Constitution of the Republic of Azerbaijan

Chapter VII. JUDICIAL POWER

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Article 125. Judicial power

I. Judicial power in Azerbaijan is implemented by law courts.

II. Judicial power is implemented through the Constitutional Court of the Azerbaijan Republic, Supreme Court of the Azerbaijan Republic, Courts of Appeal of the Azerbaijan Republic, ordinary and specialized law courts of the Azerbaijan Republic.

III. Judicial power is implemented by way of constitutional, civil and criminal legal proceedings and other forms of legislation provided for by law.

IV. In the criminal legal proceedings, Procurator's Office of the Azerbaijan Republic and lawyers take part.

V. Judicial system and legal proceedings in the Azerbaijan Republic are determined by law.

VI. Use of legal means aimed to change of authority of law courts and establishment of extraordinary law courts which are not envisaged by the law are prohibited.

VII. Court proceeding shall provide for the discovery of the truth.

Article 126. Requirements to candidates to judge posts

I. Judges shall be citizens of the Azerbaijan Republic not younger than 30, having voting right, higher juridical education and at least 5-year working experience in the sphere of law.

II. Judges may not occupy any other posts, irrespective of the procedure - elections or appointment, may not be involved in business, commercial and other payable activity, except scientific, pedagogical and creative activity, may not be involved in political activity and join political parties, may not get remuneration other than their wages and money for scientific, pedagogical and creative activity.

Article 127. Independence of judges, main principles and conditions of implementation of justice

I. Judges are independent, they are subordinate only to Constitution and laws of the Azerbaijan Republic, they cannot be replaced during the term of their authority.

II. In consideration of legal cases judges must be impartial, fair, they should provide juridical equality of parties, act based on facts and according to the law.

III. Direct and indirect restriction of legal proceedings from somebody's part and due to some reason, illegal influence, threats and interference are not allowed.

IV. Justice shall be implemented based on equality of citizens before the law and law court.

V. In all law courts hearing of legal cases shall be open.

It is allowed to have closed hearing of legal cases only if the law court decides that open hearings may result in disclosure of state, professional or commercial secrets, or that it is necessary to keep confidentiality with respect to personal or family life.

VI. Except cases envisaged by law it is prohibited to carry out legal proceedings by correspondence.

VII. Law proceedings are carried out based on the principle of contest.

VIII. Everyone has the right for defence at all stages of legal proceedings.

IX. Justice is based on presumption of innocence.

X. In the Azerbaijan Republic legal proceedings are carried out in state language of the Azerbaijan Republic or in a language of majority of population in specific area. Persons-participants of legal proceedings not knowing the language of proceedings have the right to be acquainted with materials of proceedings, to take part in legal proceedings using interpreter, to make statements in the law court in their native language.

Article 128. Immunity of judges

I. Judges are immune.

II. A judge may be called to criminal responsibility only in accordance with law.

III. Authority of judges might be stopped only based on reasons and rules envisaged by the law.

IV. Whenever judges commit crime, the President of the Azerbaijan Republic, based on conclusions of Supreme Court of the Azerbaijan Republic, may make statement in Milli Majlis of the Azerbaijan Republic with the initiative to dismiss judges from their posts. Respective conclusions of Supreme Court of the Azerbaijan Republic must be presented to the President of the Azerbaijan Republic within 30 days after his request.

V. Decision about dismissal of judges of Constitutional Court of the Azerbaijan Republic, Supreme Court of the Azerbaijan Republic and Economic Court of the Azerbaijan Republic is taken by Milli Majlis of the Azerbaijan Republic with majority of 83 votes; decision about dismissal of other judges is taken by Milli Majlis of the Azerbaijan Republic with majority of 63 votes.

Article 129. Decisions of law courts and their implementation

I. Court decisions shall be made on behalf of the state and their implementation shall be mandatory.

II. Failure to execute a court decisions entails liability prescribed by law.

III. A court decision shall be grounded in law and evidence.

Article 130. Constitutional Court of the Azerbaijan Republic

I. Constitutional Court of the Azerbaijan Republic consists of 9 judges.

II. Judges of Constitutional Court of the Azerbaijan Republic are appointed by Milli Majlis of the Azerbaijan Republic on recommendation by the President of the Azerbaijan Republic.

III. Constitutional Court of the Azerbaijan Republic based on inquiry of the President of the Azerbaijan Republic, Milli Majlis of the Azerbaijan Republic, Cabinet of Ministers of the Azerbaijan Republic, Supreme Court of the Azerbaijan Republic, Procurator's Office of the Azerbaijan Republic, Ali Majlis of Nakhchyvan Autonomous Republic takes decisions regarding the following:

1. correspondence of laws of the Azerbaijan Republic, decrees and orders of the President of the Azerbaijan Republic, decrees of Milli Majlis of the Azerbaijan Republic, decrees and orders of Cabinet of Ministers of the Azerbaijan Republic, normative-legal acts of central bodies of executive power to Constitution of the Azerbaijan Republic;

2. correspondence of decrees of the President of the Azerbaijan Republic, decrees of Cabinet of Ministers of the Azerbaijan Republic, normative-legal acts of central bodies of executive power to the laws of the Azerbaijan Republic;

3. correspondence of decrees of Cabinet of Ministers of the Azerbaijan Republic and normative-legal acts of central bodies of executive power to decrees of the President of the Azerbaijan Republic;

4. in cases envisaged by law, correspondence of decisions of Supreme Court of the Azerbaijan Republic to Constitution and laws of the Azerbaijan Republic;

5. correspondence of acts of municipalities to Constitution of the Azerbaijan Republic, laws of the Azerbaijan Republic, decrees of the President of the Azerbaijan Republic, decrees of Cabinet of Ministers of the Azerbaijan Republic (in Nakhchyvan Autonomous Republic - also to Constitution and laws of Nakhchyvan Autonomous Republic and decrees of Cabinet of Ministers of Nakhchyvan Autonomous Republic);

6. correspondence of interstate agreements of the Azerbaijan Republic, which have not yet become valid, to Constitution of the Azerbaijan Republic; correspondence of intergovernmental agreements of the Azerbaijan Republic to Constitution and laws of the Azerbaijan Republic;

7. correspondence of Constitution and laws of Nakhchyvan Autonomous Republic, decrees of Ali Majlis of Nakhchyvan Autonomous Republic, decrees of Cabinet of Ministers of Nakhchyvan Autonomous Republic to Constitution of the Azerbaijan Republic; correspondence of laws of Nakhchyvan Autonomous Republic, decrees of Cabinet of Ministers of Nakhchyvan Autonomous Republic to laws of the Azerbaijan Republic; correspondence of decrees of Cabinet of Ministers of Nakhchyvan Autonomous Republic to decrees of the President of the Azerbaijan Republic and decrees of Cabinet of Ministers of the Azerbaijan Republic;

8. settlement of disputes connected with division of authority between legislative, executive and judicial powers.

IV. Constitutional Court of the Azerbaijan Republic gives interpretation of the Constitution and laws of the Azerbaijan Republic based on inquiries of the President of the Azerbaijan Republic, Milli Majlis of the Azerbaijan Republic, Cabinet of Ministers of the Azerbaijan Republic, Supreme Court of the Azerbaijan Republic, Procurator's Office of the Azerbaijan Republic and Ali Majlis of Nakhchyvan Autonomous Republic.

V. Everyone claiming to be the victim of a violation of his/her rights and freedoms by the decisions of legislative, executive and judiciary, municipal acts set forth in the items 1-7 of the Para III of this Article may appeal, in accordance with the procedure provided for by law, to the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Azerbaijan with the view of the restoration of violated human rights and freedoms.

VI. In accordance with the procedure provided for by the laws of Azerbaijan Republic the courts may file the Constitutional Court of Azerbaijan Republic a request on interpretation of the Constitution and the laws of Azerbaijan Republic as regards the matters concerning the implementation of human rights and freedoms.

VII. Ombudsman of Azerbaijan Republic in accordance with the procedure provided for by the laws of the Republic of Azerbaijan for solving the matters indicated in items 1-7, para III of the given Article shall apply to the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Azerbaijan in cases where the rights and freedoms of a person had been violated by legislative acts in force, normative acts of executive power, municipalities as well as the court decisions

VIII. Constitutional Court of the Azerbaijan Republic exercises also other authorities envisaged in the present Constitution.

IX. Constitutional Court of the Azerbaijan Republic takes decisions as regards the questions of its competence. Decisions of Constitutional Court of the Azerbaijan Republic are obligatory all over the territory of the Azerbaijan Republic. The decisions of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Azerbaijan shall be published.

X. Laws and other acts, individual provisions of these documents, intergovernmental agreements of the Azerbaijan Republic cease to be valid in term specified in the decision of Constitutional Court of the Azerbaijan Republic, and interstate agreements of the Azerbaijan Republic do not come into force.

Article 131. Supreme Court of the Azerbaijan Republic

I. Supreme Court of the Azerbaijan Republic is the highest judicial body on civil, criminal, administrative and other cases directed to general and specialized law courts; it, via the cassation procedure, shall administer the justice; gives explanations as per practices in activity of law courts in an order envisaged by legislation;.

II. Judges of Supreme Court of the Azerbaijan Republic are appointed by Milli Majlis of the Azerbaijan Republic on recommendation of the President of the Azerbaijan Republic

III. The decisions of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Azerbaijan shall be published.

Article 132. Courts of Appeal of Azerbaijan Republic

I. The Courts of Appeal of Azerbaijan Republic shall be the higher courts considering the issues falling within their competences according to the legislation.

II. Judges of the Courts of Appeal of Azerbaijan Republic shall be appointed by the Milli Majlis of Azerbaijan Republic upon the recommendation of the President of Azerbaijan Republic.

Article 133. Procurator's Office of the Azerbaijan Republic

I. Via procedure and in cases specified by legislation, Procurator's Office of the Azerbaijan Republic exercises control over fulfilment and application of laws; in cases envisaged by legislation it undertakes prosecution and carries out investigation; supports state incrimination in the law court; brings in an action in the law court; remonstrates against decisions of law court.

II. Procurator's Office of the Azerbaijan Republic is an integral centralized body based on subordination of territorial and specialized procurators to General Procurator of the Azerbaijan Republic.

III. General Procurator of the Azerbaijan Republic is appointed to his post and dismissed from it by the President of the Azerbaijan Republic, on consent of Milli Majlis of the Azerbaijan Republic.

IV. Deputies of General Procurator of the Azerbaijan Republic, procurators supervising specialized republican procurator's offices, procurator of Nakhchyvan Autonomous Republic are appointed to their posts and dismissed from their posts by the President of the Azerbaijan Republic on recommendation of General Procurator of the Azerbaijan Republic.

V. Territorial and specialized procurators are appointed to their posts and dismissed by General Procurator of the Azerbaijan Republic on agreement with the President of the Azerbaijan Republic.