Today is Constitution Day and the start of a 4-day vacation, woohoo! The Constitution of Armenia was ratified in 1995 and significantly amended in 2005. It was during that 2005 amendment that the Human Rights Defender’s Office was created as described in Article 83.1. Constitutionalism in Armenia can be traced back to Hakob Shahamirian’s Vorogayt parats (Snare of Glory) of 1773. The Vorogayt parats had 521 articles that represented the desire of the end of Ottoman control and laid out a blueprint for an independent parliamentary Armenian state.
Modern state constitutions are often the entities that best embody the people’s demand for human rights. Unfortunately, a constitution, in the infamous quote not actually said by George W. Bush, is “just a goddamned piece of paper,” and without effective state institutions, those rights are not respected.
For some light reading, there are a few (sadly, only a few) good articles on the adoption of the Armenian Constitution and subsequent amendment. Also, this Comedy Central post is too funny to not link to.
As it’s a 4-day vacation, don’t expect any more posts until Monday unless something really big happens and I happen to be in front of a computer. Paka!