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Bukharatyan v. Armenia, No. 37819/03, ECtHR (Third Section), 10 April 2012


Art. 9 ECHR and conscientious objection to military service in Armenia. Absence of alternative civilian service and breach of Art. 9 ECHR.    

Normative references

Art. 9 ECHR 
Art. 4 ECHR 


1. Although Art. 9 ECHR does not mention the right to conscientious objection explicitly, a serious and insurmountable conflict between the obligation to serve in the army and the individual conscience, a sincerely and deeply held religious belief, or the presence of other convictions of sufficient cogency, seriousness, consistency and importance attracts the fundamental guarantees of Art. 9 ECHR. 

2. The absence of the possibility of carrying out an alternative civilian service to the military conscription amounts to a violation of Article 9 ECHR. 
(The conviction of the applicant, an Armenian citizen and a Jehovah’s Witness, is unlawful. He refused to perform the military service and asked to be registered as a conscientious objector for religious reasons, declaring to be available to perform an alternative civilian service). 


The ruling confirms Bayatyan v. Armenia, No. 37334/08, ECtHR (Grand Chamber), 7 July 2011.