Faced with the question of whether Québec could make a unilateral declaration of independence, the Supreme Court declared unanimously in this reference (1998) that such a declaration would be unconstitutional both by Canadian constitutional law and international law. A constitutional amendment would, however, make such a secession possible. The Court added that Québec could hold a referendum of secession and, given a clear question and a clear majority in favour of secession, the rest of Canada, in such a case, would be constitutionally obliged to negotiate the terms by which Québec would accede to independence, and that such a secession must conform to important basic principles, namely, the rule of law, federalism, the protection of minorities and democracy.