Armenia has a three-tiered judicial system consisting of the Courts of First Instance, Courts of Appeal and the Supreme Court. The Courts of First Instance include the Courts of General Jurisdiction and the Administrative Court. Courts of General Jurisdiction examine all civil and criminal cases, whereas administrative cases are heard by the Administrative Court. The decisions of the Courts of General Jurisdiction and the Administrative Court can be appealed to the Courts of Appeal. These include the Civil Court of Appeal, the Administrative Court of Appeal, and the Criminal Court of Appeal.
The Supreme Court revises the rulings of the courts of Courts of Appeal. Fee structures are defned by the law “On State Duties” for statements of claims, applications and complaints submitted to the Court, for appeals, as well as for receipt of copies (duplicates) of other Court documents.
The Armenian judiciary system also includes the Constitutional Court of Armenia, the highest body of constitutional justice in Armenia. The Constitutional Court primarily settles disputes, assesses the conformity of laws and regulations with the Constitution, resolves election-related disputes, and assesses compliance of international treaties with the Constitution. Disputes between a foreign investor and the Republic of Armenia must be resolved in Armenian courts, through the application of domestic legislation, according to the law “On Foreign Investment”.
In cases of mutual consent, businesses may opt to settle disputes through commercial arbitration either in Armenia or abroad. Arbitration is regulated by the law “On Commercial Arbitration”. This law provides a sound framework for the conduct of both domestic and international commercial arbitration in Armenia, and for the enforcement in Armenian courts of arbitration awards made in other countries. The Government has continuously honored arbitration judgments. Other alternative dispute resolution procedures such as mediation, mini-trials, and neutral negotiation are also applicable in Armenia. The Permanent Arbitration Body at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry was established in 2007 based on the law “On Commercial Arbitration”. Armenia is a signatory to the 1958 Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards, and is also a signatory of the International Convention on Investment Disputes.