Ukrainian Constitutional Court: Attacks and Backlash




backlash, tolerance intervals, attacks, Constitutional Court, Ukraine


This article intends to analyze Ukraine’s Constitutional Court in the light of the tolerance interval theory and the backlash thesis, through a case study, which is, the decision issued on October 27, 2020, that held unconstitutional part of the powers of the National Agency for the Corruption Prevention (NAPC). Three comorbidities — particular conditions that weaken the court and render it vulnerable to attacks — in the Ukrainian system are presented: Ukrainian democracy, autocracies tendencies in the presidency, and lack of public confidence in the judicial system. Through the adoption of a Comparative Constitutional Law approach, an index measuring the impact of the ruling is developed and calculated, allowing a comparison of the consequences to other notable controversial rulings in the world. After discussing the findings, the article concludes with some reflections and predictions on the longevity of the Ukrainian Constitutional Court.

Author Biography

Samuel Fonteles, University of Paraná, Brazil

Samuel Fonteles is a prosecutor, former public defender, writer and speaker in Brazil. Currently, he works as an assistant of the Prosecutor General before the Brazilian Supreme Court, having been accepted as a visiting scholar at Stanford Law School (USA — 2022). He is a PhD candidate at Federal University of Paraná (UFPR — Brazil) and holds a Master’s Degree in Constitutional Law from Brazilian Institute of Education, Development and Research (IDP — Brazil). His research is focused on the interaction between Constitutional Courts and the people (backlash phenomenon), as well as comparatives studies in Constitutional Law and constitutional interpretation. Mr. Fonteles has an extensive academic production on Constitutional Law. In 2019, considering a proposed amendment to the Constitution, a senator mentioned one ofhis books, calling it “the most authoritative doctrine.” His works have been cited, among others, by the Brazilian Supreme Court. He has attended courses in Spain (Universidad de Sevilla), Italy (Università di Roma Tor Vergata), presented works in Serbia (Univerzitet u Beogradu — Fakultet političkih nauka — 2018), The United States (Barry University — 2019), South Korea (Sungkyunkwan University — 2019), and Hungary (Széchenyi István University — Győr — 2020). Mr. Fonteles is Reviewer of many Journals, including the “International Relations and Diplomacy” (American Journal — New York). As a speaker, he led classes on TV Justiça, a TV channel that belongs to the Brazilian Supreme Court.