This article discusses the activity of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine at its present stage of development. The doctrine of judicial self-restraint, which was adopted by the Constitutional Court back in the late 1990s, is critically appraised. The main forms of judicial self-restraint that are used in common law countries – primarily in the United States – are examined and relevant court practices are analyzed. The author comes to the conclusion that there is a certain discrepancy between the democratic standards for the administration of justice in the Ukrainian modification of the doctrine of judicial self-restraint. In this connection, the inconsistency and internal contradiction of the latter can be criticized. The paper also makes an attempt to analyze the definitions of the refusal to open proceedings in a case passed by the Constitutional Court in 2017. The slowdown in the pace of the work of the Constitutional Court has been associated with the phenomenon of “strategic escape”, which finds its expression in the activity of the constitutional jurisdiction body mainly due to the fact that the Court refuses to accept the most politically significant cases for consideration and delays – sometimes for years – consideration of those cases that are already underway. Particular attention is paid to the personal composition of the Court and the relationship between judges: it is stated that there are several “small groups”, the social interaction between which is not always free of conflict. In general, the conclusion is made about the crisis that Ukrainian constitutional justice finds itself in today.
About the author
Oleksandr Yevsieiev – Candidate of Sciences (Ph.D.) in Law, Scientific Adviser to the Judge, Ukrainian Constitutional Court, Kiev, Ukraine.
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