in places of deprivation of liberty stipulated in paragraph 4 of Article 28 of this law.

2.  For the purpose of ensuring the performance of the functions of the National Preventive Mechanism, a separate structural subdivision shall be established within the Staff of the Defender.

 

 

Article 28.   Powers of the Defender as the National Preventive Mechanism


1.  As the National Preventive Mechanism, the Defender shall be entitled to:

 

(1)  make regular, as well as ad hoc visits to places of deprivation of liberty, including of his or her choice buildings or structures adjunct thereto for the purpose of preventing torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. The Defender shall not be obliged to inform in advance on the time and purpose of the visits;

(2)   visit in a confidential and unimpeded manner, persons of his or her choice held in places of deprivation of liberty, as well as have conversations in private with them, the staff members of the corresponding institutions or any other person in the place in question, where necessary engage an interpreter, use technical means. Conversations in private shall not be subject to intervention or wiretapping by anybody or a third person;

(3) submit recommendations to competent bodies and organisations for the purpose of improving the conditions of detention at any place of deprivation of liberty, as well as preventing torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment;

(4)  receive information on the number and location of the places of deprivation of liberty, as well as the number of persons held therein;

(5)  receive information and clarifications on the treatment and conditions of persons held in places of deprivation of liberty, as well as on any other issue necessary for exercising the powers thereof;

(6)  get familiar with all the documents necessary for exercising the powers of the Defender, obtain the copies thereof;

(7)  submit recommendations to the competent bodies on legal acts or draft legal acts;

(8)   exercise other powers prescribed by this Law.

 

2. Information obtained in the capacity of the National Preventative Mechanism shall be protected. Personal data shall not be published without a written persmission of the person.

3. As the National Preventive Mechanism, the Defender shall maintain regular contact with the United Nations Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, as well as other relevant international organisations, including by means of exchange of information and meetings with them.


4.  Within the meaning of this Law, the places of deprivation of liberty shall be:

 

(1)   places for holding of arrestees and detainees;

(2)  penitentiary institutions;

(3)  psychiatric organisations;

(4)  garrison disciplinary isolators;

(5)   vehicles envisaged for transferring persons deprived of liberty;

(6)  any other place, where upon the decision, order or instruction of a state or local self- government body or official, with the consent or permission thereof, a person has been deprived or may be deprived of liberty, as well as any such place which a person may not freely leave without the decision or permission of the court, administrative or other body or official.

 

5. For the purpose of receiving professional assistance in the capacity of the National Preventive Mechanism, based on the requirements set forth in the announcement thereon made on the official website or through other public sources, the Defender may engage independent specialists and (or) representatives of non-government organisations, who acquire the status of an expert of the National Preventive Mechanism.

6. The experts referred to in paragraph 5 of this Article shall be engaged in the activities of the National Preventive Mechanism based on the corresponding contract concluded with them. They shall be remunerated under the procedure defined by the Defender, at the expense of the State Budget funds, from the financial means allocated to the Staff of the Defender for that purpose. The rules of procedure for the experts of the National Preventive Mechanism, as well as the code of conduct thereof shall be prescribed by the Defender.

7. Powers prescribed in paragraph 1 of this Article may be exercised by state servants and experts of the Subdivision of the National Preventive Mechanism under the Staff of the Defender solely based on the written decision of the Defender, in the manner and to the extent provided for thereby.

 

 

Article 29. Powers of the Defender with regard to improving normative legal acts


1. The Defender shall have the right to submit a written opinion on draft normative legal acts regarding human rights and freedoms prior to their adoption to the relevant body.

2.  In all the cases where the Defender reveals during his or her activities that issues relating to the human rights and freedoms are not regulated by law or any other legal act or are not fully regulated, the Defender may submit to the body adopting the legal act a relevant recommendation, indicating the necessity and the extent of making amendments or supplements to the legal act.

3. The body having received the recommendation provided for by paragraph 2 of this Article shall be obliged to consider it and inform the Defender on the results there of within the deadline stipulated in paragraph 4 of Article 26.

4. The Defender shall have the right to apply to the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Armenia in regard to compliance of laws, decisions of the National Assembly, orders and instructions of the President, decisions of the Government and the Prime-Minister, by-laws with Chapter 2 of the Constitution.

5. The Defender may organise training for the staff thereto as well as for beneficiary bodies and organisations on issues related to human rights and freedoms.

 

 

Article 30. The powers of the Defender in the area of the protection of child rights


1.  Pursuant to paragraph 3 of Article 2 of this Law the Defender shall have the powers to:

 

2)  conduct monitoring of compliance of the legislation to provisions of the UN Convention on the Rights of a Child adopted on 20 November 1989;

3) carry out regular, as well as ad hoc unimpeded visits to childcare and child protection institutions as well as comprehensive educational institutions. The Defender shall not be obliged to notify about the time and purpose of the visit in advance;

4)  present special public reports related to the child rights;

5)  present recommendations to the competent bodies in relation to the improvement of legal acts related to children rights or the drafts thereof or practice;

6)  carry out other powers prescribed by this law.