- - Thursday, October 8, 2015


The article by Alexander Murinson “Revisiting events in Nagorno-Karabakh,” published on October 4, presents a line of arguments that one can offer to graduate students of public international law to refute, making them happy about the relative ease of gaining extra points.

Before someone on Capitol Hill responds to that unsolicited lecture, it seems relevant to clarify references to four U.N. Security Council resolutions of 1993 regarding the Nagorno Karabakh conflict, as well as a recent judgment rendered by the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights, or ECHR, in the case of Chiragov and others v. Armenia.

To make this less boring for non-lawyers, the Court’s case law unequivocally suggests that “the test for establishing the existence of “jurisdiction” under Article 1 of the [European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms] has never been equated with the test for establishing a State’s responsibility for an internationally wrongful act under international law” (Chiragov, paragraph 168) — which in plain language refutes allegations of aggression or belligerent occupation incriminated to the Republic of Armenia with reference to the present judgment. In fact, with Chiragov case the ECHR — an international court of human rights — fulfilled its mission of not leaving the people of and from Nagorno Karabakh in a legal vacuum.

Regarding the four relevant U.N. Security Council resolutions of 1993 the Republic of Armenia was merely urged “to use its influence [onto] the Armenians of the Nagorny Karabakh” (Resolution 884), whereas fact-finding missions dispatched by the secretary general had not found signs of any direct involvement of the troops of the Republic of Armenia in the continuing armed hostilities (U.N. Doc. S/25600). Armenia has been faithfully honoring its only international obligation stemming from aforementioned resolutions — that is using its influence onto the “elected representatives” of de facto Nagorno Karabakh Republic for advancing the peace process.

Azerbaijan does everything but “play[s] by all the rules,” at least of the civilized world, unlike what Alexander Murinson has, perhaps under some outside influence, tried to make us believe in.


Adjunct Lecturer, Political Science and International Affairs

American University of Armenia

Yerevan, Armenia

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