Will Ukraine live according to the semi-legal Constitution?

The procedure of passing on December 8 of the last year by the Supreme Rada of Ukraine the Law “About amending the Constitution of Ukraine” made a threat to the national safety of Ukraine, stability of the state power and its legitimacy. About the antidemocratic character of some amendments to the Constitution in the version of the Law №2222-IV directly stated the Venetian commission. But what to do if the law is already passed?  

Today at a press-conference public organizations (Centre of Political-legal reforms, Public society institute, Kharkiv group for human rights, Ukrainian Helsinki union for human rights and others) spread their open letter to the President of Ukraine with the request to use his right to address the Constitutional Court of Ukraine to learn the question about the constitutionality of passing the Law of Ukraine “About amending the Constitution of Ukraine”. Experts are confident that the law is directed to considerable worsening of the Constitution of Ukraine.

“There are more than enough doubts regarding the passed on the 8 of December 2004 Law of Ukraine “About amending the Constitution of Ukraine”. Particularly, the Supreme Rada of Ukraine passing this law broke the requirements of the article 159 of the Constitution of Ukraine, since it didn’t get the conclusion of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine regarding the conformity of the bill № 4180 with the new amendments in it to the requirements of the articles 157 and 158 of the constitution of Ukraine”, – it is stated in the letter. 

Besides, according to Anatoliy Tkachuk (Public council), a substantial procession infringement is the fact that the bill even wasn’t discussed in the parliament and wasn’t passed in three readings according to the regulations. 

As Ihor Koliushko pointed out (Centre of Political-legal reforms), in the adopted Law there was a considerable substitution of the text confirmed once by the Constitutional Court (particularly in the articles 90, 94 and 106).

As to the content of the Law, there are a lot of criticisms as well. In the opinion of Ihor Koliushko, introducing imperative mandate will lead to abridgement of parliamentarism in Ukraine and will make a bureaucratic institution out of the parliament.   

The Law of Ukraine “About amending the Constitution of Ukraine” returns the function of general supervision to the prosecution what, according to Volodymyr Yavorsky (Ukrainian Helsinki union for human rights) contradicts the European Convention on human rights and decisions of the European Court for Human Rights. This very clause was condemned by the Venetian Commission. 

Amendments in the Constitution regarding the formation and functioning of the executive power bodies, in the opinion of the press-conference participants, will lead to decreasing controllability of the executive power in the country.

Participants of the conference see two ways of the problem resolving which in their opinion appeared because of the “package decision” that was imposed as a condition of the political crisis solution: the President of Ukraine is to use his authority and address the Constitutional Court regarding acknowledging the law unconstitutional or the law can be cancelled by the Supreme Rada. 

The public organizations from the very beginning supported the position of the deputies supposing that this law is to be challenged for constitutionality in the Constitutional Court. And representatives of the Ukrainian Helsinki union for human rights in the open letter to the President of Ukraine dated January 22 requested “to revise the adopted amendments to the Constitution since in our opinion they are contradictory, worsen efficient functioning of power and decrease guarantees of human rights and fundamental freedoms, and also initiate amendments to the Constitution in order to enable ratification by Ukraine the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court”.

However so far nothing was done in this direction. According to the public organizations representatives “the problem freezing like this can be used to destabilize the situation in Ukraine and making a political crisis at “a convenient moment”.

Participants of the press-conference undertook to perceive any decision of the Constitutional Court. But in case of recognizing the Law unconstitutional “we demand that the real political reform should be effected openly with public discussion and public involvement”.

Olena Holiuk


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