Olomouc Faculty of Law experts help their Ukrainian colleagues via an important publication project

Photo: Hynek Glos, Charles University
Thursday 29 February 2024, 8:00 – Text: Eva Hrudníková, Helena Zdráhalová

The Treaty on the Functioning of the EU, the Treaty on the EU, and the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU are three fundamental documents governing the European Union, and the Commentary on these is now also available in Ukrainian. Experts from the UP Faculty of Law in Olomouc have contributed significantly to its publication.

The documents governing the functioning of the European Union are the cornerstones of the European community which Ukraine would like to join. Even some Member States have not yet published the Commentaries on the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU, the Treaty on the EU, and the Charter of Fundamental Rights in their own languages. However, a team of experts from the law faculties of Charles University in Prague, Masaryk University in Brno, Palacký University Olomouc, and the University of West Bohemia in Pilsen published its Czech translation on the occasion of the Czech EU Presidency in 2022. The same team also came up with the idea of approaching experienced translators and publishing the Commentaries in Ukrainian. The project was then taken under the auspices of Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala.

 “At the time, we unanimously agreed to translate the work and make it available online free of charge, without any royalties, to all Ukrainian readers, academics, students, and practicing lawyers. The work – we can rightly say opus – of 1780 pages, has been successfully prepared and the Commentary has just been published,” said Ondrej Hamulák, one of the co-authors and Vice Dean for Science and Research at the UP Faculty of Law. Along with him, five other Olomouc experts – Michal Petr, Václav Stehlík, Helena Kopa Bončková, and Ondřej Dostal, all from the Department of International and European Law, and Martin Kopa from the Department of Constitutional Law – contributed to the creation of the Commentary.

This comprehensive scholarly work was published by Wolters Kluwer publishing house on the occasion of the two-year anniversary of the Russian aggression in Ukraine. The official launch took place at the end of February in Carolinum in Prague and was christened by the expert guarantor of the project, Michal Tomášek from the Prague Faculty of Law, Charles University Rector Milena Králíčková, and the Czech Minister for European Affairs, Martin Dvořák.

The Olomouc faculty was represented at the ceremony by Dean Václav Stehlík. “This event belongs to the mosaic of everything that our faculty and university have been trying to do in support of Ukraine in the last two years. The publication of the Commentary in these days is symbolic and should become instrumental for Ukraine to take the next step towards its integration into Western structures. I would like to wish Ukrainian legal academics and practitioners alike that the new Commentary will serve them well in bringing Ukrainian and European law closer together. I would also like to thank my colleagues from the Department of European Law in Prague for their hard editorial work,” said Dean Stehlík.

Michal Tomášek emphasised the “legal” proximity of the two countries during the launch. “It is very valuable that Ukraine, on its way to the EU, receives a commentary prepared by Czech authors, because our legal thinking is very similar. The more similar the legal thinking is, the more digestible it is for the reader than if Ukraine received a British or German commentary. Our historical experience and approach to many concepts and institutes is very similar,” said Tomášek, adding that the Constitutional Court of Ukraine has already enthusiastically welcomed the Commentary.

The Commentary in Ukrainian is freely available on the publisher’s website.


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