Ukraine's Constitutional Court / Photo from UNIAN

The Constitutional Court of Ukraine (CCU) has designated that the law on national referenda, which was passed during Viktor Yanukovych's presidency, is unconstitutional.

CCU judges confirmed at their meeting on April 26 that the law on the all-Ukrainian referendum does not comply with the Fundamental Law, the Constitution of Ukraine, a CCU source told an UNIAN correspondent.

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Vasyl Lemak was a rapporteur on this constitutional case.

He reported on the CCU decision on his Facebook page on Friday morning, but later his post became inaccessible.

UNIAN memo. The law on national referenda was adopted by the Verkhovna Rada on November 6, 2012, under the presidency of Viktor Yanukovych. The law provides that a subject of a referendum may be the following issues: the approval of a new wording of the Constitution of Ukraine, amendments to the Constitution of Ukraine, cancellation, loss of validity or invalidation of a law on amendments to the Constitution (constitutional referendum); change of the territory of Ukraine (ratification referendum); the adoption or repeal of a law or amendments to the current law (legislative referendum); any other issue except for those outlawed by the Constitution of Ukraine (general referendum). The results of the referendum in Ukraine are binding.

In the opinion of experts, the procedure introduced by the law for the adoption of a new Constitution and the procedure for amending the Fundamental Law do not comply with constitutional provisions.

In June 2013, the Venice Commission assessed Ukraine's law on national referenda at the request of Chairman of the Monitoring Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, Andres Herkel. The Venice Commission concluded that incorporating amendments to the Constitution or the introduction of a new Constitution in the agenda of a referendum could violate constitutional stability and legitimacy in Ukraine.

In addition, the commission opined that the law on the referendum does not fully comply with international standards regarding what issues that can be brought to a referendum on a popular initiative. Also, the Venice Commission noted a number of technical inconsistencies in the law on the all-Ukrainian referendum.

After Yanukovych fled Ukraine in 2014, the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine's parliament, proposed repealing this law. A respective draft law tabled by members of the Petro Poroshenko Bloc parliamentary faction, noted that some provisions of the law not only fail to meet the requirements of the Constitution of Ukraine, but also organizationally make it impossible to exercise democracy.