Thursday, April 26, 2007

Constitutional or Kangaroo Court?

Interesting piece in 'Ukr Pravda' today on shenanigans in the Constitutional court.

Here are some paraphrased bits:

Negotiations between Yu and Ya on the current crisis, on several occasions took place in the presence of the US and German ambassadors William Taylor and Reinhardt Schaefer.

The atmosphere in the constitutional law court is complicated by mutual hostility and hardly concealed hatred between the judges. The CC is not prepared to take responsibility for any decision - which either one half or the other half of the country will challenge by questioning the court's authority.

The CC is empowered to interpret the existing constitution only, and should not comment on judgements made by the president in his ukaz e.g. on the imperative mandate.

As a result, the judges will not rush with their final judgement, If it is not given next week, the following week includes 4 days holidays, then rest days...

The best solution for the CC judges would be to wait until the politicians sort out the mess between themselves, and then write up their judgement to fit the politicians' requirements, according to their mutual agreement. Or they could simply close the legal proceedings entirely.

The judges are concerned about our old friend Syuzanna Stanik who is the rapporteur in the CC presenting the challenge to the president's ukaz to dismiss the VR. Suspicions of her taking bribes continues.

It seems that Stanik was sworn in as a CC judge in an unconstitutional manner on 22nd April 2004. Kuchma was absent, contrary to constitutional requirements.

In her years of work in the CC, Stanik was always a minor player, so it was odd that she was appointed to lead such a vital matter in the court. Once the 53 VR anti-crisis coalition deputies submitted their challenge to the court on 3rd April, some 'funny business' took place, again, contrary to the court's 'reglament', or code of precedures.

Deputy CC Chairman Valeriy Pshenichniy took it upon himself on that day to appoint Stanik rapporteur over the head of court 'top banana' Dombrowskiy [a Yush man] who was still at work. It was assumed 'Dombo' would resign on the 4th April. Had his resignation been accepted by the other court members, this would all have been irrelevant. In the event, he remained head of the CC. Another document has now apparently come to light dated 5th April, signed by Psenichniy which, because Dombo was not at work that day, would be valid. [All very suspicious].

On the 5th of April Stanik turned up to the court as rapporteur, but no vote took place to confirm her appointment, contrary to the CC's reglament. Yushchenko has asked the CC to provide documentation so that he can check any possible procedural irregularities.


Pres. has postponed the snap VR elections until June 27th. Full text of his address in English here.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

An interesting article full of intrigue but at the end of the day the Constitutional Court must rule according to the principle of rule of law and their findings must be spelt out in detail.

One way if ensue confidence in the Court's rulings is to request the European Venice Commission to prepare a submission/assessment on the legality of the President's decree. The obligation would then be on the court to consider and rule on the issues raised by the commission.

As it stands the political manoeuvring by the President does not instil confidence in the whole process.

What is clear is that a non-response from the Constitutional Court will only exacerbate the problem. If confidence in Ukraine's democratic systems are to be established then the system must begin to perform as intended.

Assuming that the intention is for decision to be made on a basis of interpretation of legal practice and international law.