State system of Ukraine
The Verkhovna Rada (Ukrainian parliament) adopted the Constitution of Ukraine in force June 28, 1996
According to this country’s Basic Law, Ukraine is a sovereign, independent, democratic, and social state with a rule of law. Although such features as ‘sovereign’ and ‘independent’ are, in fact, closely similar, in this case the European constitutional tradition and principal thesis of fighters for Ukrainian statehood are concurrent. By the ‘democratic’ feature the principle of the government by the people is emphasized being defined concretely by Article 5 stating that “the people are the bearers of sovereignty and the only source of power in Ukraine” exercising it “directly and through bodies of state power and bodies of local self-government.’ By the attribute ‘social the responsibility of the State to provide for the social protection of the population is stipulated, while the ‘rule of law’ implies that in Ukraine legality is to reign as the general measure of freedom, equality and justice.
Principle is the definition of the form of government by Article 6: “State power in Ukraine is exercised on the principles of its division into legislative, executive and judicial power.” The Constitution defines by Article 75 the Verkhovna Rada as the sole organ of legislative power in Ukraine, with the highest executive body being the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine (Article 113). The Constitutional Court of Ukraine and courts of general jurisdiction exercise judicial proceedings in Ukraine (Articles 124 and 125). Article 102 defines the status of the President of Ukraine: “The President of Ukraine is the Head of State and acts in its name.”
The Constitution of Ukraine currently in force was assessed on the whole positively by the most authoritative in the sphere of constitutional legislation “Democracy through the Law” Commission of the Council of Europe”, more known as “the Venetian Commission”.
INSTITUTE OF PRESIDENCY IN UKRAINE
In Ukraine, the institute of presidency at the head of state is comparatively new phenomenon in political life and state building of Ukraine.
The birth of a democratic society in the country began as far back as during the Cossacks; however, the tremendous development of democracy and, at the same time, formation of the institute of presidency occurred at the background of the struggle for liberation during the second decade of the 20th century. Four Universals (decrees) were issued during the Central Rada that had to lay the basis the democratization of the Ukrainian society. On April 29, 1918, the Central Rada elected Mykhailo Hrushevsky the President of the Ukrainian People’s Republic and by its latest decree of January 22, 1919, declaring complete political independence of Ukraine from Russia.
Within the USSR, the functions of the head of state in the Ukrainian SSR until 1991 was performed by the Verkhovna Rada, seem as the supreme organ of the state power, its Presidium as continuing body of the Government, and its Chairman.
Making the institution of presidency of Ukraine was the key element in the reformation of state power connected with the proclamation of Ukrainian independence and change of its constitutional system. On July 5, 1991, the following laws of Ukraine were adopted: “On Founding the Post of President of the Ukrainian SSR and Introduction of Changes and Addenda to the Constitution (Fundamental Law) of the Ukrainian SSR”, “On President of the Ukrainian SSR”, and “On Elections of President of the Ukrainian SSR”.
The Institute of Presidency in its present form did not form at once. At first, the President in accord to his status and title was the highest official in the country, becoming next the Head of State and Executive Power, to act as the Head of State at present in accord with the Constitution in force.
The government, the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, which consists of the Prime Minister Ukraine, First Vice Prime Minister, three Vice Prime Ministers and seventeen various departmental Ministers, exercises executive power in Ukraine.
The Prime Minister heads the Cabinet and directs its work. The President appoints the Prime Minister under the consent of over half of the constitutional composition of the Verkhovna Rada. The President on the advice of the Prime Minister appoints personal composition of the Cabinet of Ministers.
The Prime Minister is responsible to the President and accountable and acts under control of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.
Within its authority, the Government issues decrees and regulations mandatory for execution. The Prime Minister signs the deeds of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine.
In case of Prime Minister’s resignation or no confidence resolution adopted by the Verkhovna Rada all the Government steps down from the office.
The Cabinet of Ministers provides for carrying out financial, price, investment and taxation policies, as well as actions in the spheres of labor and employment of population, social protection, education, science and culture, environment protection, ecological security and nature management.
The Cabinet of Ministers works out the draft of the Law on the State Budget of Ukraine for approval by the Verkhovna Rada, and ensures its execution.
Since the time of the Declaration on the State Sovereignty of Ukraine being adopted on July 16, 1990, the composition of the Cabinet of Ministers have changed twelve times. It is the twelfth government of Ukraine that is now in power.
One may learn about the Cabinet of Ministers in Chapter VI of the Constitution of Ukraine regulating the operation of the Ukrainian Government as well as by addressing the official web-site of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine
NATIONAL ORGANS OF EXECUTIVE POWER
In addition to the Cabinet of Ministers, the system of the national executive body includes ministries, state committees (public services) and special status central agencies of executive power.
Ministry is the primary organ within the system of the national executive body to realize the government policy in the defined sphere of activity, being managed by a Minister. As member of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, the Minister is responsible for development and implementation of the Program of the Cabinet on correspondent issues and realization of the Government policy within the defined sphere of governing the state. He exercises administration in this sphere, directs and coordinates the activities of other organs of executive power on issues ascribed to his authority.
State Committee (Public Service) is a central organ of executive power with activity directed and coordinated by the Prime Minister of Ukraine, any of the Vice Prime Ministers or Ministers. The State Committee (Public Service) puts forward propositions concerning formulation of the Government policy to the correspondent members of the Cabinet of Ministers and ensures its realization in the sphere defined, exercises control in this sphere as well as interdepartmental coordination and functional regulation on issues delegated to its authority. Chairperson heads the State Committee (Public Service).
Special Status Central Organ of Executive Power has a special mission and authority defined by the Constitution and legislation of Ukraine with specific order of formation, shaking-up, removal, accountability and reporting, as well as appointing and dismissal of management staff and settling other issues. Chairperson heads special status central organ of executive power
JUDICIAL BRANCH OF POWER
According to the Constitution, Justice in Ukraine is administered solely by courts. The delegation of court functions, as well as their usurpation by other bodies and officials is not allowed. Courts have jurisdiction over all legal relations, which develop in the State.
The Constitution points out that the establishment of extraordinary and special courts is prohibited.
The general structure of the judicial system is stipulated in Article 124 of the Constitution of Ukraine, according to which the justice is administered by the Constitutional Court of Ukraine and by courts of general jurisdiction.
The courts of general jurisdiction administer justice in the form of civil, commercial, administrative and criminal legislation. The Constitutional Court of Ukraine is a special judicial body of constitutional control.
Justice is administered by professional judges and, in cases overseen by the law, by people’s assessors and juries. The independence of judges is guaranteed by their immunity and their election by the Supreme Rada permanently after their first appointment to the position of professional judge by the President of Ukraine for a five-year term.
Ukrainian citizenship is the primary pre-requisite for the State to protect rights and freedoms of its citizens on the territory ofUkraine as well as beyond its borders.
In accord with the Constitution of Ukraine, single citizenship is being exercised in the country. Ukraine does not support the idea of multiple citizenries since a person is not capable to equally efficiently use the rights and bear responsibilities with regard to several states. If a Ukrainian citizen acquired citizenship (nationality) of another country or countries, in legal relations withUkraine he/she is treated as the citizen of exclusively Ukraine. The same concerns an alien that acquired Ukrainian citizenship who is regarded in legal relations with this country as Ukrainian subject only. As to the issue of multiple citizenships, the position of Ukraine is fully in line with the international rules.
The Law “On the Ukrainian Nationality” states that irrespectively of the grounds for the acquiring, the citizenship of Ukraine is single and equal. Unrelated to the fact of citizenry being it from birth or receiving it on different grounds, all the nationals use equal rights and bear identical responsibilities.
The Law also stipulates the reasons for naturalization, in particular, by origin, by free choice, by reinstating citizenship, etc. Simultaneously, the law of Ukraine denies obtaining citizenship by certain categories of persons, specifically, to those who committed crime against humanity, perpetrated genocide, used acts of violence against the national independence of Ukraine, etc.
The same Law also provides for the grounds to give up Ukrainian citizenship and the procedure of carrying it out.
Revoking Ukrainian citizenship is allowed only under the condition that the person obtained citizenship of another country or is in possession of a document issued by the authorities of another nation proving the citizen is to receive the latter’s nationality after revoking that of Ukraine. The condition is directed at avoiding cases of stateless persons emerging resulted through abrogating Ukrainian subjecthood. Revoking Ukrainian citizenship is not allowed if a person seeking this is brought to trial being under accusation of criminal offence or against whom there is a court indictment in Ukraine that gained force and is executory.
Citizens of Ukraine are not liable to be deprived of citizenship or the right to alter the one, as well as of the right to return toUkraine at any time. Also, Ukrainian subjects cannot be banished or extradited.
Habitation or temporal stay of Ukrainian citizen beyond the country’s border does not sever his/her citizenship of Ukraine.
Aliens and stateless persons that stay in Ukraine of lawful grounds use the same rights and freedoms, and bear the same responsibilities as the citizens of Ukraine, which norm is vested in the Law of Ukraine “On Legal Status of Aliens”.
Ukraine meets its international commitments concerning protection of the human right of persons that left the country of his/her patriality or permanent residence. In particular, aliens and stateless persons may be granted asylum in accord with “The Law on Refugees”.
The President of Ukraine takes decision on admitting to and revoking citizenship of Ukraine, as well as granting asylum to aliens and stateless persons.