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The Batumi initiative (on condemning the annexation of Crimea)

 

During the meeting of the Circle of Presidents of the CECC in Batumi (9-12 September 2015), the Constitutional Court of Ukraine launched an initiative to condemn the decision of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation of 19 March 2014, which paved the way for the annexation by Russia of part of the Ukrainian territory—Crimea.

President of the Constitutional Court Dainius ┼Żalimas, together with the Presidents of the Constitutional Courts of Azerbaijan, Cyprus, Georgia, Moldova, Poland, and Ukraine, supported this initiative and signed the Joint Statement Concerning Territorial Integrity and International Law in Administering Constitutional Justice. At the same time, the constitutional courts of other states were called on not to remain indifferent at the time when the imperative requirements of the rule of law, obliging to respect the general principles of law, the main principles of international law, and the values of democratic constitutional order, were violated.

The Presidents of the Constitutional Courts supporting the initiative drew attention to the fact that the decision of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation recognising that the agreement between the Russian Federation and the so-called “Republic of Crimea”, located in the territory of Ukraine, is an international treaty, as well as that the so-called “Republic of Crimea” has the status of an international legal entity, is unprecedented and that the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation formally had a decisive role in the process of the annexation of foreign territories. Under Paragraph 1 of Article 8 of the Federal Constitutional Law of the Russian Federation “On the Procedure of Admission to the Russian Federation and Creation of a New Subject of the Russian Federation in Its Composition”, an international treaty on the accession of a new entity to the Russian Federation may be ratified only after the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation rules such a treaty to be in compliance with the Constitution of the Russian Federation. Thus, under the Russian legislation, the above-mentioned judgment was necessary in order to formally annex Crimea, and the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation, by adopting its judgment of 19 March 2014 within one day after the so-called “Treaty” was signed, performed an instrumental role in accomplishing and justifying the annexation of Crimea.

The statement of the Constitutional Courts also noted that under international law, such annexation of a foreign territory is a manifestation of aggression and cannot be justified by any consideration and the judgment of 19 March 2014 of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation amounts to a grave violation of international law.

The full text of a Joint Statement can be found here