Declaration on the appointment of Judges

to the Constitutional Court of Ukraine

 

The Venice Commission is concerned that following the expiry of the mandate of a number of judges from the Constitutional Court of Ukraine, including its Chairman, the process of appointment of new judges seems to be stalled. Indeed, the number of judges is no longer sufficient to ensure the continued effective functioning of the Court.

 

In countries where it has been established, the constitutional court is an institution of crucial importance in ensuring the functioning of the various state bodies within constitutional limits. They have the key function of guaranteeing the respect for fundamental principles of democracy, the protection of human rights and the rule of law, which are also the basic standards of the Council of Europe, of which Ukraine is a member. Following the change in leadership at the beginning of 2005, Ukraine has reaffirmed its commitment to these principles.

 

The process of appointment of judges to constitutional courts often involves various state bodies. It is the constitutional duty of these institutions to ensure the uninterrupted functioning of the Constitutional Court by taking all necessary steps in this process to ensure and facilitate the smooth functioning of this vital institution.

 

The Venice Commission calls on the Ukrainian authorities and especially the Ukrainian Parliament to quickly take the necessary steps for renewing the membership of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine.

 

The Constitutional Court of Lithuania, holding the Presidency of the Conference of European Constitutional Courts, of which the Constitutional Court of Ukraine is a member, shares the concern of the Venice Commission about the fact that the process of appointment of new judges to the Constitutional Court of Ukraine seems to be stalled.

 

Venice, 16 December 2005