Freedom of Information Center of Armenia.

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38. FOICA vs. the RA National Security Service


On February 11, 2013, the Freedom of Information Center sent a written information request to the RA National Security Service asking to provide the following information:

"Under the agreement "About procedure of the revision of the level of privacy of information classified during the existence of the USSR"

1. The privacy level of what information was reviewed?
2, Who can apply for access to declassified information?
3, What body can the declassified information be obtained from?
4, Please, provide the copy of the agreement "About procedure of the revision of the
    level of privacy of information classified during the existence of the USSR" signed
    on April 18, 2011". 

On February 21, 2013, the NSS provided an incomplete answer. The response was considered incomplete because the NSS didn't actually respond to the FOICA's request, as well as didn't provide the requested copy of the agreement.

On March 7, 2013, the FOICA sent the second information request to NSS, but received the same incomplete response.

As a result, on April 5, 2013 FOICA filed a suit at the RA Administrative Court against the RA National Security Service, asking the Court to recognize the fact of violation of the right of FOICA to receive an appropriate answer in a reasonable time and oblige the RA National Assembly to provide the requested information.

The first court hearing took place in the RA Adminictrative Court on June 11, 2013. The court decided to end the preliminary court hearing, and the case went to trial phase. The next court hearing took place on August 29, 2013. The trial of the case was over, and the court published its decision on September 19, 2013, deciding to reject the FOICA's claim. The FOICA appealed the decision of the court to the RA Court of Appel. By its decision dated February 11, 2014 the Court of Appeal decided to terminate the case, finding that the administrative court should not have deal with claim about recognizing the fact of a violation of the right.

The FOICA appeald the decision of the Cour of Appeal to the RA Court of Cassation. The Court of Cassation retured the appeal, stating that it does not comply with the terms of the cassation appeal. It should be noted, that the FOICA kept all the requirements, defined by the RA Administrative Procedure Code, but the Court of Cassation did not specify the criteria for what kind of appeal is expected to receive from the FOICA. Thus, the FOICA is going to apply to the RA Constitutional Court for getting assessment to reception of its cassatioanal appeal in terms of legal certainty.

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