The Constitution of Ukraine is the main formal document of our
country. The adoption of a new constitution of Ukraine at the 5th session of
the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine on June 28, 1996 became an important
event in the life of the people of Ukraine. The constitution is the fundamental
law of the land: laws and other normative legal acts must conform to it. The
right to amend the Constitution through a special legislative procedure is
vested exclusively with the parliament. The only body that may determine
whether legislation conforms to it is the Constitutional Court of Ukraine.
The first Constitution of Ukraine was written by hetman Philip Orlyk
in 1710. Being the first constitution in Europe it was notable for its profound
democracy. The experience of Ukrainian people’s republic (1918) played a significant role in the constitutional process. Until June 8, 1995, Ukraine’s supreme law was the Constitution of the Ukrainian SSR (adopted in 1978, with numerous later amendments). Present Constitution was adopted at a dramatic overnight parliamentary session of June 27-28, 1996. The Law No. 254/96-ÂÐ ratifying the Constitution was ceremonially signed and promulgated in mid-July 1996. However, according to a ruling of the Constitutional Court, current Constitution took force at the moment when the results of the parliamentary vote were announced, i.e., June 28, 1996.
On December 8, 2004, the parliament passed the Law No. 2222-IV amending the Constitution. The law was approved with a 90 percent majority (402 ayes, 21 nays and 19 abstentions while for passing it required 300 ayes) simultaneously with other legislative measures aimed at resolving the presidential election crisis.
Principles of democracy common to all mankind are embodied in the Constitution which guarantees the basic economic, social, cultural, public and political rights to the citizens of Ukraine. According to the Constitution Ukraine is a sovereign, democratic, social and juridical state. The form of state government is a republic. The head of the state is the President. The power belonging to the people of Ukraine is exercised through democratic elections by state government bodies and self-government institutions. All citizens have equal rights. People are proclaimed the greatest social value in Ukraine. These and other regulations are developed in the chapters of the Constitution.
The best national traditions are embodied in the fundamental law of Ukraine. The Constitution creates the legal bases of regulation of social relations.
1. Read the dates and make your comments referring to the text:
Which date is concerning the topic «History of Amendments of the
2. Give the Ukrainian equivalents to the basic terms:
The main formal document, the fundamental law of the land, special
legislative procedure, regulation of social relations, majority
Reconstruct the sentences with these word combinations.
Using the Passive Voice constructions make up sentences of your
own with the given verbs.
4. Complete the sentences and let your fellow student translate them into Ukrainian:
1. The Constitution establishes…
2. According to the Constitution, all mineral and natural resources in
our country belong to…
3. The Constitution guarantees…
4. The Constitution specifies the powers of…
5. The highest body of legislative power is…
6. The Constitution was adopted…
7. Justice in Ukraine is exercised and administered by…
8. According to the Constitution, church and religious organizations
5. Match the words used while voting:
Work in a group: Reconstruct the situation of the meeting of the
Cabinet of Ministers (let the «secretar y» announce the results of
approving or rejecting the point).
Work in pairs. Write notes in the chart and be ready to discuss the results in the group:
The System of Judicial Power in Ukraine
Name of a Court
The Constitutional Court
The Supreme Court
Court of appeal
PRACTICE AND EXPERIENCE
1. Study the contents of the Constitution of the Russian Federation and the Constitution of Ukraine. Compare the structures and make notes paying special attention to similarities and differences of the layout of these documents.