KYIV, Ukraine, July 14, 2015 /PRNewswire/ --
Constitutional expert Otto Depenheuer called for independence of Ukrainian Constitutional Court at AMU round table
Otto Depenheuer spoke plainly at a recent round table discussion in Ukraine: "Leading Ukraine closer to the EU in terms of the constitution and the jurisdiction of the constitutional court will require myriad reform steps, a lot of persuasion on many levels, and not least, a good deal of time."
Depenheuer served as chair for this round table staged in Kiev by the Agency for the Modernisation of Ukraine (AMU). Selected constitutional experts accepted the invitation to attend the event in Ukrainian House at European Square in Kiev. The round table discussion focused on the constitution and the jurisdiction of the constitutional court in Ukraine. Otto Depenheuer is among the top experts in Europe in this field. He is a professor at the Universität zu Köln/Faculty of Law. His teaching and research focus mainly on constitutional law and the theory of government, on the philosophy of law and of government, as well as on legal theory and constitutional history.
Ukraine as a land with two faces
For Depenheuer, Ukraine is a "Land with two faces". On the one hand, the Ukrainians are vitally patriotic. On the other hand, the general populace has a wide-spread mistrust of the law and the government, its administration and jurisdiction. This mistrust is due mostly to omnipresent corruption on all sides.
In Depenheuer's view, all considerations of constitutional reform in Ukraine must therefore seek "to strengthen the government's trust in its citizens (fundamental rights) and in its officials (independence)."
Depenheuer went on to emphasise the integrative effect that could emanate from a constitution, but also named the prerequisites: "Only an independent judiciary gives rise to the authority of law, only the authority of law gives rise to trust, and only trust on the part of citizens stabilises and legitimises political rule."
Finally, Depenheuer suggested basic actions such as introducing a means by which individual citizens could lodge constitutional complaints: "With this step, the Ukrainian state would enable and guarantee the ultimate legal protection against itself. The state would guarantee citizens the right to petition against this unlawfulness before courts that the state provides."
Findings to be incorporated into the Programme for the Modernisation of Ukraine
AMU President Michael Spindelegger explained the motivation of the AMU in staging this series of round tables: "We want to listen; we want to understand and to add to our knowledge. Our findings will then be incorporated into the Programme for the Modernisation of Ukraine, which we will present to the public in Ukraine and Western Europe in the autumn of 2015."
The next round table is devoted to the rule of law and will be held on 22 July 2015. It will be chaired by Lord Ken Macdonald.
About the AMU
The Agency for the Modernisation of Ukraine (AMU) is a non-governmental organisation (NGO) with headquarters in Vienna. Renowned former and current politicians as well as top academicians and experts from Europe work on behalf of the AMU, collaborating with the Ukrainian civil society to draw up solutions for the future of Ukraine. The goal is to provide Ukraine with economic and politic support and to accompany the country as it moves toward a modern future.
Press photos from the event can be downloaded from the AMU Website: http://www.amukraine.org/news
Please send any inquiries to:
The Agency for the Modernisation of Ukraine
Renngasse 6-8, Top 504 /A-1010 Vienna, Austria
SOURCE AMU (The Agency for the Modernisation of Ukraine)