Working meeting of the Chairman of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine with the President of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania
On February 4, Stanislav Shevchuk, Chairman of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine, held a working meeting in the Constitutional Court of Ukraine with Dainius Žalimas, President of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania.
The meeting was attended by the judges of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine Viktor Horodovenko and Vasyl Lemak, the Chancellor of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania Ingrida Danėlienė, the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Lithuania to Ukraine Marius Janukonis.
The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the prospect of introducing constitutional complaint in the Republic of Lithuania. The Lithuanian guests were interested, in particular, in the issues related to the functioning of this mechanism in Ukraine.
The Chairman of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine Stanislav Shevchuk informed the guests that since the introduction of the constitutional complaint institute in Ukraine, that is, from 2016, 1,644 complaints have been received by the Constitutional Court of Ukraine.
Dwelling upon the procedure for appeals of citizens to the constitutional jurisdiction body (with constitutional complaint), the Chairman of the Constitutional Court focused on the requirements of such complaint. He noted that the complaint shall contain, in particular, the substantiation of allegations concerning the unconstitutionality of a specific law (its separate provisions), indicating what type of human rights was violated as a result of the application of this law according to the Constitution of Ukraine. In his opinion, the large number of rejected constitutional complaints is related to the lack of understanding by citizens of such mechanism, in particular, with the failure to take into account these requirements.
Stanislav Shevchuk also stressed that some structural changes had been introduced in order to improve the constitutional complaint, in particular, a separate unit of preliminary review of constitutional complaints was created in the Secretariat of the Court, and the Court was divided into two Senates for consideration of constitutional complaints – 9 judges in each respectively. "The experience of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine is truly unique. We already have a number of substantive developments in the field of consideration of constitutional complaints ", summed up the Chairman of the Court.
Judge of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine Vasyl Lemak drew attention to the problematic aspects that appeared during the first stages of processing and consideration of constitutional complaints. In particular, among such issues, he noted the preliminary examination in the Secretariat of the Court of the requirements of the constitutional complaint, the problems of understanding the "final court decision", outlining the subjects of the right to constitutional complaint.
Vasyl Lemak highlighted the fact that in Ukraine there is a partial normative constitutional complaint, where only laws are subject to appeal. "It is necessary to start with small things, and when we seize this barrier, it will be possible to take the next one", he stressed.
According to the judge of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine Viktor Horodovenko, due to the established practice of the European Court of Human Rights, most often the state does not fulfil its own positive obligation – to ensure the protection of human rights and freedoms. In this context, the institute of constitutional complaint, in his opinion, can be regarded as a means of reducing complaints coming to Strasbourg. "If one applies correctly and effectively such a tool for the protection of human rights as a constitutional complaint, it can affect the fulfilment by the state of its positive obligation, which automatically reduces the number of complaints to the ECHR by ensuring the protection of the rights of citizens at the national level," the speaker noted.
The President of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania, Dainius Žalimas, mentioned that the introduction of the constitutional complaint institute in Lithuania is planned soon. The speaker stressed that for the Constitutional Court of Lithuania, the experience of the functioning of this mechanism for the protection of human rights in Ukraine, as part of the structural changes of the Secretariat implemented by the Constitutional Court of Ukraine, is extremely important. "We look at our cooperation with regard to the exchange of experience regarding the constitutional complaint institute with great hope," he added.
During the meeting, interlocutors also discussed the importance of regional cooperation, in particular within the framework of the Association of Constitutional Justice of the Countries of the Baltic and Black Sea Regions and other relevant issues of constitutional justice.