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Law of the Republic of Azerbaijan on Public Participation

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Unofficial translation

Law of the Republic of Azerbaijan on Public Participation

In accordance with I part of the 1st section of Article 94 of the Constitution of the Republic of
Azerbaijan this law regulates relations arising in involvement of the citizens of the Republic of
Azerbaijan in realization of state governance.

Chapter I

General provisions

Article 1. Main definitions

1.0. For the purposes of this law the following main definitions are used:

1.0.1. public participation – participation in preparation and implementation of the state policy
in different fields of state and society life, participation of citizens and civil society institutions in
decision -making on nationwide and local level, participation of c itizens and civil society
institutions in the forms defined with this Law in organization of public control over the activit y
of the central executive authority bodies defined by the relevant executive authority bodies
(hereinafter – central executive aut hority bodies), local executive authority and self-government
bodies , consultation of state bodies with the society and consideration of the public opinion;

1.0.2. civil society institutions – non- governmental organizations (public unions and
foundations ), mass media, trade unions , initiative groups of citizens and mahalla committees of
municipalities;

1.0.3. public council – a consultative body , established at the central or local executive authority
bodies and local self -govern ment bodies for realization of the purposes considered in this Law ;

1.0.4. public discussion – a gathering , organized with participation of authorized representatives
of relevant state and local self -government bodies , representatives of civil society institutions,
citizens sp ecialists and experts for preparing the proposals of different strata of population on
relevant issues in adoption of decisions of public importance.

1.0.5. public hearing – a gathering , organized with participation of authorized representatives of
relevant state and local self -government bodies , representatives of civil society institutions,
citizens, specialists and experts for conducting consultations with the public and informing the
citizens on draft legal acts, various issues of state and society life.

1.0.6. studying public opinion – conducting sociological l surveys and other similar activities
with the aim of studying opinion of different strata of population on various issues of state and
society life.

1..0.7. public discussion of draft legal acts – research, analysis and evaluation of draft legal
acts with participation of the persons taking part in their drafting, as well as civil society
institutions, citizens, experts and specialists.

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1.0.8 written consultation – application by central and local executive authority and local self –
government bodies to civil society institutions for learning their opinion on draft legal acts and
analyzing, summarizing and evaluating of opinions, remarks and suggestions submitted in a
written for m.

Article 2 : Legislation on Public Participation of the Republic of Azerbaijan

2.1. The legislation on public participation of the Republic of Azerbaijan consists of the
Constitution of the Republic of Azerbaijan, international treaties, to which the Republic of
Azerbaijan is a party and this law

2.2. The provisions of this law do not limit other rights of civil society institutions and
individuals regarding the realization of public participation, not considered in this law.

Article 3. Purposes of public participation

3.0. Purposes of public participation are below :
3.0.1. involving citizens to participation in state governance;
3.0.2. realization of public control over the activit y of central and local execu tive authority and
local self -government bodies;
3.0.3. organization of effective mutual activit y between central and local executive authority and
local self -government bodies and the public ;
3.0.4. provision of clarity and transparency in activity of central and local executive authority
and local self -govern ment bodies;
3.0.5. consideration of public opinion and citizens’ l egal interests in the formation of state
policy , its implementation and decision making;
3.0.6. protection of the fundamental hum an and citizen rights.

Article 4. Principles of Public Participations

4.0. Public participation is realized under the following principles:
4.0.1. r ule of law;
4.0.2. voluntariness;
4.0.3. transparency;
4.0.4. pluralism;
4.0.5. e quality and non- discrimination.

Article 5. Forms of Public Participation

5.1. Forms of public participation include the following:
5.1.1. public council ;
5.1.2. public discussion;
5.1.3. public hearing;
5.1.4. s tudying public opinion;
5.1.5. public discussion of draft legal acts ;
5.1.6. w ritten consultation .
5.2. This law does not limit the realization of public participation in other forms.

Chapter II

Public Councils

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Article 6. Rule of establishment of public council

6.1. Public council is elected consisting of 5- 15 members by civil society institutions in
accordance with the regulation defined by the relevant executive authority body taking into
consideration the requirements defined in this Law. Each citizen of the R epublic of Azerbaijan,
who achieved 16 years old can become a member of the public council.

6.2. The term of office of public council is 2 years.

6.3. Central and local executive authorit y and local self -government body announce s on its
webpage or through other means the nomination of candidates to public council, dates for
beginning and completion of their registration process. Period for nomination and registration of
candidates cannot be less than 20 working days.

6.4. Each civil society institution can nominate only 1 candidate to the membership of the public
council. Within a month after the completion of the candidates’ nominations the elections to the
public council are held.

6.5. Civil society institutions, not nominating candidates are also able to participate in election of
the members of public council.

6.6. Members of the public council , including at local executive authority and local self –
government bodies, are elected by secret ballot among candidates at the joint meeting with
participation of equal number of representatives of the civil society institutions (their local
representations).

6.7. Members are not paid salary, honorarium, compensation and other payments for the ir
activit y in public council.

6.8. Issues related to technical (with the exception of financial resources of central and local
executive authority body and local self -government body) and informational support of the
activities of public councils are to be solved by the relevant central or local executive authority
and local self -govern ment body.

6.9 Central and local executive and local self -government bodies shall create environment for
independent functioning of public councils.

Article 7. Rights and duties of p ublic council

7.1. Public c ouncil has the following rights :
7.1.1. To receive necessary information for its activity and draft legal acts on issues requiring
discussions with the public by central and local executive authorities and local self -government
bodies;
7.1.2. To submit proposals to the central and local executive authorit y and local self -government
bodies on organization of public discussions ;
7.1.3. To make proposals on formation and implementation of state policy in relevant district and
field ;
7.1.4. To submit proposals on preparation of draft legal acts on preparing and implementing of
state policy in appropriate fie ld;

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7.1.5. To collect proposals of civil society institutions on solution of the issues essentially
important for the public, summ arize them and submit to the central and local executive authorit y
and self -government bodies;
7.1.6. To organize open events (public discussions, hearings, seminars, conferences, round tables
and other events) for the discussions of topical issues on deve lopment of certain field or
administrative -territorial unit;
7.1.7. To conduct surveys on learning of public opinion or submit proposals to the relevant
organizations on conduction of survey.
7.1.8. To conduct public discussion of draft legal acts;
7.1.9. To attract the employees of the central and local executive authorities and local self –
governed bodies, civil society institutions, experts and the representatives of the scientific
organizations, as well as international organizations and different speci alists to the work of the
council;
7.1.10. To create permanent and temporary working groups (committees, commissions, expert
groups, working groups, etc.) to implement its purposes;
7.2. Members of public council has the right to enter to the premises of c entral and local
executive authorities and local self -government bodies according to the rule defined by the
relevant body.
7.3. Public council has the following duties:
7.3.1.to comply the Constitution and the laws of the Republic of Azerbaijan, as well as other
normative -legal acts;
7.3.2. to inform the population about the activity of the council;
7.3.3. to develop and publish annual report on its activity;
7.3.4. to be impartial to discussed issues.

Article 8. Meeting s of p ublic c ouncil

9.1. Meetings of public council are held not less than 4 times in a year. Extraordinary meetings
are called by initiative of a chairman of the public council or at the request of one third (1/3) part
of the members.
9.2 Meetings of public c ouncil are held open.
9.3. Draft agenda of the meeting of public council is formed by the proposals of public council
chairman and members and is approved at the meeting. Central and local executi ve authorities
and local self -government bodies can propose issues to the discussions of the public council.
9.4. Meeting is competent when more than half of the members of public council are taking part
at the meetings. The meeting of the public council is led by the chairman. If the chairman is
absent at the meeting, it is headed by the deputy chairman.
9.5. Acts of the public council are adopted by the simple majority of votes and signed by the
chairman. If the number of votes is equal , the vote of the chairman is decisive.

Article 9. Chairman, Deputy Chairman and Secretary of P ublic Council

9.1. A chairman of the public council is elected for 2 years from the members of the council at
the meeting of the council.
9.2. A c hairman of th e public council:
9.2.1. Leads the activities of public council;
9.2.2. Represents the council in relations with state and local self -govern ment bodies and civil
society institutions;
9.2.3. Determines the priority directions of public council activities;

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9.2.4. Chairs the public council’s meeting;
9.3. A Deputy Chairman of the public council is elected for 2 years from the members of the
council at the meeting of the council.
9.4. A Secretary of the public council is elected from the members of the council for two years at
the meeting of the council ;
9.5. Secretary of the public council:
9.5.1. Ensures the current activity of public council;
9.5.2. Coordinates the activities of the members of public council;
9.5.3. Presents accordingly the acts of the public council;
9.5.4. Organizes the public council’s clerical work.

Article 1 0. Regulations of p ublic council

10.1. The working rules of the Public Council are defined in the internal procedures that are
adopted in its meeting.
10.2. Regulations of public council considers the following:
10.2.1. Time and rules of conducting the meetings of public council;
10.2.2. Rules on adoption of the public council’s acts;
10.2.3. Rules on election of the chairman, deputy chairman and secretary of the public council;
10.2.4. Rules on creating the permanent and temporary working bodies (committees,
commissions, expert groups, working groups and etc.) of public council and their duties ;
10.2.5. Grounds and rules for termination of the membership to public council;
10.2.6. Issues of organization of mutual activities between public council and the central and
local executive authorities and local self -govern ment bodies;
10.2.7. Rules on involving the representatives of central and local executive auth orities and local
self -government bodies, representatives of civil society institutions, experts and scientific
organizations, as well as international organizations, and different specialists to the work of the
public council.
10.2.8. Other issues on orga nization of structure and activit y of public council.

Article 1 1. Acts of p ublic council

11.1. Public council shall adopt the decisions on organizational issues, and opinion, proposals
and appeals on other issues.
12.2. Opinions and proposals of public council shall be considered by the central and local
executive authorities and local self -govern ment bodies to whom they are addressed in
accordance with the L aw of the Republic of Azerbaijan on “Procedure of Consideration of
Citizen A ppeals”.
12.3. Failure to consider the opinions and proposals of public council shall be justified by the
relevant body or official.

Chapter III. Public hearing and public discussion

Article 1 2. Initiati ve of public hearing and public discussion

State and local self -government bodies, civil society institutions, public councils, citizens can be
initiators of public hearing and public discussion.

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Article 1 3. Main requirements for organization and conducting of public hearing and
public discussio n

13.1. The following shall be taken into consideration while organizing and conduct ing of public
hearing and public discussion:
13.1.1. To define goal and subject of a public hearing and public discussion clearly;
13.1.2. To inform all interested parties about the subject of discussion and hearing ;
13.1.3 To engage experts and specialists to hearings and discussions;
13.1.4. To conduct independent and broad analysis of the problem;
13.1.5. To open for discussion alternative drafts and suggestions when required ;
13.1. 6. To ensure participation of powerful representatives of all relevant state local self –
government bodies at the discussion or hearing;
13.1.7. To inform all interested parties about the results of a hearing and a discussion;
14.2 Public hearings and public discussions are held open. Any person can participate in
hearings and express his/her considerations on discussed issue.

Article 1 4. The organization of public hearing and public discussion

14.1. The organizer of public hearing and public discussion:
14.1.1. defines and approves the subject of a hearing and a discussion;
14.1.2. defines the subject of the main reports and reporters;
14.1.3. prepares draft program of hearing and discussion;
14.1.4. defines the place, time and duration of hearing and discussion;
141.5. defines the principles of selection of participants and forms of invi tation and invites them;
14.1.6. prepares information for public and mass media and places such information for
everybody’s access;
14.1.7. prepares preliminary draft of final document (documents) of a hearing and a discussion.
14.2. The announcement on organization of a public hearing or a public discussion is placed on
the websites of an initiator or mass media no less than 7 working days before the event with an
indication of its time and place.

Article 1 5. Final document of public hearing and public discussion
15.1. In a case when public discussion is organized by civil society institutions, a final document
of public hearing is prepared in a form of summary of main idea, opinion and proposals
expressed during hearing, signed by a chair of the hearing and upon comple tion of the hearing
submitted to relevant state and local self -government bodies and mass media at latest within 3
working days.
15.2. In a case when public discussion is organized by civil society institutions, a final document
is adopted in a form of opinions or proposals, signed by a chair of the meeting and upon
completion the discussion at latest within 3 working days submitted to relevant state and local
self -government bodies and mass media.
15.3. Final documents of public hearing and public discus sion are considered according to the
rule defined under Article 11.2 of this Law.

Chapter IV

Written consultation

Article 16. Organization of written consultations

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16.1. Central and local executive authorit y and local self -government bodies shall publish
information about starting of written consultations on draft acts, prepared by them on their
website or mass media.
16.2. Draft legal acts or their relevant structure elements, considering information with limited
access under the Law of the Republ ic of Azerbaijan on Obtaining Information shall not be
published for written consultation.

Article 1 7. Duration of written consultation

17.1. Central and local executive authority and local self -government bodies consider at least 7
working days to civil society institutions to provide opinions, remarks and proposals on draft
legal acts prepared by them.
17.2. After discussing and evaluating submitted opinions. Remarks and proposals central and
local executive authority and local self -government bodies decide justified decision on
considering or refusing them within 14 days and publish it.

Chapter V

Public hearing and public discussion on draft legal acts
Article 1 8. Organiz ation of public hearing and public discussion on draft laws

18.1. According to part I of Article 96 of the Constitution of the Republic of Azerbaijan public
hearing and public discussion on draft laws submitted to Milli Majlis of the Republic of
Azerbaijan are organized by the Secretariat of the Milli Majlis of the Repub lic of Azerbaijan.
18.2. For organization of public hearing and public discussion on draft laws the Secretariat of
Milli Majlis of the Republic of Azerbaijan:
18.2.1. Allocates a special section on the website of the Milli Majlis of the Republic of
Azerbaijan;
18.2.2. Places all draft laws registered by the Secretariat of Milli Majlis of the Republic of
Azerbaijan within 3 days from being sent to a relevant committee on the special section of the
website of Milli Majlis;
18.2.3 P ublishes information about the initiator of the draft law, registration number of the draft
law, the committee (s), it has been sent, schedule and location of public hearings and duration of
public discussion, rules of conducting, the rule of submitting of opinions, remarks and proposals,
duration for consideration and disclosing the results along with the text of the draft law the
following information on the special section of the website of Milli Majlis;
18.2.4. Informs the public on the results of consideration of submitted opinions,
recommendations and proposals;
18.2.5. Publishes the updated draft law after the first and second readings.
18.3. The rule of conducting public hearings on draft laws is define d by the Internal Regulations
of Milli Majlis of the Republic of Azerbaijan.

Article 19. Conducting public hearing and public discussion on other draft legal acts

Public hearing and public discussion on draft legal acts, prepared by central and local ex ecutive
authority and local self -govern ment bodies conducted according to the rule defined by the
relevant executive authority body.

Chapter VI

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Concluding provisions

Article 20. Responsibility for violation of this Law

Persons, violating the requirements of this Law are responsible under the Administrative
Offences Code of the Republic of Azerbaijan.

Article 21. Entry into force of the Law

This law will enter into force from June 1, 2014.

Ilham Aliyev
President of the Republic of Azerbaijan

Baku, 22 November 2013.

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