The main points to pay attention to when filing a constitutional complaint
When applying to the Constitutional Court of Ukraine (hereinafter - the Constitutional Court or the Court), citizens of Ukraine, foreigners, stateless persons and legal entities must take into account the powers of the Constitutional Court, issues they may apply for and the constitutional complaint requirements established by the Law of Ukraine “On the Constitutional Court of Ukraine” of July 13, 2017 № 2136– VIII (hereinafter - the Law).
I. The form of appeal of citizens of Ukraine, foreigners, stateless persons and legal entities to the Constitutional Court is a constitutional complaint.
Letters, complaints, petitions, statements, including statements of claim, other appeals on issues that do not fall within the competence of the Court, are processed by the Secretariat of the Constitutional Court (hereinafter - the Secretariat) in the manner prescribed by the Law of Ukraine "On Citizens' Appeals".
II. A constitutional complaint may be submitted if a final court decision in the case of a person became effective no earlier than September 30, 2016, according to paragraph 3 of Section III "Final Provisions" of the Law.
Please pay attention that a constitutional complaint filed before this Law comes into force with regard to the case, the final court decision on which has come into force before September 30, 2016, shall be returned by the Head of the Secretariat of the Constitutional Court to the subject of the right to constitutional complaint without consideration (paragraph 3.2 of Section III “Final Provisions” of the Law, item 2 § 40 of the Rules of Procedure of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine (hereinafter - the Rules of Procedure)).
III. A constitutional complaint shall be sent to the Constitutional Court by post or submitted directly to the Registry without payment of a court fee.
IV. According to Article 55 of the Law, constitutional complaint shall be a written application submitted to the Court regarding review for conformity to the Constitution of Ukraine (constitutionality) of a law of Ukraine (specific provisions thereof) which was applied in the final court decision in the case of the subject of the right to constitutional complaint.
Constitutional complaint shall indicate:
1) surname, name, patronymic (if any) of a citizen of Ukraine, foreigner or a stateless person, his or her residential address (place of stay of a foreigner or a stateless person), or full name and registered address of a legal entity, as well as the number of means of communications, e-mail address, where available;
2) information about an authorised person acting on behalf of the subject of the right to constitutional complaint;
3) summary of the final court decision in which relevant provisions of the law of Ukraine were applied;
4) report of proceedings of the relevant case in courts;
5) specific provisions of the law of Ukraine to be reviewed for conformity to the Constitution of Ukraine, and particular provisions of the Constitution of Ukraine against which such law of Ukraine is to be reviewed for conformity;
6) substantiation of alleged unconstitutionality of a law of Ukraine (specific provisions thereof), specifying those human rights safeguarded by the Constitution of Ukraine, which in the opinion of the subject of the right to constitutional complaint, have been violated by the application of such law;
7) information regarding documents and materials referred to by the subject of the right to constitutional complaint, with copies of such documents and materials attached;
8) list of the attached materials and documents. A copy of the final court decision in the case of a subject of the right to constitutional complaint shall be duly certified by the adjudicating court.
V. According to Article 56 of the Law, the subject of the right to constitutional complaint shall be a person who considers that the law of Ukraine applied in the final court decision in his or her case (specific provisions thereof) contradicts the Constitution of Ukraine.
Public legal entities shall not be the subject of the right to constitutional complaint.
Constitutional complaint shall be signed by an individual in person.
Where a subject of the right to constitutional complaint is a legally capable person unable to personally sign the constitutional complaint due to his or her health state or physical incapacity, it shall be signed by a person authorised in a manner prescribed by the law acting on his or her behalf.
Constitutional complaint filed by a legal person shall be signed by a duly authorised person whose powers shall be evidenced by constituent documents of such legal entity and by an act appointing (electing) a duly authorised person to such position.
VI. According to Article 74.1 of the Law, constitutional complaint shall be submitted to the Court in the official language.
VII. According to Article 77 of the Law, a constitutional complaint shall be deemed as admissible subject to its compliance with Articles 55 and 56 of this Law and where:
1) all domestic legal remedies have been exhausted (subject to the availability of a legally valid judicial judgment delivered on appeal, or, where the law provides for cassation appeal, – of a judicial judgment delivered on cassation);
2) not more than three months have passed from the effective date of a final judicial judgment that applies the law of Ukraine (specific provisions thereof).
As an exception, a constitutional complaint may be accepted beyond the requirements established in sub-paragraph 2 paragraph 1 of this Article, where the Court declares its consideration as being necessary on the grounds of public interest.
Where a subject of the right to constitutional complaint has missed the date for submitting a constitutional complaint due to the unavailability of the full text of the court decision, he or she shall have the right to petition in his or her constitutional complaint for the renewal of the missed term.
The Court shall reject constitutional proceedings by declaring a constitutional complaint inadmissible, where the content or demands of such constitutional complaint are manifestedly ill-founded or where the right to submit a complaint has been abused.
VIII. According to Article 8 of the Law, which sets the limits of the powers of the Constitutional Court, the Court shall consider conformity to the Constitution of Ukraine (constitutionality) of applicable acts (specific provisions thereof).
However, for the purpose of protecting or restoring the rights of a person, the Court shall consider conformity to the Constitution of Ukraine (constitutionality) of an ineffective act (specific provisions thereof) which is still applied to the legal relations that have arisen during the operation thereof.
IX. Due to the fact that a significant number of petitions are submitted to the Constitutional Court of Ukraine (as well as to the constitutional courts of other countries) in violation of the Law, the Law and the Rules of Procedure provide for a special procedure for their preliminary processing by the Secretariat.
Thus, in accordance with Article 57.2 of the Law, paragraph 8 § 39 of the Rules of Procedure, the Secretariat shall conduct preliminary review of applications for compliance with the requirements established by Articles 55, 56 and 74.1 of the Law.
Where the form of a constitutional complaint is non-compliant with this Law, the Head of the Secretariat shall return it to the subject of the right to constitutional complaint indicating which requirements of the Law it does not meet (paragraph 1 of Article 57.3 of the Law, paragraph 1 § 40 of the Rules of Procedure).
Any return of a constitutional complaint shall not preclude repeat application to the Court in compliance with this Law (paragraph 2 of Article 57.3 of the Law).
X. A constitutional complaint is filed exclusively regarding the compliance of the law of Ukraine (its individual provisions) with the Constitution of Ukraine. Actions or omissions of public authorities, decisions of courts in the judicial system of Ukraine are not appealed to the Constitutional Court. The Constitutional Court is not authorised to review court decisions, revoke them, assess the correctness of the application of substantive and procedural law by courts, as well as review court decisions for compliance with the Constitution of Ukraine and the laws of Ukraine.
The Constitutional Court is not a subject of legislative initiative, it cannot interfere in the activities of the legislative body of state power, change or supplement existing legislative regulations.
The Constitutional Court lost the power to carry out official interpretation of Ukrainian laws on constitutional appeals with the entry into force of the Law of Ukraine “On Amendments to the Constitution of Ukraine (on Justice)” of June 2, 2016 № 1401-VIII (as of September 30, 2016).
XI. The necessary consultations on the preparation of a constitutional complaint can be provided at a personal reception of citizens, which is held from Monday to Thursday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., on Friday from 10 a.m. to 3.45 p.m. At the same time, explanations could be provided also by phone (tel.: (044) 238-13-65, 238-13-74). To learn more about the procedure of personal reception, please visit the official website of the Constitutional Court (www.ccu.gov.ua), subsection "Reception of citizens" under the heading "For citizens".