Shafaq News/ Kurdistan will not surrender its "constitutional rights", the communique of the region's officeholders meeting said on Monday, deeming the Federal Court's ruling a retreat from the ideals of "Federalism" and a foray into the region's "constitutional prerogatives".
Under the auspices of President Nechirvan Barzani, Prime Minister Masrour Barzani, Parliament Speaker Rewaz Faiaq, and Chief Justice Abdul-Jabbar Aziz Hasan, convened earlier today to ponder the reverberations of the Iraqi Federal Court's ruling on the 2007 natural resources law.
On February 15, the Iraqi Federal Supreme Court ruled that the natural resource law passed by the Kurdistan Regional Government in 2007 is unconstitutional, potentially upending the region’s oil and gas industry. Ruling that KRG oil exports and contracts with international oil companies are illegal, the court granted the federal government the right to annul such contracts, claim ownership of KRG oil, and hold Erbil liable for past oil revenues against budget allocations received from Baghdad.
"The ruling of the Supreme Federal Court is unacceptable. The Kurdistan region will continue to practice its constitutional rights and will not surrender its constitutional rights and prerogatives," a joint communique shared by the region's presidency after the conclusion of the meeting said, "It will exhaust every legal and constitutional avenue to protect its rights and prerogatives."
The communique said that the ruling is "contrary to the text, spirit, and principles of true Federalism, and a flagrant violation to the rights and prerogatives of the Kurdistan region."
"[The court's ruling], in a passive way, is an unconstitutional amendment to the constitution because it stripped a constitutional prerogative from to region's and annexed it to the federal authority," it elaborated, "this contrasts the Federal Court's terms of reference and a retreat from Federalism."
The four officeholders said that the court cited two central laws from 1976 and 1985 to justify their decision. "However, these laws do not get along with the principles of the 2005 constitution that changed the governance in Iraq to Federalism and distributed the authority between the regions, governorates, and the federal authority."
"Aside from [the fact that it] undermines the constitution and Federalism, personal purposes stand behind. It is not impartial," the communique read.
"The oil contracts the Kurdistan region were concluded in accordance with KRG oil and gas law and Article 112 of the Iraqi parliament, at a time, even 17 years later, the federal authorities are unable to enact a law on oil and gas, in spite of the Kurdistan region's initiatives in 2007."
The meeting called for forming a new Federal Supreme Court in accordance with the provisions of Article 92 of the Iraqi constitution and establishing constitutional institutions to materialize a federal entity.
The communique said that the Presidency of Kurdistan, along with the legislative, judiciary, and executive bodies to protect and defend the constitutionality of the region's rights.