“We are facing challenges properly and are moving forward with optimism,” Stanislav Shevchuk

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“We are facing challenges properly and are moving forward with optimism,” Stanislav Shevchuk

The President of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine Stanislav Shevchuk held a meeting with the Director of the German Foundation for International Legal Cooperation Stefan Hülshörster in the Constitutional Court of Ukraine. The meeting was also attended by the Judge of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine Viktor Kryvenko, project manager of the German Foundation for International Legal Cooperation Wolfram Hertig, legal advisor to the German Foundation for International Legal Cooperation Gennadiy Ryzhkov.

The President of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine Stanislav Shevchuk noted the high level of dialogue between Ukrainian and German experts in the field of constitutional justice. He emphasised the positive experience of cooperation between the Constitutional Court of Ukraine and the German Foundation for International Legal Cooperation. “For over twenty years, the German Foundation for International Legal Cooperation has been our loyal friend and partner”, the President of the Court highlighted.

Stanislav Shevchuk noted that the Constitutional Court of Ukraine is currently facing many challenges, including doctrinal ones. Yet, the constitutional jurisdiction body of Ukraine is ready to resolutely respond to them. “We are facing challenges properly and are moving forward with optimism”, stressed the President of the Constitutional Court.

At the request of the German colleagues, the President of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine 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). In their opinion, the German media had outlined the above-mentioned Decision quite superficially, without resorting to its motivation. “For us, the legal aspects of the reasoning for this Decision is important”, noted Stefan Hülshörster.

The President of the Court mentioned that in 2015 amendments to Article 3682 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine had been introduced and noted that the new wording of the article on illicit enrichment, which the Constitutional Court of Ukraine declared unconstitutional, had been in effect for four years, but, in fact, it had been a “dead norm”. “No one has been sentenced in Ukraine under the new wording of this article on illicit enrichment”, he added. The President of the Court also emphasised that the principle of the 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 state 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”, stressed the speaker. The President of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine stressed the importance of fighting against corruption, but the latter, in his opinion, should be carried out exclusively in accordance with the Constitution of Ukraine. “Our decisions are not easy, but the society should understand that the Constitutional Court of Ukraine is fundamentally in defence of the Basic Law of the country”, the President of the Court emphasised.

Director of the German Foundation for International Legal Cooperation Stefan Hülshörster pointed out the positive outcome of the cooperation between the Constitutional Court of Ukraine and the German Foundation for International Legal Cooperation. The speaker highlighted the high level of discussions that took place during the 9th Ukrainian-German professional meeting on Constitutional Law and Constitutional Procedure in February, 2019 in Germany and proposed to hold the next professional meeting this fall. In his opinion, it is also important to continue the cooperation between the Constitutional Court of Ukraine and the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany at the level of the Secretariats of the Courts and patronage services of judges.

Stefan Hülshörster noted that it is positive that Ukraine remains on the path to fighting against corruption, but solely in accordance with the principles of the rule of law. He emphasised the importance of presenting the Decision of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine to the German society and expressed readiness of the German Foundation for International Legal Cooperation to assume such responsibility.

At the end of the meeting, the interlocutors thanked each other for a constructive conversation and exchanged suggestions on further cooperation. “I hope that this “storm” would pass and will not prevent the Constitutional Court of Ukraine from fulfilling its main task, i.e. to stand in defence of the Constitution of Ukraine”, stressed Stefan Hülshörster.

Developed with the support of OSCE Project Co-ordinator in Ukraine
© 2019 Constitutional Court of Ukraine