The Misguided Judicial Support for Unlawful Restrictions

Article 106 of the Ukrainian Constitution clearly delineates the powers vested in the President of Ukraine, notably omitting any authority to curtail citizens’ rights, even amidst the enactment of martial law. Despite this constitutional limitation, Ukrainian courts have erroneously upheld Presidential Decree No. 64/2022, dated 24 February 2022, “On the Imposition of Martial Law in Ukraine,” as a basis for restricting the fundamental right of citizens to freely exit the country during martial law periods.

Such interpretations grossly exceed the constitutional framework, as it is unequivocally impermissible under Ukrainian law to introduce amendments or new regulations that impose restrictions on the freedom of citizens to leave the country that are more stringent than those existing at the time of the Constitution’s enactment in 1996.

The constitutional and legal landscape of Ukraine does not permit the amendment of the Law of Ukraine “On the Procedure for Exit from Ukraine and Entry into Ukraine for Ukrainian Citizens” or the enactment of other regulatory legal acts to unjustly narrow the pre-established right of Ukrainian citizens to exit the nation. Any attempt to constrict this fundamental right represents a blatant violation of the law.

Yet, Ukrainian courts persist in the misguided assertion that for a male citizen aged 18 to 60 to depart from Ukraine during martial law, he must present additional documentation verifying his legal military status, thereby imposing an undue burden that finds no basis in existing legislation. This judicial stance not only contravenes the Constitution but also undermines the rule of law, casting a shadow over the judiciary’s commitment to upholding the legal rights and freedoms of Ukrainian citizens.



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