YPC Weekly Newsletter

2004


HCA VANADZOR BRANCH WINS SUIT VERSUS MUNICIPALITY

The Vanadzor branch of the Helsinki Citizens Assembly won a case versus the
administration of Vanadzor city at the court of primary jurisdiction of Lori
region. The reason for the suit was the refusal of Mayor Samvel Darbinian to
provide HCA Vanadzor branch copies of all the resolutions passed by the municipality
and the Senior Council of the community in 2002-2003.

According to the head of HCA Vanadzor branch Artur Sakunts, the Mayor referred
to the provision of the RA Law “On Legal Acts”, by which the legal acts for
internal use and personal purpose are only provided to their addressees. The
remaining documents, as the Vanadzor administration head said, were published
in the periodical books of communal legal acts. The human rights activists were
unable to find them even at the municipality itself. Thinking that the representatives
of the local authorities violated the RA Law “On Freedom of Information”
the HCA Vanadzor branch filed a suit.

During the hearing the respondent did not have objections on the essence of
the case but he noted that out of 2,614 resolutions a part cannot be provided
as it contains information not to be publicized. To get the remaining documents
the plaintiff must pay a local duty of 1,000 drams (about $ 2) for each copy.

At the session of April 30 the suit of HCA Vanadzor branch was secured. The
court obliged the municipality to provide the organization with copies of all
the resolutions of city administrations and the Senior Council of the community
for 2002-2003 except those constituting a secret. The total amount of duty to
be paid for the documents was defined to be only 1,000 drams.