The European Commission for Democracy through Law (Venice Commission), in co-operation with the Constitutional Court of Ukraine, organised an international video-conference. The event marked two notable anniversaries: 30 years of the Commission and 24 years of the Constitution of Ukraine.
The conference, entitled “Mutual Achievements of the European Commission for Democracy through Law (Venice Commission) and Bodies of Constitutional Justice and the Problems of Interpretation in Constitutional Adjudication”, gathered numerous prominent participants representing international organisations, and different countries’ state agencies, NGOs, legal communities. Gianni Buquicchio, President of the Venice Commission, Christos Giakoumopoulos, Director General of Human Rights and Rule of Law, and Pavlo Pushkar, Head of Division of the Department for the Execution of Judgments of the European Court of Human Rights addressed the conference from the Council of Europe’s part. Ukrainian participants included the Chief Justice of the Constitutional Court Oleksandr Tupytskyi and his deputy, member of the Venice Commission, Serhii Holovatyi, the Chair of the Parliament Dmytro Razumkov.
Mr Giakoumopoulos intervened on the topic “The jurisprudence of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine as a cornerstone for securing rights and freedoms under the European Convention on Human Rights: achievements and prospects”.
He underlined the crucial role of the Constitutional Court in giving effect to the European Convention domestically, recalling the long history of fruitful and constructive cooperation of the institution with the Venice Commission and other Council of Europe bodies. Mr Giakoumopoulos praised the Constitutional Court’s innovative expert approaches to synchronisation of its case-law with the jurisprudence of Strasbourg Court and the significant steps the Constitutional Court has taken to become an important domestic facilitator of work of the Ukrainian authorities on execution of the European Court judgments. The Committee of Ministers, within the framework of the supervision over the execution, welcomed the 2016 recognition of unconstitutionality of the procedure for public assemblies (Vyerentsov v. Ukraine case), the 2017 judgment declaring unconstitutional the criminal procedure provisions allowing for automatic extension of detention on remand (Chanyev/Ignatov group of cases) and others. Amongst issues that will be closely followed by the Committee of Ministers in future Mr Giakoumopoulos referred to that of the non-enforcement of domestic judgments (Ivanov/Burmych group), as well as the pronouncements of the Constitutional Court on constitutionality of judicial reforms of 2016 and 2019, and its recent judgment declaring unconstitutional the Criminal Code article constituting a threat to judicial independence. The necessity of the latter repeal was indicated by the Committee of Ministers within the supervision of execution of the Oleksandr Volkov group of cases.
Director General further touched upon the challenges ahead of the Constitutional Court, such as those related to the right of individual constitutional petition and the Protocol No. 16 to the European Convention. He concluded that further synchronisation of the case-law of the Constitutional Court with the jurisprudence of the Strasbourg Court accompanied by a firm recognition of the case-law of the Strasbourg Court as a part of constitutional case-law on human rights for Europe, is a logical and welcomed continuation of previous endeavours.
Congratulating the Constitutional Court of Ukraine on its achievements, Christos Giakoumopoulos emphasized the Council of Europe’s steady readiness to support the institution in its hard task of maintaining coherence of the constitutional legal space of Ukraine, based on compliance of Ukraine with its international obligations on human rights.