Human Rights in Ukraine. Website of the Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group
Prohibition of discrimination

Constitutional Court allows teachers to speak Russian at school


The Constitutional Court [CCU] has found the provisions of the Cabinet of Ministers Resolution from 30 September (No. 1033) regarding the compulsory use by teachers during working time of Ukrainian unconstitutional.

As reported at the time, the Regulations were supplemented by a new paragraph which read:

“In working hours in State and municipal general educational institutions the Ukrainian language shall be used regularly, and in State and municipal general educational institutions with tuition in a language of a national minority together with the Ukrainian language – also the language which is used for tuition within the institution.”

The CCU judgment states that their analysis of the provision shows that in it the Cabinet of Ministers defined the procedure for use of language by educational staff of general education schools whereas according to the Constitution this is determined solely by Ukrainian laws. The Cabinet of Ministers thus exceeded its powers as set out in the Constitution and laws of Ukraine. The norm in dispute is therefore in breach of Articles 10 § 5; 19 § 2; 92 § 1.4; 113 § 3; 117 § 1 of the Constitution of Ukraine.

The CCU finds that the Cabinet of Ministers Regulations on General Education Schools passed on 14 June 2000 No. 964 is in accordance with the Constitution, and that the Resolution on making amendments to this from 30 September 2009 No. 1033 is unconstitutional and becomes void from the day that the CCU judgment is passed.

The Head of the CCU stated at a press conference that “it so happens that language policy in our country is a particularly sensitive issue especially in the pre-election period. However the CCU acted in this case entirely within the framework of the Constitution and laws and was not aiming at any politicization of this issue”.

The presidential elections are in 3 days (translator).

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