9 Mar 2022 15:55

Russian Constitutional Court withdraws from Conference of European Constitutional Courts

ST. PETERSBURG. March 9 (Interfax) - The Russian Constitutional Court has declared its withdrawal from the Conference of European Constitutional Courts (CECC) as of March 5, the court said in a statement on its website.

The court made the decision after the CECC chairperson on March 4 emailed all of the organization members ballots to vote on terminating or suspending the Russian Constitutional Court's membership and the Belarusian Constitutional Court's associated membership, it said.

"The authors of this initiative proposed terminating the Russian Constitutional Court's membership of the CECC on the grounds that the Russian Constitutional Court justified the annexation of Crimea in its judgment of March 19, 2014 and is one of the state entities that have not clearly expressed their disapproval of the Russian Federation's actions in Ukraine, and therefore, no efficient loyal cooperation can be expected any longer between the CECC and the Russian Constitutional Court, which is one of the top constitutional courts of the country," it said.

The fact that the matter was speedily put up for voting and the preceding correspondence show that the CECC was unable to distance itself from involvement in political matters, as it found it appropriate to clearly and openly "join the lopsided and biased position assumed by the governments of relevant countries with regard to the latest events in Ukraine," the Russian Constitutional Court said.

These facts manifest the organization's unacceptable and dangerous politicization and its flawed understanding of the role and functions of constitutional justice bodies, it said.

"Taking into account the aforesaid and reaffirming its commitment to the objectives and values for which the CECC was originally instituted, the Russian Constitutional Court considers it impossible to remain a CECC member in these circumstances and declares its withdrawal from it starting March 5, 2022," the statement says.

The Russian Constitutional Court said it can exercise its powers only within the procedural framework outlined by the constitution and, functioning in a separation of powers system, is not entitled to issue any official judgments and dicta at its own initiative as regards the lawfulness or unlawfulness of acts and actions of the other government bodies, not to mention make any political statements, as otherwise this would discredit the justice system, it said.