July 23, 2014The Constitutional Court of Ukraine ‘with the aim to fully inform the public about its activities and striving to maximum openness and transparency of the judicial process’ begins publishing on its website texts of the constitutional appeals to it by the President of Ukraine, by not less than forty-five deputies of Ukraine, the Supreme Court of Ukraine, Ukraine Parliamentary Commissioner for Human Rights, and the Supreme Council of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, who are subiects of the constitutional appeals according to law.
The documents now available on the official website of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine under the heading “under consideration“. Ensuring public access to information about the arguments, the reasons and motives of the subject of appeal to the authority of constitutional jurisdiction is essential to ensure freedom of expression in general, as repeatedly emphasized by lawyers of the Media Law Institute.
Last November, thanks to the Defense Fund for the right of access to information, established by Media Law Institute with the support of the International “Renaissance Foundation”, journalist Sergei Leshenko lodged an appeal to the European Court of Human Rights concerning violations of his freedom of expression, under Article 10 of the European Convention, in connection with the rejection of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine to provide information in response to his request to provide a copy of the constitutional appeal of 51 MPs for checking the Law of Ukraine “On Principles of Language Policy” in conformity with the Constitution of Ukraine. Since among the national courts only the Administrative Court of Appeal upheld the plaintiff’s position and ruled that the constitutional petition requested assignment to classified information, this decision was later reversed in cassation.
Introduction of disclosure practices of disclosing constitutional appeals comply with the international human rights standards, which, in particular, emphasized the European Court in the case of “Tarsasag A Szabadsagjogokert against Hungary”, because restriction of access to such information is a violation of the right to freely receive and disseminate information. However, equally important is the need to provide access to other materials of constitutional proceedings that may be of public interest (the findings of research institutions, universities, etc.)