Bulgaria's Top Court Says Istanbul Convention Incompatible with Constitution

Bulgaria's Top Court Says Istanbul Convention Incompatible with Constitution

Bulgaria's Constitutional Court ruled on Friday that the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence, also known as the Istanbul Convention, does not comply with the country's constitution. The convention, through its definition of the term "gender", is relativising the distinction between the biologically-determined genders, the Constitutional Court said in its decision.If the society loses its ability to distinguish a man from a woman, the prevention of violence against women will remain a formal, yet uneforceable commitment, the court said. The decision was approved by eight of 12 judges of the Constitutional Court. Four judges issued a dissenting opinion. In March, Bulgaria's government said it decided to withdraw a draft bill for parliament ratification of the Istanbul Convention which it had signed in April 2016. The reason for the government's decision was that on February 8, 75 members of parliament referred the convention to the Constitutional Court, asking it to rule whether the convention is compatible with the Bulgarian constitution.

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