Archive for January 18th, 2014


A Constitutional response to the RADA laws passed yesterday?

January 18, 2014

Following on from my last entry of yesterday and the 9 misguided laws passed by the RADA in most undemocratic fashion quite probably in contravention to Article 84 of the Constitution of Ukraine which states;

Article 84. Sittings of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine shall be held openly. A closed sitting shall be held subject to a decision of the majority of the constitutional membership of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.

Decisions of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine shall be adopted exclusively at its plenary sittings by voting.

Voting at the meetings of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine shall be performed by a people’s deputy of Ukraine in person.

constitutional scholars, academics, commentators and journalists automatically (or should automatically) refer and defer to the Constitution of Ukraine first and foremost – it being the supreme law of the land with all others being subservient.

Those laws created yesterday usefully summarised in this image below.


Only if no answers can be found in the constitution do people have to delve into lesser laws such as The Law of Ukraine and other legislative acts in the search for answers to questions of legitimacy with regard new legislation.

Despite the numerous faults with the current constitution – it is the current constitution.  Thus remains the supreme law of the land.

So how does the legislative platform now created to enable a dictatorship sit with the Constitution of Ukraine?

A very quick read presents a few hurdles for the legislation passed by the RADA yesterday – in part, or in its entirety – with regards to the curtailing of existing rights.

Article 5. Ukraine shall be a republic.

The people shall be the bearer of sovereignty and the sole source of power in Ukraine. The people shall exercise power directly or through the state authorities and local self-government bodies.

The right to determine and change the constitutional order in Ukraine shall belong exclusively to the people and shall not be usurped by the State, its bodies, or officials.

No one shall usurp the State power.

Article 8. The rule of law shall be recognised and effective in Ukraine.

The Constitution of Ukraine shall be regarded as superior law. Laws and other regulatory legal acts shall be adopted on the basis of the Constitution of Ukraine and shall conform to it.

Norms of the Constitution of Ukraine shall be the norms of direct effect. Recourse to the court for protection of constitutional rights and freedoms of an individual and citizen directly on basis of the Constitution of Ukraine shall be guaranteed.

Article 22. Human and citizen rights and freedoms affirmed by this Constitution shall not be exhaustive.

The constitutional rights and freedoms shall be guaranteed and shall not be abolished.

The content and scope of the existing rights and freedoms shall not be diminished by an adoption of new laws or by introducing amendments to the effective laws.

Some of that leaves very little legal wriggle room in legitimising the raft of seemingly unconstitutional legislation passed yesterday in a seemingly unconstitutional manner – which then makes Article 60 of the Constitution of Ukraine very interesting going forward.

Article 60. No one shall be obliged to execute directions or orders that are manifestly criminal.

Over to the Constitutional Court  to try and find an angle that will leave that legislation on the books when it is ultimately challenged – before even considering any international human rights legislation Ukraine is signed and ratified to uphold that yesterday’s legislation may well also breach.

Meanwhile, now a legislative platform fit for dictatorship has been created, it remains to be seen whether it will be used in a dictatorial manner.  One has to suspect the worst as I stated yesterday in the link at the beginning of this entry – whilst naturally hoping for something different, no matter how unlikely that may be.

The question is now whether society will accept the new laws and adhere to them, de facto legitimising them pending any de jure constitutional rulings, or whether society en masse will ignore the new laws thus depriving them of legitimacy and citing the Articles of the Constitution of Ukraine as grounds for defiance.

We shall see which way Ukrainian society will go – and very soon I suspect.

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