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Draft law “On the Constitutional Court of Ukraine”: Guidelines for Change

Draft law No. 5336-1 on the Constitutional Court of Ukraine (CCU), prepared within the framework of activity of the Council on Judicial Reform, was submitted to the Parliament on November 17, 2016 and adopted in the 1st reading on February 10, 2017.

The main task in changing the constitutional justice system is to strengthen the independence of the Constitutional Court and to enhance its public credibility so that it could fulfill its duty, i.e. ensuring the supremacy of the Constitution of Ukraine. The above mentioned draft law in the current version eliminates the positive constitutional novelties regarding the procedure of forming the CCU, which will perpetuate the present state of constitutional justice.

Today, constitutional justice in Ukraine is extremely weak and ineffective. In 2015, the Court passed as many as 7 verdicts, each of which amounted to 8 million 432 thousand UAH of budget costs. In 2016, the CCU passed 8 verdicts, and cost of each increased to 9 million 361 thousand UAH.

During the 20 years of operation of the CCU, the authorities fully obstructed its work, interfered in its activity, and used it to usurp power – as a result, Ukrainian society ended up with a politically dependent, professionally weak and ineffective CCU. Today, the Court is partially paralyzed due to its previous political decisions and CCU judges with aggravating circumstances (voting for corrupt politically biased decisions) – for instance, in 2010 one third of the current CCU members approved the decision to amend the Constitution, which helped Yanukovych to usurp power. Moreover, since December 2015 the CCU has been keeping the system of e-declaration on the hook, by dragging for over a year the consideration of the petition filed by 48 MPs (mostly from the Opposition Bloc, former Party of Regions) concerning the alleged unconstitutionality of the requirements for officials to disclose information on their assets and bringing them to justice for illegal enrichment.

To address the issue of constitutional justice system, the main areas of improvement of the draft law within the parliamentary process of its consideration should include:

The relevant proposals to draft law No. 5336-1 on the Constitutional Court of Ukraine were prepared by the experts of the RPR group on constitutional reform and submitted by MPs to the Parliament. Experts are ready to continue their active work on improving the draft law, contributing to creation of a truly independent and professional Constitutional Court.

Key threats assosiated with the draft law on the Constitutional Court of Ukraine NO.5336-1.