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LAW ON CIVIC ASSOCIATIONS IN UKRAINE

The citizens' right for freedom to unite in the public associations is an inalienable human right which is secured by the General Declaration of Human Rights and is guaranteed by the Ukrainian Constitution and laws. The State favors the development of political and public activities, creative initiative of citizens and provides equal conditions of activity for their associations.

I. GENERAL PROVISIONS

Article 1. Civic Association.

A civic association is a voluntary civic union, founded on the basis of common interests for joint realization of the rights and freedoms by the citizens.

According to the present Law, any civic organization regardless of its name (people's movement, congress, association, foundation, league and so on) is considered to be a political party or a civic organization.

The present Law does not pertain to religious, co-operative societies and civic associations with the general purpose to gain profit, to commercial funds, bodies of local and regional self-government (including councils and committees of micro-districts, house, street, blocks, village, settlement committees), voluntary formations, such as public order squads, comrades' courts, other civic associations, which are founded and act according to the corresponding laws.

The activities of the trade unions are determined by the Ukrainian Trade Unions Law. Article

2. Political Party.

A political party is an association of people who adhere to a certain national program of social development, which have the main purpose of taking part in the development of the state policy, forming the central power bodies, the bodies of local and regional self-governments, obtaining representation in them.

Article 3. Civic organization.

A civic organization is an association of citizens, founded to satisfy and to protect their legitimate social, economic, creative, age, national, cultural, sports and other common interests.

Article 4. Restrictions on foundation and activities for civic associations.

Civic associations cannot be legalized, and the activity of the legalized associations can be prohibited by court in case their purpose is:

Foundation and activities of political parties, whose leadership organs and structural units are situated outside Ukraine, creation of any structural centers of political parties in bodies of executive and legislative power, in the Armed Forces, the National Guard and the Frontier Troops, in state enterprises, establishments and organizations, state educational institutions, are prohibited.

Article 5. Civic Associations Legislation.

The legislation on civic associations includes the Ukrainian Constitution, the present Law and other legislative acts, adopted according to its premises.

II. PRINCIPLES OF ACTIVITIES AND STATUS OF CIVIC ASSOCIATIONS.

Article 6. Principles of foundation and activities of civic associations.

Civic associations are founded and run on the basis of voluntarity, equality of all the members (participants), self-government, lawfulness and openness (transparency). They are free to choose the directions of their activities.

The activities of civic associations can be limited only by the Ukrainian Constitution and laws.

All the main issues of the civic association activities must be settled at meetings of all members of a civic association or their representatives.

Civic associations must publish regularly their main documents, information on the composition of their governing bodies, sources of finance and expenditures.

Article 7. Prohibition to restrict the rights and freedoms of citizens depending on their belonging or not belonging to civic associations.

Nobody can be forced to join any civic association.

Belonging or not belonging to an association can not be a ground for the restriction of rights and freedoms or for any privileges and advantages given by the State.

It is not allowed to require mentioning the membership (participation) of a person of a civic association in the official documents, except for the cases determined in the Ukrainian laws.

It is prohibited not to accept or to expel a person from a political party because of his/her sex or nationality.

Restrictions for some categories of citizens to join political parties are determined by the Ukrainian Constitution and laws.

The civic associations officials are subject to Labor, social security and social insurance legislation.

Article 8. The State and civic associations.

The State guarantees the observance of rights and legal interests of the civic associations, legalized in the order provided by the present Law.

Interference of the state bodies and officials to the civic association activities as well as interference of public associations to the state bodies and officials activities and the activities of the other civic associations is not allowed, except for the cases provided by the present Law.

The Supreme Soviet (Parliament) of Ukraine defines tax preferences for some kinds of economic or other commercial activities of civic associations, their establishments, organizations and enterprises founded by them. It also defines the maximum amounts of special and general annual donations for political parties, approves the list of the all-Ukrainian civic associations, which have some pecuniary aid from the State.

Article 9. Status of the civic associations.

Civic associations are founded and act, having either all-Ukrainian, or local, or international status.

All-Ukrainian civic associations are associations, whose activities extend to the whole territory of Ukraine and which have local centers in the majority of its regions (oblasts).

Local associations are associations, whose activities extend to the territory of a corresponding administrative-and-territorial unit or region.

A civic association itself determines the territory of its activities.

A civic organization has an international status if its activities extend to the territory of Ukraine and at least one other state.

Political parties in Ukraine are founded and act exclusively with the all-Ukrainian status.

Article 10. Unions of civic associations.

Civic associations have the right to freely found, or unite in, different unions (leagues, societies and so on), to form blocks and coalitions, to make agreements on cooperation and mutual assistance with other civic associations.

Formation and legalization of civic associations unions, their activities and liquidation are determined by the present Law.

III. PROCEDURES FOR MAKING AND SUSPENDING THE ACTIVITIES OF CIVIC ASSOCIATIONS.

Article 11. Founders of the civic associations founders.

Political parties are set up on the initiative of Ukrainian citizens, who have reached the age of 18 years, are not found incompetent by court and not imprisoned.

All citizens of Ukraine, citizens the other countries, people without citizenship, who attained to the age of 18 years, can set up civic organizations. The founders of youth and children's civic organizations should be at least 15 years of age.

The decision to form a civic association is made by a constituent congress (conference) or by a general meeting.

Civic associations themselves are founders of civic associations unions.

Article 12. Membership in civic associations.

Only Ukrainian citizens of at least 18 years of age can be members of political parties.

Any person of at least 14 years of age can be a member of any civic associations, except for the youth and children's organizations. The age of youth and children's civic associations members is determined by their statutes.

Civic organizations can have no fixed individual membership.

Civic associations can have Collective members, if it is determined by their statutes.

Article 13. Statute (regulations) of civic associations.

Civic associations act on the basis of its statute .

A statute of a civic association must include:

A statute can include other provisions concerning some peculiarities of founding and activities of a civic association.

A statute of a civic association must not contradict Ukrainian laws.

Article 14. Legalization of civic associations.

Legalization (official recognition) of civic associations is mandatory and is administered through their registration or notification about their formation. The activities of non-legitimized or forcibly dissolved by court associations are illegal.

A civic association has the status of a legal person if registered.

Political parties and international civic organizations must be registered by the Ukrainian Ministry of Justice.

The legalization of civic associations is exercised, is corresponding to the intended status, by the Ukrainian Ministry of Justice, local state administrations, executive committees of village, settlement, city councils of people's deputies.

If the activity of a local civic association extends to the territory of two or more administrative-and-territorial units, their legalization is administered by a respective higher authority .

State executive local bodies, executive committees of village, settlement, City Councils of People's Deputies register the local centers of the registered all-Ukrainian and international civic associations, if such registration is prescribed by the associations' statutes .

Article 15. Registration of civic associations.

To register a civic association, its founders should submit an application. An application to register a political party must be signed by at least one thousand citizens of Ukraine, who have the right to vote.

The statute (charter) of a civic association, report of a constituent congress (conference) or a general meeting, information on leading officials of center statutory bodies, on the local centers, receipts of paid registration fee should be attached to the application. A political party presents also its program documents .

An application for registration is considered within two months from the day of submitting of the application. In cases of necessity a registration body can verify the information, stated in the presented documents.

An applicant should be informed in written form about registration or rejection within 10 days.

The representatives of a civic association may be present when the application for registration is considered.

A civic association should inform a registration body within 5 days about changes in its statute documents.

A re-registration of a civic association is made according to the present Law.

The power bodies responsible for the registration of civic associations make a register of these associations.

An amount of the registration fee is determined by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine.

Article 16. Denial of registration.

A civic association may be denied of registration if its statute or other documents, presented for the purpose of registration, contradict Ukrainian laws.

The decision to deny an association of registration must contain the grounds for the denial. This decision can be objected to court .

The registering authority informs about the denial of registration of civic associations in mass media.

Article 17. Notification of Foundation.

Civic organizations, their unions can legalize their existence by a written notification correspondingly to the Ministry of Justice, local executive bodies, executive committees of village, settlement, City Councils of People's Deputies.

Article 18. Symbols of civic associations.

Civic associations can have their own symbols.

Such civic associations' symbols are approved according to their statutes .

Symbols of political parties must not reproduce state or religious symbols.

Symbols of civic associations must be registered in the order, determined by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine.

Article 19. Suspending of activities of a civic association.

Activities of a civic association can be suspended by its reorganization and closing down (self-dissolution, compulsory dissolution).

A reorganization of civic association is accomplished according to its statute . Re-registration of a newly founded civic association is accomplished in the order specified in the present Law.

A civic association closing down is accomplished on the basis of its statute or of the court verdict.

IV. RIGHTS, ECONOMIC AND OTHER COMMERCIAL ACTIVITIES OF CIVIC ASSOCIATIONS

Article 20. Rights of registered civic associations.

To realize purposes and tasks fixed in their statute documents, registered civic associations have the right:

Civic associations have the right to found enterprises, necessary to realize their tasks.

According to the procedures stipulated by laws political parties also have the right:

Civic associations have other rights provided by the Ukrainian laws.

Article 21. Property of civic associations.

Civic associations can have assets and other property, necessary to carry out their statute activities.

Civic associations get the right of property over the assets and other belongings, transferred to them by their founders, members (participants) or the State, acquired from entrance fees and membership dues, donations of citizens, enterprises, institutions and organizations. Civic associations also have belongings acquired at their own expense or by other means, not prohibited by law. Political parties also have the right on property, acquired from sale of public-and-political literature, other agitation and propaganda materials, goods with their symbols, from conducting of festivals, exhibitions, lectures and other political actions.

Civic organizations have the right on property and assets, acquired from economic and other commercial activities of self-financing establishments, organizations and enterprises, founded by them.

The assets and other property of civic associations, including those being liquidated, cannot be distributed among their members, and is used to fulfill statutory tasks or for charity, and in cases stipulated by law, they can be extracted as revenue of the State by court decision.

Article 22. Limitations of acquirement of assets and other property by the political parties, their establishments and organizations.

Political parties, their establishments and organizations cannot directly or indirectly acquire assets and other property from:

Political parties cannot get profits from shares and other securities, they are prohibited to open accounts and keep valuables in foreign banks.

Political parties must publish their annual budgets.

Article 23. Realization of the property right.

Property right of civic associations is realized by their higher statute bodies (general meetings, conferences, congresses etc.) in the order, determined by the Ukrainian laws and their statute documents.

Civic associations' higher statute bodies can empower their agencies, local centers or civic associations unions to perform particular property management functions.

Article 24. Economic and other commercial activities.

To realize their tasks and purposes, the registered civic associations can carry out necessary economic and other commercial activities by making of self-financing organizations and institutions with a status of legal entity and by founding of enterprises in the order determined by laws.

Political parties, their institutions and organizations cannot found enterprises, except for mass media and to carry out economic and other commercial activities except for selling the public-and-political literature, other agitation and propaganda materials, goods with their symbols, conducting of festivals, exhibitions, lectures and other social and political actions.

Civic associations, their institutions and organizations must lead accounting and book keeping, statistical records, be registered in tax inspection state agencies and pay taxes in amounts, determined by laws.

V. SUPERVISION AND CONTROL OVER THE ACTIVITIES OF CIVIC ASSOCIATIONS. RESPONSIBILITY FOR BREAKING OF LAWS.

Article 25. State supervision and control over civic associations activities.

State control over civic associations' activities is exercised by the state bodies in the order, determined by the Ukrainian laws.

State bodies, that register civic associations, exercise control over their observance of statute regulations. The representatives of these bodies have the right to be present at the actions conducted by public associations, to require necessary documents, to get explanations.

The supervision over the observance of laws by civic associations is exercised by the Public Prosecutor's offices.

Sources and volume of financing, tax payments of civic associations are under control of the corresponding financial organs and tax inspection.

Article 26. Procedure of financial control.

A civic association presents an income and expenses declaration to financial organs according to prescribed procedures.

On the basis of financial declarations the newspaper "Voice of Ukraine" publishes annual lists of persons, whose donations for political parties exceed the limits set by the Ukrainian Supreme Soviet.

Special Committee of the Ukrainian Supreme Soviet comprised of deputies - representatives of all political parties, presented in the Parliament, examine their financial activities during a year and inform about the results at the Supreme Soviet Plenary Meeting.

A political party is responsible for breaking financial discipline according to the laws. Illegal earnings are confiscated in an indisputable way for the state budget.

Article 27. Responsibility for violation of laws.

Officials of the legalizing bodies for the civic associations, and citizens bear the disciplinary, civil, administrative and criminal responsibility for violation of the laws on civic associations.

Civic associations bear the responsibility specified in the present Law and other Ukrainian laws.

Leadership in the civil association, that is not legalized in legally prescribed way, denied of legalization, or dissolved by court decision, but continues its activities, and equally the participation in activities of such associations, lead to administrative or criminal responsibility.

Article 28. Penalties.

A civic association if violated the laws can be inflicted on such punishments:

Article 29. Warning.

If a civic association has broken the law, the corresponding registration body should give a warning in a written form, if the present Law doesn't provide some other penalty.

Article 30. Fine.

If a civic association has broken the law in a gross or systematic form, a registration body or a Public Prosecutor can fine a civic association in court.

Article 31. Temporary prohibition (suspending) of some kinds of activities or the whole activities of a civic association.

On the appeal of a registration body or a Public Prosecutor the court can temporarily prohibit some kinds of activities or the whole activities of a civic association for a period of 3 months in order to stop the illegal activities of a civic association.

Temporary prohibition of some kinds of a civic association activities can be exercised by prohibition of mass actions (meetings, rallies, demonstrations and so on), of publishing, conducting banking and financial operations etc.

A body that applied to the court to stop a civic association activity can ask to prolong the term. But the general period of temporary prohibition should not exceed 6 months.

The court can renew civic association's activities in full scope if a public association has eliminated the reasons of the temporary prohibition and if a public association has applied for the renewal.

Article 32. Compulsory dissolution (closing down).

On appeal of a registration body or a Public Prosecutor the court dissolve (close down) a public association in the following cases:

A court simultaneously decides on the closing if a printed media organ of an association that is compulsory dissolved.

Only the Ukrainian Constitutional Court can deliver a judgment to dissolve all-Ukrainian and international civic associations on the territory of Ukraine.

VI. INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS OF CIVIC ASSOCIATIONS. INTERNATIONAL CIVIC ASSOCIATIONS.

Article 33. International relations of civic associations.

Civic associations, their unions according to their statutes can set up or join international civic (non--government) organizations, make international unions of civic associations, maintain direct international contacts and relations, make corresponding agreements and take part in conducting of actions winch do not contradict international obligations of Ukraine.

Political parties have the right to set up or to join international unions, whose statutes provide for formation of only consultative and coordinative central bodies.

Article 34. International civic associations.

Affiliations of foreign civic organizations. International civic associations, branches, departments, representations, other structural centers of civic (non-government) organizations of foreign countries on the territory of Ukraine conduct their activities according to the present Law and the other Ukrainian laws.

A legalized civic association that is a founder or a member of an international organization or has extended its activities to the territory of a foreign state should apply for a re-registration as an international to the Ministry of Justice within one month.

The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine establishes a registration procedure for branches and other structural centers of foreign public organizations.

President of Ukraine L. KRAVCHUK

Kyiv
16.06.1992
N2460-XII