UPDATE: A Guide to the Republic of Azerbaijan Law Research

By Ramil Iskandarli

Ramil Iskandarli is a Chairman of Board of the Legal Analysis and Research Public Union in Azerbaijan. He holds a LLM Master of Law degree in Human Rights and Humanitarian Law from the European University Viadrina, Frankfurt Oder, Germany. Ramil is an alumnus of the Chevening Fellowship Program on Human Rights Law at the University of Nottingham (2008), John Smith Fellowship Program (2005) in UK and participant of the International Youth Leaders Visitors Program of the US State Department (2005).

Published July/August 2017
(Previously updated in October 2009 and April 2012)
Read the Archive Version!

1. The Legal System of the Republic of Azerbaijan

1.1. Background Information

The Republic of Azerbaijan lies in the borderlands of Asia and Europe. It is situated in the southeastern part of the Southern Caucasus and shares borders in the north with the Russian Federation, in the south with the Islamic Republic of Iran, in the west with Turkey, Georgia and Armenia, and in the east its neighbors across the Caspian Sea are Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan.

The legal system in Azerbaijan has a rich history highlighting struggle of our nation for independence as well as its noble past. The most glorious moments of the legal system of the Independent Azerbaijan coincide with the establishment of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic (ADR) on 28 May 1918.

As a result of the military occupation of the 11th Soviet Red Army, Azerbaijan lost its independence on April 1920 and in December 1922 became a part of the former USSR. Azerbaijan re-established its independence with The Constitutional Act on Restoration of the State Independence of the Republic of Azerbaijan on October 18, 1991. In 1993, Azerbaijan lost its 18% of internationally recognized territory to Armenia during the war in Nagorno-Karabakh and surrounded area of Azerbaijan.

The Azerbaijani law system is based on civil law system. The Constitution of Azerbaijan Republic has the highest legal force in the territory of Azerbaijan and acts directly. The Constitution of the Azerbaijan Republic is the basic foundation of the Legislative system in the Republic. The Constitution created the system of presidential republic with a separation of powers among the legislative, executive and judicial branches. The Constitution provides an adequate legal basis for the domestic implementation of International Law in general and International Human Rights Law in particular. The International Treaties, to which Azerbaijan is a Party, are recognized as a constituent part of the internal legal system (Art. 148(II)) and given a higher hierarchical status in the case of a conflict with a national law (Art. 151). While expressly stipulating that an international treaty may not contravene the Constitution and laws adopted by referendum (Art. 151), see also Art. 130(III (6)). The Constitution at the same time implicitly, as a lex specialis rule, provides for the primacy of international human rights over the appropriate constitutional provisions (Art. 12). Thus Art. 12(II) of the Constitutions empowers domestic courts to apply International Human Rights treaties to which Azerbaijan is a party. This is a very progressive statement, which needs to be corroborated and developed by the judicial practice, particularly by the jurisprudence of the Constitutional Court.

After the amendments and changes to the constitution made by the referendum conducted on 18 March 2009, the highest priority of objective of the state is to ensure rights and liberties of a person and citizen and decent life for citizens of the Republic of Azerbaijan (Article 12 of the Constitution of Azerbaijan Republic).

1.2. Separation of Powers

Azerbaijani state is a democratic, legal, secular, unitary republic. Religion is separated from the State. State power is based on the principle of division of powers: Milli Majlis (Parliament) exercises legislative power; executive power belongs to the President; and law courts exercise judicial power. Milli Majlis, one chamber body comprising 125 deputies, is elected by direct elections for a 5-year term. The President of the Azerbaijan Republic is the Head of the Azerbaijani state. The President is elected for a 7[1]-year term by way of general, direct and equal elections, with free, personal and secret ballot. Executive power in the Azerbaijan Republic belongs to the President. The President by consent of Milli Majlis appoints Prime minister. For implementation of executive powers, the President establishes Cabinet of Ministers. Cabinet of Ministers is subordinate to the President and reports to him. Judicial power in Azerbaijan is implemented by law courts. Judicial power is implemented through the Constitutional Court, Supreme Court, Courts of Appeal, ordinary and other specialized law courts.

2. The Legislative Power

Legislative power in the Azerbaijan Republic is implemented by Milli Majlis (Parliament) of the Azerbaijan Republic. Milli Majlis of the Azerbaijan Republic consists of 125 deputies. Deputies of Milli Majlis of the Azerbaijan Republic are elected based on majority voting systems and general, equal and direct elections by way of free, individual and secret voting. The term of authority for each calling of Milli Majlis of the Azerbaijan Republic is 5 years. Every citizen of the Azerbaijan Republic, not younger than 25, may be elected to the deputy of Milli Majlis of the Azerbaijan Republic in an established order. Accuracy of results of elections is checked and approved by Constitutional Court of the Azerbaijan Republic as specified in the law.

The deputy of Milli Majlis of the Azerbaijan Republic loses his/her mandate in the following cases:

Right of legislative initiative in Milli Majlis of the Azerbaijan Republic (right to submit for consideration by Milli Majlis of the Azerbaijan Republic drafts of laws and other questions) belongs to deputies of Milli Majlis of the Azerbaijan Republic, the President of the Azerbaijan Republic, 4,000 citizens of the Republic of Azerbaijan enjoying suffrage Supreme Court of the Azerbaijan Republic, the Prosecutor’s Office of Azerbaijan Republic and Ali Majlis of Nakhichevan Autonomous Republic.

After the referendum on 18 March 2009, the following amendment had been approved and came into force: “Right of legislative initiative in Milli Majlis of the Azerbaijan Republic (right to submit for consideration by Milli Majlis of the Azerbaijan Republic drafts of laws and other questions) belongs to deputies of Milli Majlis of the Azerbaijan Republic, the President of the Azerbaijan Republic, Supreme Court of the Azerbaijan Republic, 50 thousands voters of the Azerbaijan Republic, Prosecution’s Office of the Azerbaijan Republic and Ali Majlis of Nakhichevan Autonomous Republic”.

3. The Executive Power

3.1. President

Executive power in the Azerbaijan Republic belongs to the President of the Azerbaijan Republic.

Citizens of the Azerbaijan Republic not younger than 35, permanently living on the territory of the Azerbaijan Republic for longer than 10 years, possessing voting right, without previous conviction, having no liabilities in other states, with university degree, not having double citizenship, may be elected as the President of the Azerbaijan Republic. The President of the Azerbaijan Republic is elected for a 5-year term by way of general, direct and equal elections, with free, personal and secret ballot.

The President of the Azerbaijan Republic is elected by the majority of votes. The President of the Azerbaijan Republic enjoys the right of personal immunity. Honor and dignity of the President of the Azerbaijan Republic are protected by law.

The President of the Azerbaijan Republic signs the laws within 56 days after their presentation. If the President of the Azerbaijan Republic has objections against any particular law, he may return it to Milli Majlis of the Azerbaijan Republic within specified term without signing, together with his comments. Should the President of the Azerbaijan Republic not sign Constitutional laws, they will not come into force. Regardless of Presidential signature, if Milli Majlis of the Azerbaijan Republic accepts by majority of 95 votes laws that have been previously accepted by majority of 83 votes, and by majority of 63 votes prior to that, said laws come into force.

Establishing general procedures, the President of the Azerbaijan Republic issues decrees, as per all other questions – he issues orders. Decrees and orders of the President of the Azerbaijan Republic are in force from the day of their publication.

On March 18, 2009 at the referendum, the following provision had been deleted from the constitution: - “No one may be elected the President of the Azerbaijan Republic repeatedly, for more than two times”.

That means, now, the President of the Azerbaijan Republic can be elected repeatedly for unlimited amount of times.

The Vice-Presidency institute is established in Azerbaijan in accordance to the latest changes to the Constitution made by the people of Azerbaijan at the Referendum. In accordance to the new article 103.1 of the Constitution:

The First Vice-President and Vice-Presidents of the Republic of Azerbaijan are appointed and dismissed by the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan.

A citizen of the Azerbaijani Republic, having voting right and university degree and having no obligations in other states can be appointed to the post of Vice-President of the Republic of Azerbaijan.

Whenever the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan resigns from his/her post ahead of time, extraordinary elections of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan are held within 60 days. In such case, until new President of the Republic of Azerbaijan is elected, the First Vice-President of the Republic of Azerbaijan will carry out powers of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan.

3.2. Cabinet of Ministers

For the implementation of executive powers, the President of the Azerbaijan Republic establishes a Cabinet of Ministers of the Azerbaijan Republic. Cabinet of Ministers of the Azerbaijan Republic is the highest body of executive power of the President of the Azerbaijan Republic.

The Cabinet of Ministers of the Azerbaijan Republic is subordinate to the President of the Azerbaijan Republic and reports to him.

The procedure of activity of Cabinet of Ministers of the Azerbaijan Republic is defined by the President of the Azerbaijan Republic.

The Cabinet of Ministers of the Azerbaijan Republic includes Prime minister of the Azerbaijan Republic, his deputies, ministers and heads of other central bodies of executive power.

On a day when the newly elected President of the Azerbaijan Republic comes into his rights and begins carrying out his powers, the Cabinet of Ministers of the Azerbaijan Republic resigns.

As a rule, the Prime minister of the Azerbaijan Republic takes chair at the meetings of the Cabinet of Ministers of the Azerbaijan Republic.

The Prime minister of Azerbaijan Republic is appointed by the President of the Azerbaijan Republic on consent of Milli Majlis of the Azerbaijan Republic.

The proposed candidature for the post of Prime-minister of the Azerbaijan Republic is submitted for consideration to Milli Majlis of the Azerbaijan Republic by the President of the Azerbaijan Republic no later than one month from the day when the President begins carrying out his powers, or no later than two weeks from the day of resignation of Cabinet of Ministers of the Azerbaijan Republic.

The Cabinet of Ministers of the Azerbaijan Republic:

Establishing general procedures, the Cabinet of Ministers of the Azerbaijan Republic issues decrees, as per all other questions – it issues orders.

Decrees and orders of Cabinet of Ministers of the Azerbaijan Republic become valid from the day of their publication.

4. Judicial Power

4.1. Background

The judicial power in Azerbaijan is implemented by law courts.

According to the law on Courts and Judges of Azerbaijan Republic, activity of the courts of the Republic of Azerbaijan is aimed solely at the administration of justice and, in cases and order provided by legislation, at the enforcement of judicial supervision.

Justice in the Republic of Azerbaijan shall be administered by the following courts, which belong to the judicial system of the Republic of Azerbaijan:

In the criminal legal proceedings, the Procurator’s Office of the Azerbaijan Republic and lawyers take part.

Judges shall be citizens of the Azerbaijan Republic no younger than 30, having voting rights, higher juridical education and at least 5-year working experience in the sphere of law. Judges are independent, they are subordinate only to Constitution and laws of the Azerbaijan Republic, and they cannot be replaced during the term of their authority. Judges are immune. A judge may be called to criminal responsibility only in accordance with law. The authority of judges might be stopped only based on reasons and rules envisaged by the law.

Judicial-Legal Council is an institution that carries out functions of self-governing of the judicial power and which, within its authorities, carries out the organizing of the court system, arranging of the selection of candidates for the judicial posts, ensuring of its operation, transferring of judges to another judicial post, promoting of judges, calling of judges to disciplinary liability, evaluating of the work of judges, as well as, resolving of other issues related to courts and judges in the Republic of Azerbaijan.

Judicial-Legal Council establishes the Judges Selection Committee to carry out the selection of candidates for the judicial posts.

Over the past decade, Azerbaijan has strived to improve the transparency and efficiency of its judicial services with a view to boosting public confidence in the judiciary and the court system and playing a role in the country’s social and economic development.

The World Bank is providing support to Azerbaijan through its financing and knowledge services, with a focus on improving access to justice, especially for the most vulnerable. As part of this ongoing effort, the Bank’s $200 million Judicial Services and Smart Infrastructure Project ($100 million of which is financed by the IBRD) sets out to achieve a number of important objectives:

A key component of the Bank project is financing the construction of “Smart Courts”, which integrate ICT innovations in modern and accessible courthouse design. In addition to posting contract awards and caseload data, an innovative transparency measure is the already-operational 24/7 live web-streaming of the construction of the “Smart Courts”, which is accessible to the public.

Azerbaijan’s Ministry of Justice – the agency that implements the project – has activated publicly accessible weblinks for the three “Smart Courts” currently under construction: Sumgait Court Complex, Baku City Narimanov District Court, and Baku City Surakhani District Court. The weblinks, together with satellite images of the construction sites (which help to ensure compliance with safeguards), are featured on the Ministry’s website.

Previously financed “Smart Courts”, such as Baku City Yasamal District Court, have already demonstrated the positive local economic growth and employment impacts of co-locating key justice services such as courts, bailiffs and notary offices.

Within just a few years of Yasamal Court and its justice services becoming operational in 2012, businesses in the Yasamal neighborhood have received a new impetus generating much-needed employment and opportunity for local citizens.

More information about the Unified Electronic Courts Portal.

4.2. Constitutional Court of the Azerbaijan Republic

The Constitutional Court of the Azerbaijan Republic consists of 9 judges.

Judges of Constitutional Court of the Azerbaijan Republic are appointed by Milli Majlis of the Azerbaijan Republic on recommendation by the President of the Azerbaijan Republic.

The Constitutional Court of the Azerbaijan Republic based on inquiry of the President of the Azerbaijan Republic, Milli Majlis of the Azerbaijan Republic, Cabinet of Ministers of the Azerbaijan Republic, Supreme Court of the Azerbaijan Republic, Procurator’s Office of the Azerbaijan Republic, Ali Majlis of Nakhichevan Autonomous Republic takes decisions regarding the following:

The Constitutional Court of the Azerbaijan Republic gives interpretation of the Constitution and laws of the Azerbaijan Republic based on inquiries of the President of the Azerbaijan Republic, Milli Majlis of the Azerbaijan Republic, Cabinet of Ministers of the Azerbaijan Republic, Supreme Court of the Azerbaijan Republic, Procurator’s Office of the Azerbaijan Republic and Ali Majlis of Nakhichevan Autonomous Republic.

Everyone claiming to be the victim of a violation of his/her rights and freedoms by the decisions of legislative, executive and judiciary, municipal acts set forth in the items 1-7 of the Para III of this Article may appeal, in accordance with the procedure provided for by law, to the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Azerbaijan with the view of the restoration of violated human rights and freedoms.

In accordance with the procedure provided for by the laws of Azerbaijan Republic, the courts may file the Constitutional Court of Azerbaijan Republic a request on interpretation of the Constitution and the laws of Azerbaijan Republic as regards the matters concerning the implementation of human rights and freedoms.

The Ombudsman of the Azerbaijan Republic in accordance with the procedure provided for by the laws of the Republic of Azerbaijan for solving the matters indicated in items 1-7, para III of the given Article shall apply to the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Azerbaijan in cases where the rights and freedoms of a person had been violated by legislative acts in force, normative acts of executive power, municipalities as well as the court decisions VIII. The Constitutional Court of the Azerbaijan Republic exercises also other authorities envisaged in the present Constitution.

The Constitutional Court of the Azerbaijan Republic takes decisions as regards the questions of its competence. Decisions of Constitutional Court of the Azerbaijan Republic are obligatory all over the territory of the Azerbaijan Republic.

Laws and other acts, individual provisions of these documents, intergovernmental agreements of the Azerbaijan Republic cease to be valid in terms specified in the decision of Constitutional Court of the Azerbaijan Republic, and interstate agreements of the Azerbaijan Republic do not come into force.

Decisions of the Constitutional Court of the Azerbaijan Republic should be published. The Constitutional Court is providing English translations of its Case law.

4.3. Supreme Court of the Azerbaijan Republic

The Supreme Court of the Azerbaijan Republic (see English decisions) is the highest judicial body on civil, criminal, administrative and other cases directed to general and specialized law courts; it, via the cassation procedure, shall administer justice; gives explanations as per practices in activity of law courts in an order envisaged by legislation.

Judges of Supreme Court of the Azerbaijan Republic are appointed by Milli Majlis of the Azerbaijan Republic on recommendation of the President of the Azerbaijan Republic. On March 18, 2009, the following amendment had been adopted at the referendum related to the Supreme Court: “Decisions of the Supreme Court of the Azerbaijan Republic should be published”.

4.4. The Courts of Appeal of Azerbaijan Republic

The Courts of Appeal of Azerbaijan Republic shall be the higher courts considering the issues falling within their competences according to the legislation.

Judges of the Courts of Appeal of Azerbaijan Republic shall be appointed by the Milli Majlis of Azerbaijan Republic upon the recommendation of the President of Azerbaijan Republic.

Before the recent legal-organizational changes, Azerbaijani legal system had only one court of appeal based in Baku, however, starting from 2010, there are five regional courts of appeals based in Baku, Gandja, Sumgayit, Shirvan and Sheki regions of Azerbaijan.

4.5. Administrative-Economic Courts.

According to the changes in Azerbaijan legislation in 2010, such as the adoption of the law on administrative procedures, the administrative courts are established and attached to the existed economic courts.

As a court of first instance, administrative-economic court shall try cases on administrative and economic disputes within their jurisdiction provided by the legislation.

Administrative and economic court analyzes judicial statistics, studies and summarizes the data related to the level of arranging the judicial activity and judicial practice, and exercises other powers provided by the legislation of the Republic of Azerbaijan.

4.6. Procurator’s Office of the Azerbaijan Republic

The Procurator’s Office of the Azerbaijan Republic is an integral centralized body based on subordination of territorial and specialized procurators to General Procurator of the Azerbaijan Republic.

The General Procurator of the Azerbaijan Republic is appointed to his post and dismissed from it by the President of the Azerbaijan Republic, on consent of Milli Majlis of the Azerbaijan Republic.

Deputies of General Procurator of the Azerbaijan Republic, procurators supervising specialized republican procurator’s offices, procurator of Nakhichevan Autonomous Republic are appointed to their posts and dismissed from their posts by the President of the Azerbaijan Republic on recommendation of General Procurator of the Azerbaijan Republic.

Territorial and specialized procurators are appointed to their posts and dismissed by General Procurator of the Azerbaijan Republic on agreement with the President of the Azerbaijan Republic.

5. Municipalities

Local self-government is carried out by municipalities. Municipalities are formed based on elections. The foundations of the status of municipalities shall be determined by given Constitution. The regulations of elections to the municipalities shall be determined by law.

The activity of municipalities is carried out by way of meetings, permanent and other commissions. Meetings of municipalities are summoned by their chairmen.

The following questions are settled at the meetings of municipalities:

Municipalities may be given additional authorities of legislative and executive power. To implement these authorities, respective financing is required.

Implementation of such authorities will be controlled respectively by legislative and executive power bodies.

6. Sources of Law

On the base of Article 148 (I) of the Constitution, the legislative system of the Republic of Azerbaijan consists of the following normative-legal Acts:

Local Executive bodies within their competence can take decisions and instructions of the normative character and other Acts, which do not contradict Acts included in the Legislation system.

6.1. Case Law

The Unified Electronic Court System Database is created by the Ministry of Justice in Azerbaijani language, where one can find all the cases of first, appeal and cassation instances of courts of Azerbaijan. Here is the link to the Cases.

The main difference in comparison with the Anglo-American system is that the Azerbaijani legal system is determined by statutes, but in the Anglo-American system, case law or judge-made law play an important role as a source of law. Generally, in Azerbaijan Republic, decisions of the courts are not used as a source of law. However, decisions of the Constitutional Court (The Constitutional Court is providing English translations of its case law) are the exception.

The Constitutional Court of the Republic of Azerbaijan in its decisions gives official interpretation of the Constitution and the Laws of the Azerbaijan Republic, under art. 130(IV). Thus, by this way, decisions of The Constitutional Court create new rules or norms, which are binding in the whole territory of the Azerbaijan Republic, although other courts only apply existing law and refer to appropriate decisions of the Constitutional Court. At this point, decisions of the Constitutional Court may be considered as an additional source of law.

European Court of Human Rights

Having become member of the Council of Europe and ratified the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, the Republic of Azerbaijan recognized the jurisdiction of the European Court of Human Rights on April 15, 2002. Up to this day, the European Court adopted a number of rulings and decisions regarding the statements against Azerbaijan, some of them being the decisions on finding out the violations of the Convention provisions.

On the basis of the Presidential Order on “Modernization of Judiciary System”, arrangement of study of case law of the European Court of human rights was recommended to the Supreme Court and other courts. With this respect, Plenum of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Azerbaijan adopted a decree on “Application of the provisions of the European Convention on the Protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms” and decisions of the European Court of Human Rights during jurisdiction” on March 30, 2006 and decision on the establishment of the relevant structure providing translation of the above-mentioned decisions within the Supreme Court was adopted.

7. Links to the State Bodies’ Websites

E-Government Portal:

In recent years, formation of E-government is considered one of the factors in further development of democracy in developed countries.

E-government through the use of modern information technologies creates conditions for providing information and e-services to all citizens residing in the territory of the Republic of Azerbaijan, legal and physical persons, foreign citizens and stateless persons by government bodies.

The formation of e-government in our country is based on the international practice and a legal framework for its activity was established by the Decree of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan “On the approval of State Program (E-Azerbaijan) for the development of communication and information technologies in Azerbaijan Republic in 2010-2012”, and by the Decree on approval of “Some measures for provision of electronic services by government agencies” dated 23 May 2011 and other normative legal acts.

The Ministry of Communications and High Technologies (MCHT) as the coordinator of the work done in this area is working closely with other government agencies for the formation of e-government and is performing activities for the creation of appropriate infrastructure.

The Official Internet Resource of the State Bodies of Azerbaijan Republic

Name

Hot Line[2]

Link

The President of Azerbaijan Republic

www.president.az

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

http://www.mfa.gov.az/

Ministry of Internal Affairs

102

http://www.mia.gov.az/

Ministry of Defence Industry

http://www.mdi.gov.az/

Ministry of Justice

http://www.justice.gov.az/

Ministry of Taxes

195

http://www.taxes.gov.az/

Ministry of Economy

195-2

http://www.economy.gov.az/

Ministry of Energy

http://www.minenergy.gov.az/

Ministry of Labor and Social Protection of Population

142

http://www.mlspp.gov.az/

Ministry of Agriculture

1652

http://www.agro.gov.az/

Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources

168

http://www.eco.gov.az/

Ministry of Culture and Tourism

http://www.mct.gov.az/

Ministry of Education

146

http://www.edu.gov.az

Ministry of Health

103

http://www.sehiyye.gov.az/

Ministry of Communications and High Technologies

1655

http://www.mincom.gov.az/

Ministry of Youth and Sports

187

http://www.mys.gov.az/

Ministry of Transport

141

http://www.mot.gov.az/

Ministry of Emergency Situations

112

http://www.fhn.gov.az/

State Town Building and Architecture Committee

http://www.arxkom.gov.az/

Financial Markets Supervision Chamber

http://www.fiu.az/eng/

State Committee on Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons Affairs.

http://www.refugees-idps-committee.gov.az/

State Customs Committee

192

http://www.customs.gov.az/az/

State Committee on Family, Woman and Child Affairs

http://www.scfwca.gov.az/

State Statistical Committee

http://www.stat.gov.az/

State Committee for Work with Religious Organizations

http://www.scwra.gov.az/

State Committee on Property Issues

193

http://www.stateproperty.gov.az/

State Committee on Standardization, Metrology and Patent

963

http://www.azstand.gov.az/

Copyright Agency

http://www.copag.gov.az

State Maritime Administration

http://ardda.gov.az/

State Civil Aviation Administration

http://www.caa.gov.az/

State Migration Service

http://migration.gov.az/

State Border Service

http://www.dsx.gov.az/

National Archive Department

http://www.milliarxiv.gov.az/

Civil Service Commission under the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan

http://www.dqmk.az/

State Student Admission Commission

http://www.tqdk.gov.az/

State Committee on Work with Diaspora

http://www.diaspora.gov.az/

State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic

http://socar.az/

Melioration and Water Industry Company OJSC

http://mst.gov.az/

Azersu OJSC (semi-governmental public water supply agency)

http://azersu.az/

Azerenergy OJSC

http://www.azerenerji.gov.az/

Azerishig OJSC

199

http://www.bes.az/

State Service for Mobilization and Conscription

(012) 493-39-96

http://www.seferberlik.gov.az/


8. Legal Documentation

According to the Constitution of the Azerbaijan Republic, the Laws and the Decisions of the Milli Mejlis (Parliament), Decrees and Orders of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan come into force from the day of publication. If a different order is not envisaged in Decrees and Orders of the Cabinet of Ministers, they come into force after the day of their publication. All these legal acts are published in the newspaper “Azerbaijan”. The “Azerbaijan” newspaper officially belongs to the Milli Medjlis (Parliament) of Azerbaijan Republic.

There was an important amendment made to the Constitution in regards with the official publishing of the normative legal acts as a result of the Referendum held on March 18, 2009. After the changes, the Constitution now says that the Normative-legal acts must be published. No one can be forced to implement (to observe) normative-legal acts not be published and no one can be brought to responsibility for non-implementation of such acts. Publication of the normative-legal acts is determined by the Constitution.

Electronic database of legislative acts of Azerbaijan (including most recent ones) is created by the Ministry of Justice and publicly accessible in Azerbaijani language for everyone at www.e-qanun.az .

In addition, some branches of the government have their own official newspapers or journals.

The collected texts of the legislation are also available in editions published by private publishing houses:

The Collection of Decisions of the Judicial-Legal Council on Conduct of Judges is published and distributed to all Judges and other bodies accordingly. The target of the publishing issue is to ensure Judges be familiar with Judges’ conduct decision.

"Ədliyyə" (Justice) has been published since 2004. Significant sociopolitical events that occur in the country, activity of justice and Judiciary, the state registration of legal bodies, interpretation of the legislation on commercial activity and other materials are published within.

Fort the first time in the history of Prosecutors’ Office of Azerbaijan Republic "Azərbaycan Prokurorluğu" (Prosecution of Azerbaijan) is being published. It is a practical-scientific journal that has been published since May of 2003. The society is informed by the journal on reforms carried out in the prosecution, propaganda, and scientific basis of organizational works of the prosecution.

"Cəmiyyət və cəza" (Society and Punishment) Journal is being published since 2000 by the Chief Department for Execution of Court Decisions of the Ministry of Justice.

"Bulletin of the Acts of Central Executive Authorities of the Republic of Azerbaijan" is being published since 1997. Legal acts of central executive bodies, which passed through the legal examination and registered with the Ministry of Justice, are published in the Bulletin.

"Bulletin of the Legal Acts of Local Self Government Authorities" is being published since 2003. The Bulletin covers legal acts of municipalities which having been passed through legal examination are registered with the Ministry of Justice, as well as articles devoted to the functioning of municipalities, theoretical and practical publications, methodical manuals and other papers serving to raise legal awareness, etc.

"The Bulletin of the European Court of Human Rights" is a journal published monthly in English. Decisions of the European Court of Human Rights on violated provisions of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms are represented in the Bulletin. The Bulletin has special significance on reforms that carried out with regard to the increasing of efficiency of justice and learning of precedent law of the European Court by Judges.

The Codes of Azerbaijan Republic can be found at the following websites:

Internet Law Texts:
Legal e-services portal (in Azerbaijani) - The Ministry of Justice of Azerbaijan has presented the single Internet portal, developed for the judicial system of the country. According to the Ministry, the portal offers electronic services, developed within the framework of Legal System Modernization Project, being implemented jointly with the World Bank. Through e-services section of the new portal citizens can obtain information about working regime, location of institutions of justice, registration of NGOs and other legal entities, rules of running notarial acts, required documents, the amounts of fees, and execution of judgments. In parallel, the site has search system on Azerbaijani names, their origin and meaning, and the level of their popularity among the population.

The portal creates an opportunity to make an appointment to the responsible employees of the judiciary in online regime via e-services. In the future, due to the portal, citizens will be able to obtain samples of pleadings and other court documents, request and receive answers to their queries in online regime.

9. Law Journals

10. Azerbaijan Law Schools



[1] Presidency term is increased from 5 to 7 years after the Referendum on changes to Constitution have been made in 2016.
[2] Those are toll free numbers available within Azerbaijan only.