Even though the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) Grand Chamber rejected Switzerland’s petition in the case of Perincek v Switzerland, the judgment can be considered a triumph of the Armenian party in the sense that the lower chamber ruling’s unacceptable evaluations, which questioned the fact of the Armenian Genocide, are removed from the text of this judgment.
Deputy Minister of Justice of Armenia Arman Tatoyan, who is also the Armenian government’s deputy authorized representative at the ECHR, told the aforesaid to Armenian News-NEWS.am, as he commented on Thursday’s ECHR Grand Chamber judgment.
“The Republic of Armenia, as a third party, sought that the ECHR would not make an assessment on the genocide,” said Tatoyan. “In fact, the ECHR Grand Chamber recorded in its judgment that it has no authority and cannot give an assessment on what occurred in 1915, which the genocide term can be characterized in any way within the meaning under international law, and cannot make any legally binding pronouncements.”
In his words, Armenia, as a third party, pursued this very objective from the very beginning.
“Turkey needed a clear statement that there was no genocide, [that] there had been some events,” added the Armenian official. “Whereas the European Court not only noted that it will not give a response to such a matter, but it has no authority and it is not the court to respond to this matter. That was exactly what Armenia claimed.”
The ECHR Grand Chamber judgment also specifically states: “As regards the scope of the case, the Court underlined that it was not required to determine whether the massacres and mass deportations suffered by the Armenian people at the hands of the Ottoman Empire from 1915 onwards could be characterised as genocide within the meaning of that term under international law; unlike the international criminal courts, it had no authority to make legally binding pronouncements on this point.”
In 2008, a Swiss court had convicted Turkish ultranationalist politician Dogu Perincek for denying the Armenian Genocide. In December 2013, the ECHR had ruled in favor of Perincek’s lawsuit that was filed against Switzerland. Subsequently, the Government of Switzerland petitioned that the Dogu Perincek case be referred for a review by the ECHR Grand Chamber.
Separately, Armenia had petitioned to the ECHR, and it now acts as a third party in this case, whose ECHR Grand Chamber hearing was held on January 28. Armenia was represented at this hearing by renowned attorneys Geoffrey Robertson and Amal Clooney.
Dogu Perincek is chairman of the left-wing Patriotic—formerly Workers’—Party of Turkey. In addition, he heads the Turkish ultranationalist Talaat Pasha organization, which actively fights against the Armenian Genocide’s recognition in Europe.