The International Association of Constitutional Law || l'Association Internationale de Droit Constitutionnel

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On February 24, 2022, the Russian Federation invaded the sovereign and independent territory of Ukraine with its armed forces. Russia’s actions constitute a serious violation of international law and have undermined any semblance of democracy in Russia. Its aggression has led to severe consequences for the lives, security and fundamental rights of both Ukrainian and Russian citizens. 

The International Association of Constitutional Law (IACL) is a global association of constitutional scholars. The IACL is committed to dialogue and co-operation amongst scholars. Amongst its objectives are cooperation and working towards the ‘realisation of the aims of the Charter of the United Nations and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights’ (Article 4 of the IACL Statute). In order to achieve these goals, the IACL promotes constitutionalism, peace, democracy, the rule of law and international human rights both theoretically and in practice. It strives towards diversity, pluralism and an inclusive academic debate across different traditions of constitutionalism. 

The IACL joins academic associations across the world in recognizing that Russia’s actions constitute a grave violation of international law. Actions of the Russian regime have confirmed the collapse of democracy, the rule of law and constitutionalism within Russia. In light of this, it is necessary for the IACL to speak out in defending the principles that the association and its members are committed to. 

  1. The IACL unequivocally condemns the blatant violation of international law the invasion represents, as well as the failure to respect basic constitutional principles within Russia itself. 

  2. As a scholarly association the IACL condemns the grave breaches of academic freedom taking place in Russia. The IACL call upon the Russian government and its state universities to restore academic freedom and the right to freedom of speech in Russia, and to respect the constitution of the Russian Federation and its international commitments surrounding fundamental rights. 

  3. The IACL calls upon the Russian government to refrain from all acts of war, and especially, to respect the principles of international humanitarian law by clearly distinguishing between combatants and civilians, and refraining from attacking any areas where civilians are present such as schools, universities, hospitals, and residential areas. 

  4. The IACL expresses deep concern for the lives and security of all its members within both Ukraine and Russia. 

  5. The IACL pledges to encourage the institutions within which its members work to collaborate with other institutions to support academic freedom and constitutional scholars in Ukraine and those who are forced to flee its borders. The IACL also pledges to support all Russian scholars who reject the Russian regime’s violations of international and constitutional law and who are working towards a restoration of peace, democracy, constitutionalism and respect for international law. 

  6. The IACL encourages all members to contribute to humanitarian relief efforts to assist those whose lives are being destroyed by the war. 

Professor Sergei Belov’s status as member of the Executive Committee of the IACL was suspended upon his own request starting October 19, 2022, for the remainder of his term.