On 7 and 8 October the international conference “Constitutional Control and the Processes of Democratic Transformation in Modern Society“ took place in Kiev on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine. It was organised by the Constitutional Court of Ukraine in cooperation with the IRZ, the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe and the OSCE project office in Kiev.

A large number of presiding judges and judges from other constitutional courts, many of them from IRZ partner countries, participated in the conference. The conference focused in particular on the role of constitutional jurisdiction in sometimes extremely difficult reform situations. This received much attention, given the fact that in recent months and years the development of democracy and the rule of law had suffered setbacks in some states.

The expert exchange was characterised by an open and problem-oriented discussion. From the German side the former judge at the Federal Constitutional Court Dr. Dieter Hömig, Prof. Dr. Lutz Arnold from the University of Regensburg and Dr. Matthias Hartwig from the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law took part.

The Ukrainian speakers pointed out the model function of German constitutional law several times. The IRZ has been supporting Ukraine for many years not only in the reform of its constitutional law, but also in the drafting of a law on the Constitutional Court, which is currently being revised, and of rules of procedure. With the last amendment of the Ukrainian constitution the instrument of the constitutional complaint was introduced. The IRZ has been asked for advice in this context and is currently playing an important advisory role. The IRZ had several expert talks and has submitted some expert opinions, which are to be followed by more. Now a particular focus must be placed on implementing the constitutional complaint in court practice.

The opening speeches at the conference were given by:

  • Petro Poroshenko, President of Ukraine
  • Yurii Baulin, Chairman of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine,
  • Gianni Buquicchio, President of the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe
  • Veronika Keller-Engels, IRZ Director
  • Oleksandr Vodyannikov, representative of the Kiev OSCE Office and
  • Sviatoslav Piskun, former Public Prosecutor General and Chairman of the Union of Lawyers of Ukraine.