ICJ applauds Ukraine’s decision to declare death penalty unconstitutional

Today, the ICJ wholeheartedly welcomed the ruling of Ukraine’s Constitutional Court to declare the death penalty unconstitutional.

The country’s Constitutional Court ruled on 30 December 1999, that the penalty must be removed from the country’s Criminal Code immediately. It instructed the Ukrainian parliament to amend the Code to remove any references to capital punishment as soon as possible. The Court ruled that the constitution enshrines the right to life and « does not contain any provisions for using the death penalty as an exception. The ICJ understands that the Court’s decision is final and cannot be appealed.

The Commission stands for the abolition of the death penalty and supports all efforts to achieve this goal » proclaims the statute of the ICJ.

The Ukrainian decision provides enormous encouragement for the abolitionist movement around the world and further isolates retentionist countries. The ICJ expresses great hope that other countries of the former USSR will follow Ukraine in its courageous and exemplary stance », stated ICJ Secretary-General Adama Dieng, today.

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