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Yerevan Court Denies Appeal Against ‘1000 Drams Law’

The Kentron and Nork Marash district court in Yerevan denied on Monday an appeal filed by the Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly Vanadzor office (HCAV) against the “1000 drams’ law.” Recall, working Armenian citizens have been mandatorily contributing a monthly thousand drams since January 1, 2017, to a fund financing a military benefits program. According to the applicant, the law «On Compensation of Damages Caused to the Life or Health of Servicemen During the Protection of Republic of Armenia», which envisages the aforementioned payments, “violates property rights, is anti-constitutional, anti-legal and discriminatory.”

“These 1000 drams are a part of our property since, according the judicial precedents of the European Court of Human Rights’ case law, a person’s salary is his/her property. This is the main norm, on which further substantiation of the claim is based,” Arthur Sakunts, head of the HCAV, had said at a press conference back in June.

The 10th article of the law, according to Skaunts, introduces the concept of a “stamp fee,” which contradicts the definitions of the terms “tax” and “duty” in the Constitution. A tax is an obligatory payment for ensuring the financial means of the public authority, and a duty is for territorial self-government. Meanwhile, the payer does not receive any services in return for the “stamp fee” introduced in the “1000 drams law.”