Court upholds right to see constitutional submission regarding language law
The Media Law Institute reports that the Kyiv Administrative Court of Appeal has allowed an appeal brought by well-known Ukrainska Pravda journalist Serhiy Leshchenko against the Constitutional Court. Leshchenko had appealed against the Court’s refusal to provide him with a copy of the constitutional submission lodged by 51 MPs on 16 April 2013. The MPs were asking the Court to consider whether the contentious Law on the Principles of State Language Policy complies with Ukraine’s Constituiton.
Serhiy Leshchenko’s appeal was lodged after the first instance court found that the constitutional submission contained official information and personal data and therefore refused to allow the law suit.
On 21 March the Kyiv Administrative Court of Appeal revoked as unlawful the ruling which had classified a constitutional submission as information on restricted access. European Court of Human Rights case law regarding Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights and specifically openness of information regarding queries sent by MPs to bodies with constitutional jurisdiction.
The case is being supported by the Media Law Institutes’s Fund for Defending the Right of Access to Information.
As reported, Ukraine’s Constitutional Court has now refused fourt times to consider submissions asking about the constitutionality of the Law on the Principles of State Language Policy. The law which elicited enormous protest last year significantly increases the role of the Russian language. Many of those protesting referred to the quite unequivocal norm of the Constitution stating that Ukraine has one State language – Ukrainian. The Constitutional Court would appear to be avoiding having to judge on this issue, by rejecting the submissions outright.