‘Ze-Gate’: Excepting Accountability

On September 24, the democrats in the House of Representatives announced a formal impeachment inquiry of President Trump for allegedly having pressured Ukrainian President Zelenskiy during a call to probe Joe Biden, former US Vice-President and Trump’s political rival. The content of the conversation raises questions about the integrity of Ukraine’s President. Impeaching Zelenskiy, however, is not a viable option as Ukraine’s constitution sets a practically unattainable threshold for impeachment.

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Strengthening the President – Betraying Maidan?

Last Sunday’s parliamentary elections resulted in a composition of the Verkhovna Rada – the Ukrainian parliament – which guarantees a solid majority to the President’s party. The circumstances leading to the prematurely held elections, however, were more than doubtful from a constitutional law perspective. The Constitutional Court (CC) confirmed the dissolution of Ukraine’s parliament as constitutional in a controversial decision which strengthens the position of the president and thereby ignores the intentions and objectives of the Maidan revolution of 2014.

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Ze-Situation: A Constitutional Law Perspective on Ukraine’s Elections and What is Coming Next

On 21 April, 41-year-old actor and comedian Volodymyr Zelenskiy, who entered the political scene only in January 2019, won the second ballot of Ukraine’s presidential election with 73 percent of the national vote. Ukrainians are placing high hopes on their new President to improve the country’s politicial and economic situation. But political games and Ukraine’s constitution will make it difficult for Zelenskiy to bring about the change he was elected for.

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A Juncture of Transitional Justice: Ukraine’s Constitutional Court and the National Lustration Law

The presidential race and upcoming second round of elections currently take all attention in the news coverage on Ukraine. Meanwhile there is a case pending before the Constitutional Court that challenges the constitutionality of the 2014 lustration law. The outcome of these proceedings could shatter the post-transition constitutional law order in Ukraine in a profound way.

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Wo für Straßburg der Spaß aufhört

Spiegeleier auf der Flamme des Grabmals des Unbekannten Soldaten braten ist eine krasse Form des Protests – aber so krass, dass sie mit drei Jahren Gefängnis auf Bewährung bestraft werden darf, ohne die Meinungsfreiheit zu verletzen? In seinem Urteil Sinkova v. Ukraine zeigt sich der EGMR außerstande, satirischem Protest gegen staatliche Erinnerungspolitik den nötigen Spielraum zu verschaffen.

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Memory Wars: The Polish-Ukrainian Battle about History

Recent events show that the conflict between Ukraine and Poland over  the interpretation of controversial historical events of World War II has reached a point to be classified as ‘memory war’. These political initiatives from the both sides have destroyed the first achievements of the Ukrainian-Polish dialogue on mutual repentance, forgiveness and commemoration of the innocent victims killed during the conflict in 1940s.

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Decommunization in Times of War: Ukraine’s Militant Democracy Problem  

The Ukrainian parliament Verkhovna Rada adopted four ‘memory laws’ shortly after the Maidan revolution in the spring of 2015: One contains a legislation criminalizing both Nazi and Communist totalitarian regimes, prohibiting the propaganda of their symbols; two laws commemorating, respectively, Ukraine’s fighters for twentieth-century independence movement and the victory over Nazism during the Second World War, and a law guaranteeing access to archives of repressive Soviet-era organs. These laws raise fundamental questions about the legitimate defense of democracy in times of political transformation and war.

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Towards a Solution for the Ratification Conundrum of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement?

The ratification process of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement has been stalled following "No" victory in the Dutch referendum of 6 April 2016. Yesterday, the EU heads of states have adopted a decision addressing the Dutch concerns. The option which is currently on the table is by far the easiest to solve the ratification conundrum while responding to the arguments of the ‘no-camp’ in the referendum campaign. Any alternatives, such as the inclusion of formal reservations or a procedure leading to a Dutch withdrawal from the agreement, entail the risk of long-term legal uncertainty which would only be detrimental for the EU, the Netherlands and Ukraine.

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