On September 28, 2021, the head of the legal service of the liquidated “Kyiv Patriarchate” Neonila Tkachenko filed a complaint with the Constitutional Court of Ukraine, in which she challenged the positions of Article 16 of the Law of Ukraine “On Freedom of Conscience and Religious Organizations”. Tkachenko announced this on her page on Facebook.
“I defend my right to freedom of conscience and faith. My church is the Kyiv Patriarchate. I continue to insist that this religious association should exist in Ukraine and should be dominant… In two years it is already clear that there are many people who do not want to enter the OCU and do not want to return to the Moscow Patriarchate. I would like the state authorities to understand this,” Tkachenko says.
She also says that the content of the complaint concerns the fact that this article of the Law restricts the right of Ukrainian citizens to appeal against the termination of the activity of a religious organization. Accordingly, she asks the CCU to recognize that Art. 16 of the Law is unconstitutional.
The text of the Law states that “the court considers the case on the termination of the activities of a religious organization by the procedure for action, provided for by the Civil Procedure Code of Ukraine, at the request of a body authorized to register the charter of a specific religious organization, or a prosecutor.” According to Tkachenko, therefore, the citizens of Ukraine, with the exception of the bishops who have chosen the jurisdiction of Constantinople, remain deprived of access to justice on the termination of the activities of a religious organization, which in this case concerns the supporters of the UOC-KP.
If the Constitutional Court recognizes this article as unconstitutional, the consequences will be very large – then all the decisions of the courts that were adopted on its basis must be revised. In particular, Neonila Tkachenko is interested in the decision of the Supreme Court of Ukraine of May 19, 2021, which “prevents the restoration of the registration of the Kyiv Patriarchate.”
As previously reported, the lawyers of the UOC-KP for two years did not receive the original document, on the basis of which the “Kyiv Patriarchate” was liquidated.