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The initiative of the three Baltic States regarding the withdrawal of the membership of the constitutional courts of Russia and Belarus from the CECC

Content updated: 31-05-2022 09:17

The President of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania, Danutė Jočienė, the Vice-President of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Latvia, Aldis Laviņš, and the President of the Supreme Court of Estonia, Villu Kõve, by their joint letter, on 2 March 2022, addressed the Conference of European Constitutional Courts (CECC), the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Moldova, which is currently holding the presidency of the CECC, and the President of the Council of Europe’s Commission for Democracy through Law (Venice Commission), Claire Bazy Malaurie, by calling, among other things, for the withdrawal of the membership of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation from the CECC due to the aggression conducted by the Russian Federation against the independent and sovereign State of Ukraine.

The joint letter stressed that that the situation caused by the aggression of the Russian Federation in Ukraine is a deep concern to all Europe, state institutions, many international and non-governmental organisations.

By that joint letter, the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania, the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Latvia, and the Supreme Court of Estonia expressed their solidarity and unity with their Ukrainian counterparts and the People of Ukraine and condemned the acts of aggression by the Russian Federation against the independent State of Ukraine and its territorial integrity.

The joint letter of the constitutional justice institutions of the three Baltic States stressed that the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation had so far not made any clear statement on condemning the aggression by the Russian Federation against another independent state; moreover, the jurisprudence of that court raised reasonable doubts whether it was following the universally recognised constitutional principles of the rule of law, democracy, and the protection of human rights; thus, on the basis of paragraph 2 of Article 7 of the Statute of the CECC, “there is ... important reason for concluding that effective co-operation in good faith between the Conference and a member is no longer possible” and, therefore, such a member “may be declared to have lost its membership”.

At the same time, the joint letter of the constitutional justice institutions of the three Baltic States proposed the withdrawal of the associate membership of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Belarus for the contribution of the Republic of Belarus to the aggression conducted by Russia against the independent State of Ukraine.

Furthermore, the joint letter suggests initiating, on behalf of the CECC, amendments to the list of speakers of the 5th Congress “Constitutional Justice and Peace” of the World Conference on Constitutional Justice, which will take place in October 2022, by withdrawing the President of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation, Valery Zorkin, from the list of speakers.

The constitutional courts of other countries have also approached the CECC with proposals of the same content. Last week, the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Moldova, which holds the presidency of the CECC, opened the procedure for voting on the withdrawal of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation from the CECC.

Without waiting for the outcome of the vote and accusing the CECC of political intriguing, the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation informed that, on 5 March 2022, it was withdrawing from the CECC.

The three Baltic States’ letter to the CECC in PDF format, see

For more information on the CECC, see https://lrkt.lt/en/international-cooperation/multilateral-cooperation/the-conference-of-european-constitutional-courts/727