Press-release 2-nd Congress

Press-release 2-nd Congress

The Second Congress of the Association of Constitutional Justice of the Countries of the Baltic and Black Sea Regions (BBCJ) was held in Kharkiv

On June 1, 2017 the Second Congress of the Association of Constitutional Justice of the Countries of the Baltic and Black Sea Regions (BBCJ) on “The role of constitutional courts in interpreting the provisions of national constitutions in the context of the generally recognised principles and norms of international law and EU law, judgments of international courts” began its work in Kharkiv.

The event was organised by the Constitutional Court of Ukraine in co-operation with the OSCE Project Co-ordinator in Ukraine, the German Foundation for International Legal Cooperation and with the support of the National Academy of Legal Sciences of Ukraine and Yaroslav Mudryi National Law University

The Congress was attended by the presidents and judges of constitutional courts – members of the Association of Constitutional Justice of the Countries of the Baltic and Black Sea Regions, namely: Ukraine, Georgia, Republic of Moldova, Republic of Lithuania, former judges of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine, judges of the bodies of constitutional jurisdiction of foreign states – Republic of Estonia, Republic of Latvia, Republic of Croatia, Czech Republic, Montenegro, representatives of international organisations and foundations, in particular, the Council of Europe, the OSCE, the European Commission “For Democracy through Law” (Venice Commission), GUAM, German Foundation for International Legal Cooperation (IRZ), USAID, LCF Law Group, diplomatic corps, representatives of state bodies of Ukraine: Administration of the President of Ukraine, Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, Kharkiv Regional Council, Kharkiv City Council, courts, scholars of domestic and foreign educational and scientific institutions, in particular, Yaroslav Mudryi National Law University, V.N. Karazin Kharkiv National University, National Academy of Legal Sciences of Ukraine, University of Regensburg, Mykolas Romeris University, Kharkiv National University of Internal Affairs, Academy of the State Penitentiary Service, etc.

Acting Chairman of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine, President of the Association of Constitutional Justice of the Countries of the Baltic and Black Sea Regions Yurii Baulin opened the Second Congress and on behalf of the judges of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine welcomed the participants and thanked for participation in the Congress. Yurii Baulin stressed the importance and relevance of the chosen topic, and dwelt on those circumstances that stipulate the need for interpretation of constitutional provisions. The President of the Association appealed to the case-law of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine, and noted that an important place in its activity belongs to the socio-legal approach in the implementation and the protection of human and citizens’ constitutional rights and freedoms.

The decisions of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine are of crucial importance for the implementation of the ECHR judgments. Moreover, the development of judicial practices on the ground of substantiated interpretation of the constitutional rights and freedoms which is based on the ECHR case-law and is consistent with it, is important not only for protecting the rights of the individual, but is also an integral part of the rule of law in its international, European and national dimensions, noted Yurii Baulin.

Foreign experience convincingly proves that functioning of the constitutional control is the main vector of the development of modern constitutionalism, stressed Yurii Baulin. Concluding the speech, the President of the Association noted that the exchange of experience would provide mutual benefit to all its participants.

In addition, Yurii Baulin told the guests about Yaroslav Mudryi National Law University, where the Second Congress of the Association of Constitutional Justice of the Countries of the Baltic and Black Sea Regions is taking place. Taking this opportunity, he wished the leadership of the Yaroslav Mudryi National Law University, headed by Doctor of Law, Professor, Full Member of the National Academy of Legal Sciences of Ukraine Vasyl Tatsii and the University staff good health, enthusiasm and success in work.

The participants were welcomed by Deputy Head of the Administration of the President of Ukraine, Secretary of the Constitutional Commission Oleksii Filatov, Permanent Representative of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine at the Constitutional Court of Ukraine Anatolii Selivanov, First Deputy Head of the Kharkiv Regional State Administration Mark Bekker, Secretary of the Kharkiv City Council Oleksandr Novak.

Rector of Yaroslav Mudryi National Law University Vasil Tatsii also addressed the participants of the event. He stressed that the level of the congress, its subjects provide for an opportunity to consider the most important issues of constitutional law, and noted the importance of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine in ensuring the rule of law and the importance of cooperation with the constitutional courts of other countries.

Welcome speeches were also delivered by the President of the National Academy of Legal Sciences of Ukraine Oleksandr Petryshyn, OSCE Project Co-ordinator in Ukraine Vaidotas Verba, representative of the Kharkiv Regional Council Mykola Titov, Representative of the Secretary General of the Council of Europe in Ukraine Morten Enberg.

The first session „National constitutional paradigm and the generally recognised principles and norms of international law and EU law, judgments of international courts“ was opened by the President of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Moldova (2011–2017) Alexandru Tănase. He thanked the Acting Chairman of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine Yurii Baulin for the successful organisation of the Second BBCJ Congress and invited to the floor the President of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania, President of the World Conference of Constitutional Justice (WCCJ) Dainius Žalimas.

Dainius Žalimas devoted his speech to the issues of the national constitutional paradigm, the norms of international law and EU law.

The participants of the Second BBCJ Congress discussed topical issues of the correlation of international and national law.

Experts of the first session were Associate Professor of the Department of Constitutional Law of Ukraine at Yaroslav Mudryi National Law University Vsevolod Rechytskyi and Expert of the German Foundation for International Legal Co-operation (IRZ), Scientific Researcher of Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and Public International Law Matthias Hartwig.

The second session „Correlation of the rule of law and the supremacy of constitutions: national features of law understanding in terms of universally recognised principles and norms of international law and EU law, judgments of international courts“ was opened by the President of the Constitutional Court of Georgia, President of the Conference of European Constitutional Courts (CECC) Zaza Tavadze, who spoke about correlation of the rule of law and the rule of the constitution, national peculiarities of legal understanding in the context of generally recognised norms of international law and judgments of international courts.

Judge of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Moldova Aurel Băieşu devoted his report to the same topic, noting the role of constitutional courts in the defence of democracy and the rule of law.

The expert of the German Foundation for International Legal Co-operation (IRZ) Prof. Rainer Arnold provided examples of classical judicial judgements of the European Court of Human Rights and the European Court of Justice, as well as decisions of German courts, and highlighted the perception of the constitutional elements of the international legal order. The speaker stressed that constitutional courts must take into account the fundamental European values ​​and act within their powers, rather than ultra vires.

On June 2, 2017 the Second Congress of the Association of Constitutional Justice of the Countries of the Baltic and Black Sea Regions continued its work.

The presiding judge of the second session, Judge of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine Viktor Kryvenko expressed hope that the discussion will enable more effective application of the rule of law principle and understanding of its correlation with the supremacy of the Constitution.

The President of the Constitutional Court of Georgia, President of the Conference of European Constitutional Courts (CECC) Zaza Tavadze spoke about the international dimension, support in the practice and activities of the Georgian constitutional court.

Chief expert of the EU project „Support to the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Moldova“, Professor of Mykolas Romeris University, former Judge of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania (2005–2014) Toma Birmontienė also delivered a report.

At the end of the second meeting, the draft resolution of the Congress was discussed.

Acting Chairman of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine, President of the BBCJ Association Yurii Baulin on behalf of the judges of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine and his own sincerely thanked everyone who took part in the Second Congress of the Association, as well as those who attached efforts to organise and conduct it.

The work of the Congress was fruitful, noted Yurii Baulin. During the working sessions important problems were outlined and approaches to their resolution were identified in the presentations and discussions of the participants on the role of constitutional courts in interpreting the provisions of national constitutions in the context of the generally recognised principles and norms of international law and EU law, judgments of international courts, stressed Yurii Baulin.

The review of the materials of the Second Congress of the Association of Constitutional Justice of the Countries of the Baltic and Black Sea Regions will be published in the Bulletin of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine as well as in a separate collection.