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Constitutional complaint: new institution of citizens’ rights defense

Donor: USAID/Chemonics
Budget: 396280.00 UAH
Realization: 03-10-2017-20-04-2018

The Project has two areas of activities:

1)     Monitoring the implementation of the new constitutional appeal practice in the new version of the Law «On Constitutional Court of Ukraine».

2)    Conducting an information campaign to increase the public awareness of the new practice of constitutional appeal.

The first area of activities is intended to monitor implementation of the new  constitutional right of individuals, primarily Ukrainian citizens, to defending their rights through filing constitutional appeals.

As part of the monitoring, the following activities are planned:

•  Developing methodology for monitoring implementation of the new constitutional appeal practice;

•  Expert review of the constitutional provisions implementation regarding constitutional appeal under the new version of Law «On Constitutional Court of Ukraine», Rules of Procedure of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine, and other laws and by-laws;

•  Assessment of constitutional appeals in terms of reasonability and legality, with a view to identify most common mistakes in constitutional appeals making;

•  Monitoring CCU’s Secretariat activity in terms of constitutional appeals:

•  Monitoring CCU’s review of constitutional appeals (including the activities of the prospective CCU’s Penals, which will be empowered to institute or decline judicial proceedings upon constitutional appeals) with a view to identify drawbacks in implementing  new authority by the Constitutional Court;

•  Statistical analysis of the number of constitutional appeals filed, the percentage of proceedings opened by the Constitutional Court upon the appeals filed, the percentage of decisions to allow the appeal, etc.;

•  Analysis of the Constitutional Court’s of Ukraine case law (when considering constitutional appeals);

•  Monitor review of cases by courts of general jurisdiction following CCU’s adjudication;

•  Preparation of the Monitoring Report based on the results of monitoring the implementation of the new constitutional appeal practice in terms of detecting implementation problems;

•  Preparation of Methodological Guidelines on preparation and filing constitutional appeals to the Constitutional Court.

Based on the monitoring findings, the project plans to present the monitoring results (press conference) and conduct professional discussion at a round table involving Justices of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine and the Secretariat staff. The Monitoring Report, including the Methodological Guidelines, will be further disseminated among the target groups (Parliamentary Committee for Legal Policy and Justice; Parliamentary Committee for Human Rights, National Minorities and International Relations; Constitutional Court of Ukraine; the Commissioner of Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine for Human Rights; human rights coalitions and organizations; civil society organizations and their coalitions involved in judicial reform) via electronic communications that minimizes the use of printed materials. Printed materials will be used exclusively as handouts during events.

As part of the second area of activities, it is planned to:

• increase public awareness (vulnerable groups in particular) of the new practice of constitutional appeal;

• provide information and advisory support to human rights organizations on drafting and filing constitutional appeals;

Based on the monitoring results, the Methodological Guidelines on preparation and filing constitutional appeals to the Constitutional Court will be developed. These recommendations will help protect the rights of citizens, since the constitutional appeal practice is new and confusing to many people, and therefore will require extensive outreach activity.

The Guidelines on preparation and filing constitutional appeals to the Constitutional Court will be disseminated via:

• human rights organizations;

• centers and offices for legal aid;

• NGOs that integrate or deal with poor and vulnerable people;

• Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights.

The Guidelines are also planned to be printed in Braille for visually impaired persons. The Guidelines will be sent out to organizations that assist people with visual disabilities (for example, Ukrainian Association of the Blind). Providing Guidelines on preparation and filing constitutional appeals to such organizations and institutions will contribute to the practical implementation of the right to file a constitutional appeal and will facilitate the protection of rights of persons with visual disabilities.

In addition, the Guidelines for preparation and filing constitutional appeals to the Constitutional Court will be sent out to the offices and centers for legal aid. Unprotected people, especially the poor ones, apply to centers for primary and secondary legal aid to obtain information and assistance in protecting their rights. The availability of the Guidelines in these centers and offices will facilitate the practical implementation of the right to file a constitutional appeal.

As part of the project, a workshop training will be conducted for representatives of human rights and civil society organizations (20 participants) on how to draft and submit constitutional appeals to the Constitutional Court. Since it is such organizations that help protect the citizens rights, it is important to train their representatives to perform further qualified work related to the new judicial practice of protection of citizens’ rights.