The European Court of Human Rights has today decided not to apply an interim measure requested in the case Gyulumyan and Others v. Armenia (application no. 25240/20) concerning recent amendments to the Constitution of Armenia. In 2015 the Constitution of Armenia was amended, introducing a 12-year non-renewable term of office for Constitutional Court (CC) judges and establishing a 6-year non-renewable mandate for the President of the CC.
However, pursuant to a transitional arrangement, judges who had been appointed before the entry into force of these amendments were to continue serving under the old rules, according to which CC judges were appointed until their retirement. Similarly, the President of the CC was to keep his mandate until retirement. Recently, it was decided to amend the Constitution in a manner that all judges of the CC would have a 12-year term of office, regardless of their date of appointment.
The six-year non-renewable mandate of the President of the CC was also to be applied. Failing the ability to hold a planned referendum due to the sanitary crisis, these amendments were adopted by Parliament and entered into force in June 2020 and effectively terminated the term of office of the first three applicants in the case, judges of the CC, and the mandate of the fourth applicant as President of the CC. The four applicants requested in particular that the European Court indicate to the Armenian Government that they freeze enforcement of the constitutional amendments and preserve their offices.
The Court decided to reject the request as outside the scope of application of Rule 39 (interim measures) of the Rules of Court, since it did not involve a risk of serious and irreparable harm of a core right under the European Convention on Human Rights