The Constitutional Court of Ukraine was attended by the representatives of the Europa Institute at the University of Zurich (EIZ)
On May 13, the delegation of the EIZ, one of the leading centres of knowledge in European law and an important provider of legal training in Switzerland, attended the Constitutional Court of Ukraine. The purpose of the visit was to get familiarised with the work of the body of constitutional jurisdiction in Ukraine.
Within the framework of the visit, EIZ representatives met with the President of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine Stanislav Shevchuk.
The President of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine informed the guests about the basis of the Court’s activities and its powers. He highlighted the implementation of the constitutional reform in Ukraine and noted that one of the results of the reform had been the strengthening of the independence of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine. One of the guarantees of the independence of the Court, according to him, is the introduction of selection of judges of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine on a competitive basis.
Stanislav Shevchuk stressed that the Constitutional Court of Ukraine is an institution that stands in defence of the Basic Law of the country, guaranteeing citizens the inviolability of their rights and freedoms. One of the greatest achievements of the constitutional reform is the introduction of the constitutional complaint institute with an individual being able to directly appeal to the Constitutional Court of Ukraine in order to protect his/her constitutional rights violated by law. The Court’s President also emphasised that the Constitutional Court of Ukraine had already adopted the first decision upon a constitutional complaint.
The President of the Constitutional Court noted that the Constitutional Court of Ukraine is not a political body, yet, its decisions have a huge political effect. Stanislav Shevchuk mentioned the Decision of the Constitutional Court, in which the Court declared unconstitutional laws as a whole due to a violation of the procedure for their consideration and adoption, in particular, the “language” law and the law on referendum.
Also, the President of the Court dwelt upon the legal aspects of the Decision of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine on conformity of Article 368² of the Criminal Code of Ukraine to the Constitution of Ukraine (constitutionality). He emphasised that the principle of presumption of innocence, based on the principle of individual freedom, is absolute and has no exceptions.
Stanislav Shevchuk also drew attention to the fact that Article 20 of the United Nations Convention against Corruption, 2003, ratified by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine on October 18, 2006, contains a reference to the national constitutions. “Each country party to the Convention should consider the possibility of criminalising illicit enrichment only subject to the observance of the national constitution and the fundamental principles of the national legal system”, noted the speaker.