The Constitutional Court of Ukraine has begun considering the submission of 51 people’s deputies on the compliance with the Constitution of the Law of Ukraine «On ensuring the functioning of the Ukrainian language as the state language» On Tuesday, July 7, the case began to be heard in the open part of the plenary session.
Before the meeting under the courthouse, a small protest action by representatives of the National Corps began.
The ex-People’s Deputy Alexander Dolzhenkov and Deputy Vadim Novinsky, who signed the appeal to the Constitutional Court, as well as the representative of the Verkhovna Rada in the Constitutional Court, People’s Deputy Olga Sovgirya and Deputy Fyodor Venislavsky, appeared at the trial.
Also at the meeting is the People’s Deputy from «Eurosolidarity» Nikolai Knyazhitsky. The ex-chairman of the parliament Andriy Parubiy was also invited, but he is late.
Judge-rapporteur in the case, Sergei Golovaty, announced the essence of the petition. The authors of the submission noted that this law does not meet a number of requirements of the Constitution of Ukraine, as it is aimed at discriminating against Russian and other languages of national minorities. Also, in their opinion, the law was adopted in violation of the constitutional procedure.
What’s wrong with the law?
According to the authors of the petition, the law:
• contradicts the Constitution, since it discriminates against Russian and the languages of other national minorities of Ukraine;
• discriminates against citizens on the basis of language;
• violates the constitutional right of citizens to use and protect their native language;
• violates the right to develop the linguistic identity of all indigenous peoples and national minorities of Ukraine;
• narrows down existing rights and freedoms.
It is also noted that the law was adopted in violation of the constitutional procedure for considering and adopting laws, which “jeopardizes the application of such an integral element of the rule of law as the principle of legal certainty”.
Sergei Golovatyy announced the conclusions of expert institutions on the issue. The Ministry of Culture notes that the Russian language is not disappearing and remains in fact the most frequently used language, which means that there are no signs of discrimination. The Commissioner of the Verkhovna Rada also emphasizes the absence of discriminatory signs in relation to Russian or other languages of national minorities, as well as the absence of the concept of privileges for the Russian-speaking population. A number of expert opinions of higher educational institutions of Ukraine also emphasize the absence of discriminatory grounds in relation to the Russian language.
According to Golovatyi, the content of the conclusion of the legal department of the Constitutional Court on this issue will be presented at the closed part of the meeting.
The representative of the subject of the right to constitutional representation in the case, the deputy of the last convocation, Alexander Dolzhenkov, said that there is a politicization of the issue in the expert opinions. According to him, the authors of the constitutional submission did not raise the issue of the value of the Ukrainian language. He added that «the presentation was not submitted for the purpose of manipulation,» but in connection with the artificially created conditions for the prohibition of the Russian language.
The presidential representative noted the invariability of the position of the head of state regarding the Ukrainian language as the only state language. Fyodor Venislavsky said that the submission to the Constitutional Court is artificially tied to the language issue, since it exclusively regulates the status of the Ukrainian language as the state language.
«The subject of legal regulation of this law is not the status of other languages … The Verkhovna Rada should adopt a separate law that will regulate the status of Russian and other languages of national minorities, «said the presidential representative in the Constitutional Court.
The representative of the Verkhovna Rada in the Constitutional Court Olga Sovgirya stressed that one should take into account the conclusion of the Venice Commission on this law, which deals with the inadmissibility of differentiated treatment of the languages of national minorities and granting privileges to the languages of the EU. She also pointed to violations of the procedure for adopting the law, both in terms of preliminary consideration by the specialized committee and in terms of impersonal voting in the session hall.
Source: Vesti, Strana