Yerevan hosts two-day conference on European standards of the rule of law

Lusine Vasilyan

A two-day pan-European conference on “European standards of the rule of law and limits of the authorities’ discretion in the member states of the Council of Europe” kicked off in Yerevan today. The conference is held within the framework of the Armenian Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe. The event has brought together about 80 representatives from 32 countries and international organizations.

Speaker of the Armenian National Assembly Hovik Abrahamyan, Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian, President of the European Court of Human Rights Dean Spielmann and President of the Venice Commission Gianni Buquicchio offered opening remarks.

ECHR President Dean Spielmann said the first achievement of the Armenian presidency of the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers was the signing of the Protocol no. 15 amending the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. According to him, finalization of the Protocol no. 16, which provides a great potential for the development of national courts, could be Armenia’s second achievement.

President of the Venice Commission Gianni Buquicchio said he’s glad that the conference takes place in Yerevan under the Armenian Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers. He urged  to make decisions taking into consideration the social realities, not forcing the courts to blindly follow the law, as he believes the laws cannot consider all spheres of application.

According to Buquicchio, modern states should be flexible to be able to react to all issues. He considers that the respect for human rights requires the authorities to be balanced.

The conference will continue tomorrow. A final resolution will be adopted upon the conclusion of the meeting.

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