Between 3 and 7 May 2015 we welcomed three acting Constitutional Court Judges from Ukraine, Professor Viktor Shyshkin, Professor Petro Stetsiuk and Professor Ihor Slidenko, at the IRZ's premises for three days of intensive expert talks. The focus was on the doctrine of constitutional law and reviews of members of the civil service and the judiciary.

The Ukrainian guests discussed constitutional control during a state's democratic transformation, control density of procedures and the role of a Constitutional Court as an essential factor in the political field with their German counterparts, Dr Dieter Hömig, retired judge at the Federal Constitutional Court, and Dr Matthias Hartwig of the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law. The talks focused on safeguarding judicial independence and steadfastness as well as on the question of how judicial self-confidence can be reinforced.

Another issue was the question of how to deal with the increasing influence of international law, and the impact of ECHR case law on the rulings of the Ukrainian Constitutional Court. This was of particular relevance, since it can be assumed that many of the imminent judicial reviews of so-called "lustration procedures" will have to be heard before the Ukrainian Constitutional Court and the ECHR. This is the reason why another focus of the talks was the question whether the reviews of an estimated 500,000 members of the civil service and the judiciary, many of whom have already been dismissed from public service, are lawful and proportionate. These reviews are currently being carried out in Ukraine on the basis of an "act on the consolidation of state power".

The guests from Ukraine held extensive and in-depth discussions with Under-Secretary Thomas Kunz from the Thuringia Ministry for Migration, Justice and Consumer Protection, who was himself in charge of matters relating to reviews of members of the judiciary in the former GDR, and Professor Thomas, retired Under-Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection, who was involved in negotiating the Unification Treaty, about the German experience after reunification with regard to reviews of judges and public prosecutors. The above-mentioned "act on the consolidation of state power" has already entered into effect, but it is currently being reviewed, following criticism from the European side. The IRZ also gave its opinion on this issue, as well as the Venice Commission. As a result, the proceedings regarding this act which were pending before the Ukrainian Constitutional Court have apparently now been suspended. To that extent the IRZ will not let up in its efforts to ensure that these reviews, which are definitely necessary in the Ukraine, are conducted according to rule-of-law standards.