In a declaration adopted today, the Monitoring Committee of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) has urged the Ukrainian Parliament to carry out its constitutional duty and renew the composition of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine without any further delay, press office of Council of Europe informed ForUm. The full text of the declaration, adopted at a meeting in Paris, reads:

“The Monitoring Committee recalls that in its Resolution 1466 (2005) , adopted on 5October this year, PACE called upon the Ukrainian authorities to ‘ensure that the composition of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine is renewed without undue delay after the expiry of the term of office of its justices’. It deeply regrets that the Assembly’s call has gone unheeded and that the composition of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine has not been renewed by the Verkhovna Rada (parliament) of Ukraine to this day.

The committee notes that on 18 October 2005 the term of office of ten justicesof the 18-member Constitutional Court of Ukraine came to an end. Another three judges’ posts have been vacant for some time already. There are currently only five active justices left in the Constitutional Court (with a quorum of twelve justices), which has made constitutional justice in Ukraine inoperative for nearly two months already.

According to Law on the Constitutional Court, the justices are appointed in equal share by the President of Ukraine, the Verkhovna Rada and the Congress of Judges of Ukraine, who are then sworn in by the Verkhovna Rada . The latter has failed to carry out its duty and swear in the six justices appointed on 3 November by the Congress of Judges of Ukraine and three justices appointed on 14 Novemberby the President of Ukraine, despite the fact that according to the Law the newly-appointed justices have to be sworn in within a month from the date of their appointment at the plenary meeting of the parliament. Nor has the parliament appointed the four justices under its own quota.

In the light of the above facts the Monitoring Committee considers that it is unacceptable that justice is held hostage to political interests. Consequently, it urges the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, and in particular its Speaker Volodymyr Lytvyn, to carry out their constitutional duty and renew the composition of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine without any further delay.”

ForUm

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