Chairman and judges of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine took part in the International Conference of judges of constitutional courts and in the events dedicated to the 24th anniversary of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania

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Chairman and judges of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine took part in the International Conference of judges of constitutional courts and in the events dedicated to the 24th anniversary of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania

 

On October 23-26, 2016 Chairman of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine Yurii Baulin and judges of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine Ihor Slidenko and Stanislav Shevchuk took part in the forum of Constitutional Courts of Georgia, Lithuania, Moldova and Ukraine, organised within the framework of the Development Cooperation Project "Assistance to the Constitutional Courts of Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine in Ensuring the Implementation and Protection of the Principles of the Rule of Law", and the events to celebrate the 24th anniversary of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania.

Development Cooperation Project "Assistance to the Constitutional Courts of Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine in Ensuring the Implementation and Protection of the Principles of the Rule of Law" aims at exchanging experiences between the bodies of constitutional jurisdiction in ensuring implementation and protection of the rule of law, and discussion of the possible future joint solution of current issues.

The forum was dedicated to the most pressing issues and possible future threats related to implementation and protection of the principles of the rule of law in terms of сonstitutional justice.

The participants were welcomed by the President of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania Dainius Žalimas, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania Linas Antanas Linkevičius, Chairman of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine Yurii Baulin, judge of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Moldova Tudor Panțîru, President of the Constitutional Court of Georgia Zaza Tavadze.

In his speech, President of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania Dainius Žalimas underlined that this conference is further evidence of the intensive cooperation of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania with the countries of the Eastern Partnership and the European Union. "This forum is a successful continuation of our cooperation", said President Žalimas.

Dainius Žalimas pointed out that the Constitutional Courts of Georgia, Lithuania, Moldova, and Ukraine are bound together not only by working partnership, but also by friendship based on common values. This is primarily determined by the fact that all constitutional courts participating today at the Vilnius Forum joined the so-called Batumi process, by showing solidarity and unity in supporting the initiative launched by the Constitutional Court of Ukraine to condemn an international crime - the annexation of Crimea. 

President of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania also reminded that last year all these four constitutional courts established the Association of Constitutional Justice of the Countries of the Baltic and Black Sea Regions, thereby expressing their obligation to foster such common values as respect for the independence and territorial integrity of states, democracy, the rule of law, and human rights. 

Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania Linas Antanas Linkevičius stressed that "The principle of the rule of law has always been among Lithuania’s foreign policy priorities." He added that Lithuania has already passed a long way and gained valuable experience in the implementation of judicial reforms to improve the activities of courts. 

 Chairman of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine Yurii Baulin thanked the initiators and organisers for the warm welcome on the ancient and eternally young Lithuanian land. He noted that the topic of the meeting - to discuss pressing issues of implementation and protection of the rule of law - is extremely timely.

Yurii Baulin stressed that recent developments in Crimea and eastern Ukraine convincingly prove the harmfulness of ignoring the rule of law, both for the state as a whole and for each of its citizen individually. "The politicians, ignoring the laws and using overseas support, arbitrarily proclaim to be the saviours of the people, with their violent activities bring not only a threat to the integrity of the state, but also violate all the fundamental principles of its system as legal one," concluded the spokesman.

Judge of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Moldova Tudor Panțîru noted that the process of European integration provokes the emergence of new problems in the field of constitutional justice and therefore it is important that constitutional courts have the opportunity to share experience and knowledge on a regular basis.

The newly-elected President of the Constitutional Court of Georgia Zaza Tavadze agreed that such projects and meetings provide an opportunity to discuss new trends in constitutional law and find ways to improve it.

The first session on "The constitutional principle of respect for international law", moderated by justice of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania Danutė Jočienė, included reports of the President of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania Dainius Žalimas and Chairman of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine Yurii Baulin.

Chairman of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine Yurii Baulin delivered a report on "The constitutional principle of respect for international law." He noted that under Article 18 of the Constitution of Ukraine foreign policy of Ukraine is aimed at ensuring its national interests and security by maintaining peaceful and mutually beneficial cooperation with members of the international community, according to generally acknowledged principles and norms of international law. Thus, after the restoration of independence the Ukrainian state has based its foreign policy on the principles of equality of nations, non-use or threat of force in international relations, respect for territorial integrity, peaceful settlement of disputes, non-interference in the internal affairs of other states, respect for human rights and the exclusive right of the people as a sovereign of constituent power to dispose both their fate and the fate of the state.

The speaker pointed out that Ukraine, as a full subject of international law in its relations with other states follows a monistic theory which is based on the recognition of international and domestic law as the only system of law. Thus, in accordance with Article 9 of the Constitution international treaties that are in force, agreed to be binding by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, are an integral part of the national legislation of Ukraine. Thus, Yurii Baulin noted that according to the subsidiary principle in international relations generally accepted in the EU, the article of the Fundamental Law of Ukraine states that international agreements that contravene the Constitution of Ukraine is possible only after introducing relevant amendments to the Constitution of Ukraine. "The issue of the constitutionality of international treaties of Ukraine in accordance with Article 151 of the Fundamental Law of Ukraine is within the jurisdiction of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine", continued the Chairman.

In conclusion, Chairman of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine admitted that Ukraine follows the policy of strict execution of the ECHR judgments. In particular, it is regulated by the Law of Ukraine "On the execution of judgments and application of the case-law of the European Court of Human Rights."

At the second session on "The right to a fair trial" reports were presented by justice of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania Elvyra Baltutytė, judge of the Constitutional Court of Georgia Lali Papiashvili, President of the Constitutional Court of Georgia (2006-2016) George Papuashvili, associate professor of Vilnius University Pranas Kuconis.

The third session was dedicated to "The constitutional principle of separation of powers." Presentations were made by justice of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania Gediminas Mesonis, President of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Moldova Alexandru Tănase, President of the Constitutional Tribunal of the Republic of Poland Andrzej Rzepliński, Professor of Regensburg University Rainer Arnold.

Official ceremony on the occasion of the Constitution Day of the Republic of Lithuania, held on October 25, 2016 in Vilnius City Hall, was attended by the President of the Republic of Lithuania Dalia Grybauskaitė, the mayor of Vilnius Remigijus Šimašius, the President and justices of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania, President and judges of the constitutional institutions of Georgia, Poland, Moldova and Ukraine.

In her speech, President of the Republic of Lithuania Dalia Grybauskaitė stated that the Constitution as the supreme law is based on universal, unconditional values ​​of democracy, respect for the law and the rule of law.

Chairman of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine Yurii Baulin congratulated the participants on behalf of the judges of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine on one of the main national holidays of the Republic of Lithuania - Constitution Day - and expressed his gratitude for the invitation to take part in the celebrations on the occasion of this momentous event in the life of the friendly Lithuanian people.

The Chairman of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine emphasised that the adoption of the Constitution of Lithuania upon the results of the referendum held on October 25, 1992, was, without exaggeration, the top point in the restoration process of the Lithuanian state. "Thus, the Lithuanian people has strongly rejected externally imposed Soviet half century past and has returned to the European community, based on the rights of democracy, respect for human rights and the rule of law", continued Yurii Baulin.

Chairman of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine expressed his sincere gratitude to the President of the Republic of Lithuania Dalia Grybauskaitė and the friendly people of Lithuania for supporting Ukraine in difficult times.

In conclusion Yurii Baulin quoted Lech Wałęsa, who had said that "it is not tanks, rockets or dollars, but values, spirit and faith that help to win."

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