available languages: english February 28, 2018

Advocates, lawyers, human rights defenders and representatives of civil society organisations discussed how to prepare and submit a constitutional complaint during our legal workshop organised on 17 February in Kharkiv.

Constitutional complaint was introduced as part of the judiciary reform and individuals or legal entities can now apply to the Court and submit a constitutional complaint which questions the constitutionality of the legal rule applied in the final court decision against them.

All the participants agreed that the introduction of the constitutional complaint is a step forward for Ukraine. One of the trainers, Liubomyr Letnianchyn, associate professor at the Yaroslav Mudryi National Law University, highlighted that there are still many issues which are unclear and only the case law of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine (CCU) would provide clarification. For instance, some Constitutional Courts in European countries not only secure constitutional rights through a constitutional complaint mechanism, but also constitutional principles. So far, it is not clear whether the CCU will follow the same approach or not. Letnianchyn noted that the CCU has received more than 500 complaints but that most of them will be declined on procedural grounds. Participants discussed how to overcome these procedural traps.

Liubomyr Letnianchyn and Maryna Starovoitova, the practicing attorney and the certified trainer of trainers at the Ukrainian Legal Aid Coordinating Center, introduced a few steps on how to prepare a constitutional complaint. Moreover, the workshop included a working session for participants to solve and comment on previous constitutional petitions or recently submitted complaints. Participants expressed the need for more similar workshops on the national level.

You can watch the video form the workshop here.