Mykhailo Savchyn analyses how to put things into motion in the agricultural land market

In the modern market economy, the government's essential functions include the performance of contracts, the guaranteeing of the right of ownership and the right to a fair trial. However, Ukrainian authorities have been in default with their obligations for some years now and regularly extend the moratorium on the sale of agricultural land.

Recently, the Constitutional Court joined the tackling of the moratorium too. By its order No. 67-u/2018 of 11 October 2018, the Constitutional Court dismissed a submission filed by 69 members of the Parliament.

Unfortunately, the Constitutional Court did not find it to be a satisfactory argument that such prohibition undermines the essential principles of the right of private ownership. The authors of the submission were right to specify that the 'introduced total ban on the disposal of agricultural land unreasonably restricts and in certain cases virtually deprives citizens who own such land of their right to dispose of their property in an effective manner.'

The Constitutional Court's argument regarding  the 'quoting' of the Ukrainian Constitution, other legislative instruments, and judgments of the ECHR is irrelevant given that the Court is required to take into account the fact that the ECHR already established a violation of Protocol 1 to the Convention. Accordingly, the Constitutional Court should evaluate the situation at hand from a perspective of the constitutional principles that govern in detail the matters of ownership unlike the Convention.

Taking into account public interest in this case that affects millions of Ukrainian citizens, the Court is required to hear the same in line with the principle of supremacy of constitutional principles. First, they are required to evaluate the moratorium in terms of Articles 13, 14, and 41 of the Constitution to determine how these articles relate to the conclusions the ECHR came to in 'Zelenchuk & Tsytsiura vs Ukraine.'

To learn about the situation in detail, please read the entire article 'Anticonstitutional Moratorium' as authored by Sofiya Law Firm Counsel Mykhailo Savchyn for Law & Business newspaper.

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