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Hripsime Grigoryan’s Speech at PACE Session
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On April 27, the member of the RA NA delegation to PACE Hripsime Grigoryan gave a speech at Regular Meeting of PACE Plenary Session.

“Thank you, Chair

I first want to express gratitude to Mr. Katrougalos, for this excellent report elaborating on the challenges to roles and interrelations of national constitutional courts on the one hand and international courts – European Court of Human Rights and the Court of Justice of the EU.

In this era of emerging of multilevel constitutionalism, we indeed need to find mechanisms for better alignment of legislatures and encourage dialogue.

In this context, Protocol 16 is a highly useful instrument. And Armenia is one of the 19 countries to have ratified the protocol and among the seven advisory opinions requested two are from Armenia – from the Constitutional Court and the Court of Cassation.

Now, even before talking about aligning the domestic and supranational legislations, or ratifying the Protocols, the very Convention on Human Rights is ratified by all member states binding all members to abide by the judgements of the ECHR.

I want to bring the words of Ms. Granata Menghini, that “it is important to distinguish between legal impossibility and non-desirability.” I strongly believe that in many cases, when we speak about implementation of the judgements of International courts – now speaking about the European Court of Human Rights, we more speak about political will, rather than legal issues.

The decision of the ECHR that I want to draw your attention to has been made on the 21 December, 2022.It is in interim measure in the case Armenia v Azerbaijan in related to the blocking of the “Lachin Corridor” via which Armenian people of Nagorno Karabakh (NK) access vital services, including medical care, food, but also other essentials from Armenia. Noting the extent to which the Government of Azerbaijan at the time had control of the situation in the Lachin Corridor, and in line with the obligation of Azerbaijan under Article 6 of the Trilateral Statement of 9 November 2020 to “guarantee the security of persons, vehicles and cargo moving along the Lachin Corridor in both directions” the Court decided that the Government of Azerbaijan should take all measures that are within their jurisdiction to ensure safe passage through the “Lachin Corridor” of seriously ill persons in need of medical treatment in Armenia and others who were stranded on the road without shelter or means of subsistence.

Having not implemented the judgement of the court, at that time, Azerbaijani colleagues, in this very institution among other platforms, were refusing the very fact of blockade, as well as the connection of the Azerbaijani authorities with the so-called “eco –activists” who had blocked the road.

What has happened two ago, this Sunday, is that Azerbaijan has simply launched works towards installing a checkpoint in the beginning of the corridor, that simply and that grossly violating the Statement signed also by Azerbaijan which unequivocally states that the corridor should be under the control of the Russian peacekeepers and both ways movement along it should be guaranteed by Azerbaijan.

I am not confident that even after the official statement made by the authorities about the installation of the checkpoint, Baku will admit the blockade. And exactly for that reason I want to reiterate what was already stated by Madam Secretary yesterday – access should be available and guaranteed so that international observation is possible on the ground, in the area – objective and without prejudice.

And lastly, I want to ask everyone to think – what message does Azerbaijan intend to convey to all of us. Not the 120,000 people living in NK, that message is, unfortunately, clear.

Now what is Azerbaijan’s message for the rest of the world? Probably that is the following – dear world, as the international security order is shattered, I shall take the chance to achieve my goals by violating international law and by force. Please be informed, that as long as nobody will hold my hand, I shall continue doing so.

So then it is on us to decide whether we can afford leaving it as such, or we mobilize to protect human rights (HR), and in large, democracy against autocracy and dictatorship,” Hripsime Grigoryan said.

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