• Thursday, 18 July 2024

Will remain loyal only to the Constitution and no one else, says new Constitutional Court President 

Will remain loyal only to the Constitution and no one else, says new Constitutional Court President 

Skopje, 10 June 2024 (MIA) - New Constitutional Court president Darko Kostadinovski held a press conference Monday during which he listed his top priorities as president – judicial activism; restoration of the citizens’ trust in the Constitutional Court and the rule of law; involving academia in the Constitutional Court; as well as being uncompromising in the face of political and other influence on the Court and the constitutional judges.

“If we are aware of our societal and constitutional reality, then it is clear that the trust of the citizens in the institutions of the system, in the rule of law, is at a historic low. Which is why it is completely natural for me as a president of the Constitutional Court to have the restoration of the citizens’ trust in the Constitutional Court as a priority above all other priorities,” Kostadinovski said.

Kostadinovski said being uncompromising in the efforts to ensure the Court’s autonomy and independence is the first of several essential steps for the fulfillment of this priority.

“Being uncompromising in the face of attempts for political or any other influence on the Court and the constitutional judges will be the second step. Constitutional and legal culture will be high on my agenda,” he said.

Kostadinovski stressed that judicial activism – i.e., launching procedures upon the judges’ own initiative will also be high on his agenda.

He stressed that the Court would continue to be transparent and open in line with the highest standards, stating that during his term, the cooperation and presence of academia in the Constitutional Court will intensify.

“As judges we have significant constitutional and legal topics and dilemmas, and we often have conflicting opinions. I’ve always thought it would be beneficial for us to ask the experts and academia for assistance,” Kostadinovski said.

In terms of the first challenge, Kostadinovski noted that since the adoption of the country’s first Constitution in 1991, the Constitutional Court remains “the most unreformed institution in the system regarding the legal framework from which it derives its jurisdiction”.

“The Constitutional Court derives its jurisdiction directly from the Constitution and the Court’s act. But the question is being raised whether the continuation of the status quo in terms of the legal framework works for someone and for whom. Here we can also ask whether the citizens’ expectations have been met 33 years after the adoption of the Constitution. In that sense, in the coming period I will talk to all relevant factors and stakeholders over the necessity for an intervention in the Constitution with the goal of ensuring a constitutional basis for the adoption of a law that would operationalize the constitutional provisions for the Constitutional Court,” Kostadinovski said.

Regarding political or other influences, Kostadinovski stressed that he would remain loyal only to the Constitution and no one else.

Kostaidnovski also said the Constitutional Court’s session would be broadcast live, in order to improve its transparency.

Judge Darko Kostadinovski was elected as the new president of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of North Macedonia on June 4, 2024, following several failed attempts by the judges to elect a successor for Dobrila Kacarska, whose term ended on June 2. He has been a judge at the Constitutional Court since January 11, 2018.