The foundations of constitutional justice in Armenia were laid by the Constitution of 5 July 1995 adopted by the nationwide referendum, which introduced the judicial and legal system that encompassed also the Constitutional Court. In pursuance of the adopted Constitution, the Law on the Constitutional Court was adopted by the National Assembly of the Republic of Armenia on 20 November 1995 and it was signed by the President of the Republic on 6 December 1995, hence consolidating the legislative foundations for the activities of the newly established constitutional bodies. The members of the first composition of the Constitutional Court were appointed on 5 and 6 February 1996, the swearing-in ceremony took place at the National Assembly, and the High Court officially launched its activities from 6 February 1996. During the given period, the powers of the Constitutional Court were quite limited and the system of the individual constitutional complaints about the citizens was not introduced. From the very first day of its activity, the newly formed Constitutional Court pursued a proactive policy in the field of international cooperation aimed to study and introduce into its own practice the best international experience in the field of constitutional justice.
The Constitutional Court established effective working contacts with the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe, as well as with the newly formed national bodies of constitutional oversight of the Eastern European states. In the social and legal life of Armenia, the amendments to the Constitution adopted by the national referendum on 27 November 2005 were an important milestone for the Constitutional Court, which directly referred to the system of constitutional justice. As a result of these amendments, the scope of entities entitled to apply to the Constitutional Court significantly expanded, the scope of issues subject to constitutional control also expanded, and as an innovation, the institution of individual constitutional complaint was introduced, within the framework of which the citizens may submit an application to the Constitutional Court on a specific case, where the final act of the court is available, all domestic judicial remedies have been exhausted, and may challenge the constitutionality of the relevant provision of the law applied against him or her with that act. The aforementioned amendments and innovations introduced to the Basic Law in fact caused the necessity to fundamentally revisit the Law on the Constitutional Court.
The amended law entered into force on 1 July 2006, and before that, it was the subject of in-depth research by the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe. Based on the requirements of the Law, the Constitutional Court subsequently adopted its Rules of Procedure, which systematized the procedure for organizing the submission of individual complaints and the procedures of preliminary examination; moreover, the specifics of judicial service at the Constitutional Court were established. In the course of the next decade, namely from 2005 to 2015, the Constitutional Court, while exercising its new powers, consistently strengthened its role in the domestic affairs of Armenia, and many legal standings of the High Court established new legal guidelines and contributed to the implementation of relevant legislative amendments. The given decade was also marked by the rapid growth of international engagements of the High Court, which made the Constitutional Court one of the most recognized and progressive courts in the post-Soviet space and in Eastern Europe. In this context, the annual Yerevan International Conferences co-hosted with the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe played a prominent role and made the City of Yerevan one of the most recognized platforms for discussing the contemporary and urging issues in the fields of constitutional justice, human rights, and fundamental freedoms. On the other hand, in 2013-2015, a new package of constitutional amendments was discussed in Armenia, as a result of which, following the nationwide referendum held on 5 December 2015, the new constitutional amendments were adopted.
The given amendments significantly expanded the powers of the Constitutional Court, a new procedure for the election of the President and Vice-President was introduced that would contribute to the enhancement of the institutional independence of the High Court. The given amendments resulted not only in clarification of the previous powers of the Constitutional Court, but they also endowed the High Court with the new functions, in particular, the Constitutional Court has the power to resolve disputes arising between constitutional bodies with respect to their constitutional powers. At the same time, as a result of new amendments to the Constitution, it has been stipulated that the justices of the Constitutional Court shall be elected by the National Assembly for a term of twelve years, by at least three-fifths of votes of the total number of Deputies. The Constitutional Court shall be composed of nine justices, of whom three justices shall be elected upon recommendation of the President of the Republic, three justices upon recommendation of the Government, and three justices upon recommendation of the General Assembly of Judges. The General Assembly of Judges may nominate only judges.
The same person may be elected as a justice of the Constitutional Court only once. As a guarantee of ensuring institutional independence and a mechanism for guaranteeing political independence, it was established by the new amendments to the Constitution that the Constitutional Court shall elect the President and Vice-President of the Constitutional Court from among its members for a term of six years, without the right to be re-elected. On 22 June 2020, the National Assembly of the Republic of Armenia adopted amendments to Article 213 of the Constitution, as a result of which Parts 1 and 2 of Article 166 of the Constitution, concerning the formation of the Constitutional Court, were fully implemented, thus equalizing the status of the justices of the Constitutional Court and their terms in office, as well as providing an opportunity to elect the President of the Constitutional Court from among the composition of the Constitutional Court. Moreover, as a factor in increasing the democratic legitimacy of the Constitutional Court, the amendment ensured the engagement of all constitutionally prescribed bodies participating in the process of filling the composition of the Constitutional Court.