Presentation of the Joint project of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine and the OSCE Project Co-ordinator in Ukraine

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Presentation of the Joint project of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine and the OSCE Project Co-ordinator in Ukraine

On February 13, 2017 a presentation of the joint project of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine and the OSCE Project Co-ordinator in Ukraine "Promoting the introduction of the constitutional complaint in the Constitutional Court of Ukraine: increasing the judicial transparency and accessibility” was held at the Constitutional Court.

Chairman of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine Yurii Baulin, judges of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine Serhii Vdovichenko, Victor Kolisnyk, Volodymyr Moisyk, Serhii Sas, Stanislav Shevchuk, Head of the Secretariat of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine Yaroslav Vasylkevych, President of the Constitutional Court of  Georgia Zaza Tavadze, President of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania Dainius Žalimas, professor of Law Faculty of Ilia State University, President of the Constitutional Court of Georgia (2006-2016) George Papuashvili, Secretary General of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania Ingrida Danėlienė, OSCE Project Co-ordinator in Ukraine Vaidotas Verba, National Legal Advisor, Head of the Department of the Rule of Law of the OSCE Project Co-ordinator in Ukraine Oleksandr Vodiannykov, National Programme Manager for Legal Reform of the OSCE Project Co-ordinator in Ukraine Vitalii Gatseliuk and the representatives of the diplomatic corps participated in the presentation of the project.

Chairman of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine Yurii Baulin greeted the participants and emphasised on the importance and relevance of this project with regard to the amendments to the Constitution and introduction of the institute of constitutional complaint in Ukraine. The Constitutional Court of Ukraine has received more than 50 constitutional complaints from the citizens and the Court is now awaiting the legislative regulation of the procedures for dealing with the constitutional complaints.

Yurii Baulin sincerely thanked the OSCE Project Co-ordinator in Ukraine for assistance related to preparations for the consideration of constitutional complaint by the Constitutional Court of Ukraine, in particular, organisation of the working meetings with practitioners from the Constitutional Courts of Georgia, Germany, who have extensive experience in dealing with constitutional complaint and described the operation mechanism of considering complaints during professional meetings. He also stressed that with the support of the OSCE Project Co-ordinator the representatives of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine are planning to get acquainted with the functioning of the constitutional complaint at the Constitutional Court of the Czech Republic and other courts. The experience of other countries is very important, because a large number of constitutional complaints from citizens to the body of constitutional jurisdiction in Ukraine is expected, noted Chairman of the Court. Yurii Baulin expressed the hope that this project will promote the effective operation of the constitutional complaint in Ukraine.

The OSCE Project Co-ordinator in Ukraine Vaidotas Verba stressed on the importance of the OSCE support, which unites 57 countries in implementing various projects. He recalled that the OSCE is the largest regional organisation in the world, dealing with security issues during conflicts, and noted that no less important are other dimensions of security, including human rights. Ukraine is a country under reform, so it is a very important task to support Ukraine in implementing reforms, said Vaidotas Verba.

President of the Constitutional Court of Georgia Zaza Tavadze, addressing the audience, said that Ukraine introduced the institute of constitutional complaint and the possibility of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine to defend citizens' rights is one of the main preconditions for the development and strengthening the rule of law.

Recently the Constitutional Court of Ukraine held a working meeting at which the Georgian colleagues, who have had extensive experience in dealing with constitutional complaint for 20 years, had the opportunity to talk about the functioning of this institution in Georgia, noted Zaza Tavadze. This visit was a continuation of traditional Ukrainian-Georgian meetings to exchange experience between the bodies of constitutional jurisdiction of both countries. He supported such activities in the future within the Association of Constitutional Justice of the Countries of the Baltic and Black Sea Regions.

President of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania Dainius Žalimas addressed the participants in Ukrainian. He greeted the idea of a joint project of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine and the OSCE Project Co-ordinator in Ukraine, and said that the common goal of this project is to help the Constitutional Court of Ukraine to strengthen human rights through the introduction of the individual constitutional complaint. "We are proud that the institute of individual constitutional complaint is already a reality in Ukraine, unfortunately, in Lithuania it is still an idea", said the President of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania and expressed the hope that this year there will be changes to the Constitution of Lithuania which will introduce the institute of constitutional complaint. With regard to this, the Ukrainian experience will be useful for Lithuania in the future. He wished success and fruitful work in this project for Ukraine and its people.

National Legal Advisor, Head of the Department of the Rule of Law of the OSCE Project Co-ordinator in Ukraine Oleksandr Vodiannykov presented the joint project "Promoting the introduction of the constitutional complaint in the Constitutional Court of Ukraine: increasing the judicial transparency and accessibility."

The speaker spoke about the amendments to the Constitution of Ukraine in the context of judicial reform, which came into force in September 2016 and in particular concerning the introduction of a constitutional complaint. He also spoke about the significant number of complaints received from citizens of Ukraine to the European Court of Human Rights. In particular, from 55 000 complaints submitted to the Court 18000 complaints are from Ukraine, said the reporter.

The project has three main areas: improving the efficiency of the Court by introducing the constitutional complaint process; the assistance to the Secretariat of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine, which will be the first to address the constitutional complaints, as well as increasing public support in the context of understanding the protection of human rights by the constitutional complaint with a particular focus on vulnerable groups, noted Oleksandr Vodiannykov. The project will include interactive and specialised training courses on constitutional complaints for employees of the Secretariat, training courses for lawyers who will represent citizens' interests in the Court and the help in the development of documents, creation of electronic libraries, etc.

If the institution of constitutional complaint proves to be effective, it will reduce the number of complaints to the European Court of Human Rights, and, therefore, the main purpose of this project is our support of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine in order to facilitate the introduction of the effective mechanism of human rights protection by the Court and the opportunity for all citizens to defend their rights by filing a constitutional complaint, said Oleksandr Vodiannykov.

During the discussion, the participants of the event expressed their interest in the joint project.

 

Developed with the support of OSCE Project Co-ordinator in Ukraine
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