The Court Satisfied the Motion of the Organization Lawyers on the Application to the RA Constitutional Court

On March 29 of 2021, Yerevan First Instance Court of General Jurisdiction adopted a decision to satisfy the motion on applying to the RA Constitutional Court with the demand to recognize the violation of the ownership rights based on discrimination and compensation of non-material damage.

In December of 2019, on behalf of 4 physical entities the lawyers of the Protection of Rights without Borders NGO filed appeals to the Yerevan Court of General Jurisdiction against the banks operating in the Republic of Armenia with the demand to recognize the applied discrimination fact and compensate the moral damages.

The applicants were citizens of the Republic of Armenia and Islamic Republic of Iran respectively, who had applied to “Ameriabank” CJSC, “Acba-Credit Acricole Bank” CJSC, “Converse Bank” CJSC respectively in order to receive banking services (opening of foreign currency account and card provision, making transfers in foreign currencies from account, etc.).

The banks rejected to provide the relevant services, taking into account the fact, that the latter were citizens of Islamic Republic of Iran and that the restriction in regard to the citizenship of Islamic Republic of Iran was applied in a line with the relevant internal legislative acts of the bank.

In the scope of the examination of the case, the lawyers filed a motion by the mentioned case to the court with the request to apply to the RA Constitutional Court and discontinue the proceedings by the given cases.

By one of the cases / ԵԴ/1289/02/20, chaired by the Judge A. Sukoyan/, the lawyers of the Organization stated, that there are legislative regulation gaps in regard to the compensation of moral damage, which, even in case of recognizing the fact of discrimination, deprive the applicant from the full protection of the violated rights.  

The following issues were particularly highlighted before the Court:

– Whether the RA domestic legislative regulations enable to receive a compensation for non-material damage in case of being subjected to discrimination,

– Whether the RA domestic legislative regulations enable to receive a compensation for non-material damage in case of violations raised from private legal relations

– Whether the gap in the RA domestic legislative regulations do not lead to deprivation of effective remedy contradicting the Articles 61, 63 and 75 respectively of the RA Constitution.

As recorded by the Court, in case of satisfying the demand to recognize the violation of the right to ownership on discrimination ground, the citizen is not enabled to receive compensation for non-material damage.

According to the Court, the regulations defined by the RA Civil Law exclude the opportunity of the non-material damage compensation in case of violation of Constitutional ban, which, as assessed by the Court, cannot be considered an interest for justice, as well as ensure the preventive nature of the compensation institute and the full compensation of the damage.

As a result, the effective protection of the rights and freedoms guaranteed by the RA Constitution can be hindered.

The Court made a decision to satisfy the motion filed by the Organization lawyers and apply to the RA Constitutional Court with the request to determine the compliance of Paragraph 4 of Article 17 of the RA Civil Code to the Articles 3, 23, 29 and to Article 75 respectively of the RA Constitution to the extent in case, the violation of the prohibition to discrimination does not define an opportunity to the compensation of non-material damage.