High Court finds dismissal of Yanukovych’s Constitutional Court head unlawful
On Wednesday the High Administrative Court allowed the suit brought by Viacheslav Ovcharenko against the Verkhovna Rada. Ovcharenko had asked for the decision to dismiss him from his post as head of the Constitutional Court to be declared unlawful and for certain actions to be ordered.
Ovcharenko’s lawyer, Oleg Alexandrovych explains that the grounds cited were that the procedure for dismissing CCU judges for breach of oath had not been observed. According to this procedure, the CCU should have met and organized a check. After that check had been carried out, the CCU’s ethics committee should have given its accessment which would have been approved by the CCU and sent to the Verkhovna Rada. Instead, Alexandrovych asserts, parliament took on the powers of the CCU.
The Verkhovna Rada passed a resolution on Feb 24 2014 which dismissed Ovcharenko together with four other CCU judges. The dismissals were mainly in connection with the judges’ part in the CCU judgement of September 30, 2010, which reinstated a presidential system, giving Viktor Yanukovych considerably more power.
The view was widespread that under Yanukovych all courts, including the CCU, were ‘brought to heel’, with judges providing the judgements expected of them. There was nonetheless concern both in Ukraine and abroad at the dismissal of the judges, especially through a parliamentary resolution.
Ovcharenko’s appointment as head of the CCU in July 2013 was generally viewed as being because of his close links with Yanukovych. Very many of the reports in the media demonstrated his watch, valued at around $27, 000. Most also noted the he fact that he had once been the head of the court that “lost” all record of Yanukovych’s two criminal convictions.
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