The Federal Supreme Court of Iraq rules Kurdish referendum on independence unconstitutional
The Federal Supreme Court of Iraq rules Kurdish referendum on independence unconstitutional

The Federal Supreme Court of Iraq ruled [court opinion, PDF, in Arabic] Monday that a referendum [JURIST report] on Kurdish Independence held on September 25 was unconstitutional.

The court claims jurisdiction over the constitutionality of the referendum through Article 93 of the Iraq Constitution [text, PDF] which grants the court power to settle matters in application of federal law as well as decisions and disputes between the federal government and the governments of the regions.

Reiterating their ruling on November 6 [JURIST Report] and applying it specifically now to the Kurdish referendum, the court held that the language of Article 1 of the constitution prevents any region from seceding:

The Republic of Iraq is a single federal, independent and fully sovereign state in which the system of government is republican, representative, parliamentary, and democratic, and this Constitution is a guarantor of the unity of Iraq.

Exercising the constitutional power under Article 94, the court’s decision affects, and is binding on, all authorities including the governments of regions other than Iraqi Kurdistan in the country.