đź“„The RA Administrative Court Decision on PRWB against Ministry of Justice: Obliging to Provide the Requested Information

By the decision of June 20 of 2019, the RA Administrative Court, chaired by Judge Gevorg Sosyan, made a decision to partially satisfy the application filed by the “Protection of Rights without Borders” NGO within the scope of the administrative case number VD/1233/05/19.

On February 22 of 2019, the Organization filed an appeal to the Administrative Court against the RA Ministry of Justice on the demand to provide information.

It should be mentioned, that on January 10 of 2019, Protection of Rights without Border filed an information request to Artak Zeynalyan, the Acting Minister of Justice and the Chairperson of the Consultative Commission on Amnesty Issues asking to provide information about the citizens who filed petitions for amnesty.

According to the response letter received on January 24 of 2019, only the first part of the request was satisfied. Information related to other issues was rejected, with the justification that according to the RA Laws on “Amnesty” and “On Protection of Personal Data” respectively, the Ministry of Justice does not have right to provide the personal data of people under amnesty, and the questions, positions about the latter included in the agenda of the Commission’s sitting are not a subject to publicity in a line with the RA Prime Ministers’ Decree N 782-N “On Approving the Order of the Amnesty Discussions”.

By the verdict of the current case, according to the Administrative Court the respondent acted illegally violating the right of getting the relevant information prescribed by the RA Law on “The Right to Freedom of Information”, since concerning that provision there is no legal ground for not providing the requested information.

According to the Court, the Organization’s appeal is a subject for partial satisfaction: the latter obliged the Ministry of Justice to provide the Organization the information requested by points 2, 3, 4 and 5 of the application without the identification of the persons.

As for the request of the Ministry of Justice related to the rejection of the secrecy to the personal life, according the Court, the respondent party acted in a line of the relevant requirements of the norms.

According to the assessment of the Court, the Organization demanded from the Ministry of Justice also concrete subjects of personal data, which are the data subject to protection by the constitution norms and cannot be transferred to the third party. As mentioned by the Court, by rejecting to provision the requested information, the Ministry of Justice acted fully appropriate of the mentioned norms, which shows that in that regard the actions of the respondent were fully legal.