Victor Yushchenko attended Wednesday a ceremony to mark the tenth anniversary of the founding of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine, President's press office reported. 

In his speech, the President said the role of the Constitutional Court in our society was very important.

“The country is now living in the environment of the noticeably revised Constitution. Thus the role of the Constitutional Court as a legal instrument to ensure the adequate balance of powers has become particularly significant.  In these new conditions, you are, without any exaggeration, the guards of the Constitution,” he said.

Yushchenko said the anniversary marked the stage in the promotion of the rule of law in Ukraine.

“When the Constitution was passed, you had to start everything from scratch, having no experience and practice of using it. The professionalism and intellect of those who represented the Court then helped it become one of the elements of the state system and be accepted by society,” he said.

The President added that the anniversary also marked the beginning of a new era in the development of the Court.

“The court has been renewed, its new leaders elected,” he said.

Yushchenko said the January 1/2006 constitutional changes had led to different and often opposite interpretation of laws. He expressed hopes the Constitutional Court would resist attempts to pass new controversial changes.

“I firmly believe the Constitutional Court of Ukraine will not accept any changes passed illegally or aimed at restricting civil and human rights and freedoms,” he said.

The President demanded that the Constitutional Court distance itself from Ukraine’s politics. He also promised to make sure that the judges are paid adequate salaries not to undermine the independence of the judicial branch.

He wished the judges professional success and presented state awards to them.


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