Article title Review of Ukraine’s Laws Constitutionality by General Jurisdiction Courts as an Intermediate Form of Constitutional Control (In the Context of a Person’s Right to Constitutional Complaint)


Name of magazine Legal journal «Law of Ukraine» (Ukrainian version)
Issue 12/2018
Сторінки [163-177]
DOI 10.33498/louu-2018-12-163

The article is focused on the issue widely discussed within the professional community but insufficiently studied, namely, review by general jurisdiction courts of legal acts, which are intended to be used in the court proceedings, with respect to their compliance with the Constitution of Ukraine.

The purpose of the article is to investigate the contents and the peculiarities inherent in the exercise by general jurisdiction courts of their powers to review the constitutionality of laws in the context of resolving legal disputes in the new conditions of the next stage of legal reforms in Ukraine, and also to analyze whether the court system on the whole and its judges in particular are ready to fulfill their respective part of the national-level task of establishing the supremacy of the Constitution of Ukraine.

The author analyzes the difficulties with the application of procedural codes’ novels, which provide that if a court finds that a law or any other legal act contradicts the Constitution of Ukraine, the court does not apply such a law or other legal act but uses the provisions of the Ukrainian Constitution as the direct effect provisions. The author emphasizes that the Constitutional Court of Ukraine (CCU) was and remains the only body of power entitled to recognize legal acts as unconstitutional, since recognition of a legal act as contradictory to the Constitution of Ukraine (unconstitutional) is an official act (action) of a single constitutional jurisdiction body which is made as a result of establishing (finding out, discovering) of a contradiction (inconsistency) of the legal act to the Constitution of Ukraine, and which takes the form of the CCU decision in the manner established by the Constitution and leads to full or partial loss of effect by the legal act concerned. But irrespective that courts of general jurisdiction do not have the right to recognize legal acts as unconstitutional, they are still under the obligation to apply only those legal acts which do not contradict the Fundamental Law, even if at the time of the proceedings they remain formally in effect.

Through the analysis of the dynamics of the changing role of courts in limiting the state power for the sake of ensuring the individual rights and freedoms of man and citizen, collective rights of communities and the Ukrainian people on the whole, especially in the context of the institute of constitutional complaint introduced in Ukraine, the article highlights the clear and hidden obstacles to the efficient functioning of constitutional justice in Ukraine and provides a comprehensive analysis of the problems, their causes and consequences. The author consistently proves that Ukraine, today being at the most dynamic stage of its legal reforms as compared with any other time of its history, respectively needs a high-quality, disciplined and highly organized system ensuring the constitutionality of legal acts, and CCU should become its single center but not the only subject.


Keywords Constitutional Court of Ukraine; courts of general jurisdiction; constitutionality of legal acts; constitutional complaint

List of legal documents 

1. Hospodarskyi protsesualnyi kodeks Ukrainy [Economic Procedural Code of Ukraine]: v redaktsii Zakonu Ukrainy vid 3 zovtnia 2017 r. № 2147-VIII. URL: https://zakon.rada. (accessed: 01.12.2018) (in Ukrainian). 
2. Kodeks administratyvnoho sudochynstva Ukrainy [Code of Administrative Justice of Ukraine]: v redaktsii Zakonu Ukrainy vid 3 zovtnia 2017 r. № 2147-VIII. URL: (accessed: 01.12.2018) (in Ukrainian). 
3. Konstytutsіia Ukrainy [Constitution of Ukraine] Zakon Ukrainy [the Law of Ukraine] vіd 28 chervnia 1996 r. 254k/96-VR zі zmіnamy. URL: show/254к/96-вр (accessed: 06.12.2018) (in Ukrainian). 
4. Pro Konstytutsiinyi Sud Ukrainy [On the Constitutional Court of Ukraine]: Zakon Ukrainy [the Law of Ukraine] vid 13 lypnia 2017 r. № 2136-VIII. URL: http://zakon. (accessed: 01.12.2018) (in Ukrainian). 
5. Tsyvilnyi protsesualnyi kodeks Ukrainy [Civil Procedural Code of Ukraine]: v redaktsii Zakonu Ukrainy vid 3 zovtnia 2017 r. № 2147-VIII. URL: laws/show/1618-15 (accessed: 01.12.2018) (in Ukrainian). 

6. Okrema dumka suddi Konstytutsiinoho Sudu Ukrainy Shevchuka S. V. stosovno Rishennia Konstytutsiinoho Sudu Ukrainy u spravi za konstytutsiinym podanniam 51 narodnoho deputata Ukrainy shchodo ofitsiinoho tlumachennia polozhennia “na nastupnii cherhovii sesii Verkhovnoi Rady Ukrainy”, yake mistytsia u statti 155 Konstytutsii Ukrainy [Separate Opinion of the Judge of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine Shevchuk S. V. Concerning the Decision of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine in a Case Under the Constitutional Petition of 51 MPs concerning the Official Interpretation of the Provision «at the Next Ordinary Session of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine», which is Contained in Article 155 of the Constitution of Ukraine]. URL: (accessed: 01.12.2018) (in Ukrainian). 
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Authored books 
8. Barak A, Purposive interpretation in law (Princeton University Press 2005) (in English).
9. Dworkin R, Law’s Empire (Harvard University Press 1987) (in English).
10. Savchyn M, Konstytutsionalizm i pryroda konstytutsii: monohrafiia [Constitutionalism and Nature of the Constitution: Monograph] (Lira 2009) (in Ukrainian). 
11. Shevchuk S, Osnovy konstytutsiinoi yurysprudentsii [Basics of Constitutional Legal Science] (Konsum 2002) (in Ukrainian). 
12. Slidenko D, Fenomenolohiia konstytutsiinoho kontroliu. Geneza, pryroda i pozytsionuvannia v konteksti aksiolohichnykh, epistemolohichnykh, praksiolohichnykh, synerhetychnykh aspektiv: monohrafiia [Phenomenology of Constitutional Control. Genesis, Nature and Positioning in the Context of Axiological, Epistemological, Praxeological, and Synergetic Aspects: Monograph] (Istyna 2010) (in Ukrainian). 

Journal articles 
13. Melnyk M ta Riznyk S, ‘Pro mezhi konstytutsiinoi yurysdyktsii ta zastosuvannia pryntsypu priamoi dii norm Konstytutsii Ukrainy pry zdiisnenni pravosuddia’ [‘On the Boundaries of Constitutional Jurisdiction and the Application of the Principle of Direct Effect of the Ukrainian Constitution’s Provisions in the Administration of Justice’] (2016) 5-6 Visnyk Konstytutsiinoho Sudu Ukrainy 156 (in Ukrainian). 
14. Mialovytska N, ‘Osoblyvosti zakonodavchoho rehuliuvannia kompetentsii orhaniv konstytutsiinoho pravosuddia v yevropeiskykh derzhavakh’ [‘Peculiarities of Legislative Regulation of Competence of Constitutional Justice Bodies in the European States’] (2015) 4 Visnyk Konstytutsiinoho Sudu Ukrainy 127 (in Ukrainian).