NA also adopted the Draft Law regarding “Making Amendments to RA Law on State and Official Secrets”12:50, March 25, 2013 | Press Release | Freedom of Information and Speech
On March 21, 2013 the RA National Assembly fully adopted the draft law on “Making amendments to RA Law on State and Official Secrets” by the second reading.
In conformity with the new draft law, departmental lists aren’t confidential and are subject to publication, with the exception of cases, when the name of specific information included in the listings itself presents a state or official secret. Moreover, the standards of categorizing the name of information included in the departmental lists of confidential information under the umbrella of state and official secrets via the force of its stipulation must be defined by a relevant authorized body.
The necessity of making amendments to the law derived from the claim of Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly Vanadzor after the decision reached by the RA Constitutional Court.
Back on November 23 of 2011 Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly Vanadzor submitted a motion to the RA Constitutional Court in relation to recognizing the provisions of Article 8 and 12 of the RA law on “State Secrets” as contradicting with Article 3, 5, 6, 27, 43, 83.5, 117 of the RA Constitution and declaring them as invalid. Artak Zeynalyan and Arayik Ghazaryan were the representatives authorized by the Organization.
Whereas, on March 6 of 2012, the Constitutional Court took a decision to declare that provision on “departmental lists are confidential and aren’t subject to publication” of part 7 of Article 12 of the RA Law on State Secret contradicts with Article 27, 43 of the RA Constitution and is invalid with the exception of specific confidential information.
The case background goes back to February 10, 2010 when HCA Vanadzor sent an inquiry to the RA Defense Minister with a request to provide information regarding the names, surnames, place of residence and the number of term and contract soldiers who died during military service in the RA Armed Forces throughout 2009. The Ministry of Defense refused to provide the requested information by justifying it as a state secret. While, pursuant to the law regulations, the “Extended departmental lists of confidential information of the RA Ministry of Defense” approved by the RA Defense Minister are considered a secret.