On Friday, 30 September, Acting Chief Justice of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine Serhiy Holovaty sent a letter to Mr Anwar Usman, Chief Justice of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Indonesia, Acting President of the World Conference on Constitutional Justice (WCCJ) and Mr Schnutz Rudolf Dȕrr, Secretary General of the World Conference of Constitutional Justice, informing that the Constitutional Court of Ukraine will not participate in the 5th Congress of the World Conference on Constitutional Justice given the Constitutional Courts of Russia and Bilorus remain the members of this global organization.
Below is the text of this letter:
“Honourable Mr. President,
Mr. Secretary General,
The Constitutional Court of Ukraine presents its compliments to all members of the World Conference on Constitutional Justice (hereinafter - WCCJ) who truly share its values. It is well known that the WCCJ’s main objective, according to Article 1 of its Statute, is to promote constitutional justice as a key element for democracy, the protection of human rights and the rule of law.
On 4 March 2022 as the Acting Chief Justice of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine I appealed to the WCCJ Bureau and the Secretariat with an open letter proposing to consider the matter of suspending the membership of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation and the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Belarus in this Organisation given that these institutions are elements of the system of public authorities of the states, whose decisions, acts and inaction in violation of the universally accepted principles of international law there have realised the aggression against Ukraine. The constitutional jurisdictions of the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus have directly or indirectly taken part in legitimisation of the aggressive acts of the governments of these states.
For instance, it was the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation which by its act (the Ruling of 19 March 2014 No. 6-П) had justified the annexation of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea that resulted in violation of the state sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine. The Constitutional Court of the Republic of Belarus, in its turn, supports the dictatorship regime which is providing its territory for systemic military attacks against Ukraine.
We believe that every single day of the membership of the Constitutional Courts of the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus in the WCCJ undermines the authority of the Conference which has been shaped for years and calls into question the sincerity of the objectives declared by the Organisation.
During seven months of the war, the Russian Federation has been steadily intensifying the aggression against Ukraine. The irrefutable evidence includes the announcement of mobilisation by the President of the Russian Federation on 21 September 2022. As the course of war proves, the targets of the aggressor are primarily the civil infrastructure and the victims - mostly civilians.
As the 5th WCCJ Congress is to address the topic of “Constitutional Justice and Peace”, we believe that participation of the Constitutional Courts of the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus, which are the institutions of the states where the authoritarian regimes are in power, is unacceptable.
Given the ongoing membership of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation and the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Belarus in the WCCJ until today, the Constitutional Court of Ukraine will not participate in the 5th WCCJ Congress.
At the same time, we draw your attention that the Constitutional Court of Ukraine supports the proposal of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania to be addressed by the WCCJ General Assembly under item 5 of the agenda to amend the WCCJ Statute, in particular Article 4 (vesting the General Assembly with the authority to terminate the membership in the WCCJ) and Article 9 (on possibility not only to suspend but to terminate membership in the WCCJ in cases of flagrant violations of the principles on which the WCCJ is based).
I will appreciate much if you could kindly circulate this letter among the WCCJ members.
Availing myself of the opportunity, I extend the assurances of my highest consideration to you.
Acting Chief Justice Serhiy HOLOVATY”