Sydorovych: “Constitutional complaint is a tool for protecting the rights of ordinary citizens”

MP Ruslan Sydorovych from the Samopomich parliamentary faction emphasizes that Ukraine needs to develop the Institute of constitutional complaint. In his opinion, this is precisely what will enable people to directly apply to the Constitutional Court and repeal unconstitutional laws.

“At the same time, it is important to create such conditions which will not let the very judges of the Constitutional Court abuse power and turn this tool against people. The task of the Constitutional Court is to protect human rights using the Constitution.”

In Ukraine, two years have passed since the law on the Constitutional Court was adopted, and citizens of Ukraine have the opportunity to file a constitutional complaint directly to the Constitutional Court without inviting additional persons. Why is it important? Because, unfortunately, the Ukrainian parliament is no saint and sometimes it adopts unconstitutional laws, as a result of which the rights of citizens are violated. And it is this law on the Constitutional Court that makes it possible for ordinary citizens to prove unconstitutional a law (or its part) which violates human rights.

But this tool should be constantly improved. The lawmaker drew attention to certain threats that the law implies in order to exclude the abuses on the part of the very Constitutional Court using its tools. For example, a person bought some property 10 years ago being guided by some law. And now this law is recognised unconstitutional, so this property will be taken away. This should not be so because this violates the principle of legal certainty.

One more example. Article 77 of the Law of Ukraine on the Constitutional Court determines the conditions under which a person may file a constitutional complaint. First, the person has to exhaust all means of national judicial protection and apply within 3 months from the date of the final decision issue. Part 2 provides for the opportunity to contact the Constitutional Court outside of this three-month period for reason of public interest. What is dangerous about this? Ruslan Sydorovych explains:

“This phrase – “public interest” – leaves room for unlimited abuses on the part of the Constitutional Court judges. The recognition of the law as unconstitutional cannot pass without public interest, because it concerns an indefinite circle of people, an indefinite circle of legal relations, and therefore, in fact, it makes it possible to recognize laws unconstitutional with no time limitations. This norm should be changed.”

On the whole, a constitutional complaint should give citizens the opportunity to protect their rights and to force the Constitutional Court to protect these rights.


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