The Human Rights Defender of Armenia Ms. Kristinne Grigoryan applied to the Constitutional Court today, disputing the constitutionality of the ban established for certain categories of public service on membership in trade unions and religious organizations.
The application refers to Article 39 (Part 1 (7)) of the Law on Service in the Police, Article 6 (Part 5) of the Law on Trade Unions, and Article 43 (Part 1 (8.)) of the on Service in National Security Bodies, and Article 8 (Part 1(3)) of the Law on Military service and the Status of Military Servicemen, which provides for an absolute ban on membership in trade unions for the servicemen of the Police of Armenia and national security bodies, military servicemen, prosecutors, judges and judges of the Constitutional Court. They also provide for an absolute ban on membership in religious organizations for servicemen of the national security bodies, and an absolute ban on creation of religious organizations for military servicemen.
In particular, the application states that the ban on joining trade unions does not derive from the nature of the stated categories of service and deprives workers of the most important method of collective protection of their rights, contradicting the very essence of freedom of association. Similarly, the Defender argued that service in national security bodies and military service are not in themselves incompatible with the right to join or establish a religious organization.
It is important to note that the Constitutional Court, by its ՍԴՈ-1506 Decision of February 18, 2020, had found Article 39 (Part 1 (7)) of the Law on Service in the Police, which provided for a ban on membership in religious organizations for Police servicemen, as incompatible with the Constitution, and thus invalid.
On the basis of the decision of the Constitutional Court, and on the analysis of the provisions of international legal documents and the positions expressed by international instances, it was registered through the application that the provision of the cited norms led to a disproportionate restriction of religious freedom and freedom of association of the above-mentioned persons. Through the application, the Human Rights Defender disputes the compliance of the cited norms with Articles 41, 45, 78, 79 of the Constitution of Armenia.
Office of the Human Rights Defender of Armenia