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22 August 2017
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New Constitution cannot be adopted at referendum - CCU chairman

Without decisions of Verkhovna Rada – Stryzhak

The new Constitution of Ukraine cannot be adopted at an all-Ukrainian referendum without decisions of the Verkhovna Rada.

According to an UNIAN correspondent, Constitutional Court chairman Andriy Stryzhak claimed this in an interview with journalists, commenting on the ruling of the Constitutional Court on the case concerning the constitutional submission by the President of Ukraine seeking an official interpretation of some provisions of the Ukrainian Constitution (whether the Constitution and laws may be adopted at an all-Ukrainian referendum).

A.Stryzhak recalled that the Constitutional Court made decision, in line with which the introduction of amendments into the Constitution must take place in line with the norms of the existing Main Law.

This procedure stipulates that the draft law on introducing amendments into the Constitution must be put for consideration of parliament, and the parliament, with its 226 votes, must send this draft law for the consideration of the Constitution Court, which, in its turn, must issue a ruling about its constitutionality, after which, the Verkhovna Rada must adopt these amendments at its next session with 300 votes.

At the same time, A.Stryzhak noted that the today’s ruling of the Constitutional Court means that should a referendum be announced on people’s initiative, before amendments to the Constitutions are considered by the parliament, the decision of the referendum will be of solely consultative character.

Judge reporter on the case Ivan Dombrovskiy also recalled that in line with the CCU ruling of the  year 2000, before putting amendments to the Constitution to an all-Ukrainian referendum, at first it is necessary to ask the nation whethe it wants to introduce amendments into the Constitution at all.

As UNIAN reported earlier, on Friday the Constitutional Court of Ukraine ruled that decisions, adopted at a referendum, are final, and do not need any confirmation, including by the Verkhovna Rada.

According to an UNIAN correspondent, this ruling was adopted by CCU on April 16, on the case brought on the constitutional submission of the Ukrainian President, who sought official interpretation of provisions of part 2, article 5, article 69, part 2 article 72, article 74, part 2 article 94, part 1 article 156 of the Ukrainian Constitution (the matter concerns adopting the Constitution and Laws of Ukraine at a referendum).

According to CCU chairman Andriy Stryzhak, the court ruled:

1. Part 2 article 71, and article 5 of the Ukrainian Constitution should be understood as follows: the nation, being the bearer of sovereignty, may realize its exclusive right to determine and change at an all-Ukrainian referendum the constitutional regime in Ukraine by means of adopting a Constitution of Ukraine in line with the procedure, determined by the Constitution and laws of Ukraine.

2. Part 2 article 71, and article 5 of the Ukrainian Constitution should be also understood as follows: the nation, being the bearer of sovereignty and the only source of power in Ukraine, executes its will through an all-Ukrainian referendum on the people’s initiative, and may adopt laws of Ukraine (or introduce amendments into them) in line with the procedure, determined by the Constitution and laws of Ukraine, except for laws, which cannot by adopted at a referendum, in line with the Ukrainian Constitution.

3. Provision 2 part 94 of the Constitution of Ukraine should be understood as follows: the procedure of signing and publicizing laws, determined by this article, is not applicable to laws, adopted at a referendum.

4. Provisions of part 2, 3, of article 5 and article 69 of the Constitution of Ukraine should be understood as follows: decisions, adopted by an all-Ukrainian referendum concerning adopting laws, are final, and do not need any confirmation, including by the Verkhovna Rada.

The Constitutional Court of Ukraine also turned attention of lawmakers and the President of Ukraine to the necessity to initiate and bring the Ukrainian legislation in compliance with the Ukrainian Constitution in the part, concerning referendums.

The CCU ruling is obligatory for implementation at the Ukrainian territory, it is final, and cannot be appealed.

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