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(May 02, 2008) On April 18, 2008, the Constitutional Court of Ukraine ruled that the nation's Constitution can be amended following the results of a national referendum. This ruling was issued in response to the request submitted to the Court by the President of Ukraine, Viktor Yushchenko, for a ruling on the possibility of changing the basis of the country's constitutional system without the involvement of the legislature. The Constitutional Court ruled that the "people of Ukraine, being the bearer of sovereignty and the only source of power in Ukraine, may implement their exclusive right to change the nation's constitutional system and amend the Constitution following the procedures defined by the Constitution and existing legislation." (Constitutional Court of Ukraine Permits Changing Constitution Without the Parliament, Newsru.com information portal, Apr. 18, 2008.) The Court stated that a decision passed by referendum will be final and does not need parliamentary approval.

The Constitutional Court ruling is extremely important to the President, who reportedly intends to change the Constitution in order to extend his authority. However, according to the Court's decision, an amendment can be passed only according to the procedure prescribed by legislation and the Constitution. At present no Ukrainian law provides for the possibility of amending the Constitution other than by the legislature, and so it appears that the passage of an implementing amendment by the legislature may be needed in order for the President to achieve his aim.

Author: Peter Roudik More by this author
Topic: Constitution More on this topic
Jurisdiction: Ukraine More about this jurisdiction

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Last updated: 05/02/2008