Case # 2. Jermuk residents against Ministry of Environment
In 2018, 19 residents of Jermuk filed a lawsuit against the Ministry of Environment demanding to oblige the Minister of Environment to declare the EIA examination conclusion of Amulsar gold-bearing quartzites null and void as a result of emergence of new ecological factors. Recordings of the court session by parts: (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4).
The Administrative Court of the Republic of Armenia (RA) rejected the claim.
Nazeli Vardanyan, the plaintiffs' lawyer, appealed this decision to the RA Administrative Court of Appeals, where after 3 years a judicial act was published, which satisfied the plaintiffs' appeal and sent the case to the RA Administrative Court for a new trial. The RA Administrative Court, guided by the decision of the Administrative Court of Appeals, proposed to change the claim and instead of submitting a binding claim, since the Ministry of Environment had not responded to the plaintiffs /although they claimed that they had/, submit a claim for implementation of actions.
Throughout the whole investigation of the case, the Ministry of Environment justified all its arguments based on the position of Lydian Armenia CJSC.
The defendant - the Ministry of Environment, placed the responsibility on the EIA Examination State Non-Commercial Organization (SNCO), stating that the body to implement an action is the SNCO. Yet, the SNCO is not an administrative body and the ministry should take the responsibility.
On December 27, 2022, the RA Administrative Court, presided over by Judge Aghasi Darbinyan, satisfied the claim of 19 residents of Jermuk community, by which the Minister of Environment was obliged to implement certain actions, that is, to carry out administration within the framework of the proceedings initiated on the basis of the application submitted by the plaintiffs on 04.07.2018 by responding (making a decision) to the petitioners' application within the specified maximum period.
Tehmine Yenokyan – plaintiff
President of Green Armenia environmental, educational NGO
The article was prepared within the “Community Resource Exchange” program of the Coalition for Human Rights in Development