Constitution (1996, as amended 2004) (excerpts)

CONSTITUTION OF UKRAINE

Adopted at the Fifth Session of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine on 28 June 1996,

as amended by the Law

No. 2222-IV On Amendments to the Constitution of Ukraine adopted on 8 December 2004

Chapter I

General Principles

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Article 6.

State power in Ukraine is exercised on the principles of its division into legislative, executive and judicial power.

Bodies of legislative, executive and judicial power exercise their authority within the limits established by this Constitution and in accordance with the laws of Ukraine.

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Article 8.

In Ukraine, the principle of the rule of law is recognised and effective.

The Constitution of Ukraine has the highest legal force. Laws and other normative legal acts are adopted on the basis of the Constitution of Ukraine and shall conform to it.

The norms of the Constitution of Ukraine are norms of direct effect. Appeals to the court in defence of the constitutional rights and freedoms of the individual and citizen directly on the grounds of the Constitution of Ukraine are guaranteed.

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Chapter III

Elections. Referendum

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Article 72.

An All-Ukrainian referendum is designated by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine or by the President of Ukraine, in accordance with their authority established by this Constitution.

An All-Ukrainian referendum is called on popular initiative on the request of no less than three million citizens of Ukraine who have the right to vote, on the condition that the signatures in favour of designating the referendum have been collected i n no less than two-thirds of the oblasts, with no less than 100 000 signatures in each oblast.

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Chapter IV

Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine

Article 75.

The sole body of legislative power in Ukraine is the Parliament - the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.

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Article 84.

Meetings of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine are conducted openly. A closed meeting is conducted on the decision of the majority of the constitutional composition of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.

Decisions of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine are adopted exclusively at its plenary meetings by voting.

Voting at the meetings of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine is performed by a National Deputy of Ukraine in person.

Article 85

(amended by the Law of 8 December 2004)

Powers of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine shall include:

    (1) introducing amendments to the Constitution of Ukraine within the limits and under the procedure specified in Chapter XIII of this Constitution;

    (2) instituting an All-Ukrainian referendum on issues referred to in Article 73 of this Constitution;

    (3) adopting laws;

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    (5) determining the principles of domestic and foreign policy;

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    (32) granting its consent - by adopting a relevant legal act - to the binding character of international treaties of Ukraine and denouncing international treaties of Ukraine;

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Article 89

(amended by the Law of 8 December 2004)

In order to carry out its legislative drafting activities, prepare and conduct the preliminary consideration of issues falling within its competence, and performing its functions of control under this Constitution of Ukraine, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine shall set up Committees of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine composed of National Deputies of Ukraine and elect Chairpersons, Deputy Chairpersons, and Secretaries to these Committees.

Within the scope of its competence, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine may set up temporary special commissions for the preparation and preliminary consideration of issues.

In order to investigate matters of public concern, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine shall set up temporary investigatory commissions, provided that the measure has received votes of no less than one-third of the constitutional membership of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.

Findings and proposals made by temporary investigatory commissions shall not be decisive for investigation and court.

The organisation and procedure for activities of Committees of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine and of its temporary special or temporary investigatory commissions shall be established by law;

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Article 91.

The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine adopts laws, resolutions and other acts by the majority of its constitutional composition, except in cases envisaged by this Constitution.

Article 92.

The following are determined exclusively by the laws of Ukraine:

    1) human and citizens' rights and freedoms, the guarantees of these rights and freedoms; the main duties of the citizen;

    2) citizenship, the legal personality of citizens, the status of foreigners and stateless persons;

    3) the rights of indigenous peoples and national minorities;

    4) the procedure for the use of languages;

    5) the principles of the use of natural resources, the exclusive (maritime) economic zone and the continental shelf, the exploration of outer space, the organisation and operation of power supply systems, transportation and communications;

    6) the fundamentals of social protection, the forms and types of pension provision; the principles of the regulation of labour and employment, marriage, family, the protection of childhood, motherhood and fatherhood; upbringing, education, culture and health care; ecological safety;

    7) the legal regime of property;

    8) the legal principles and guarantees of entrepreneurship; the rules of competition and the norms of antimonopoly regulation;

    9) the principles of foreign relations, foreign economic activity and customs;

    10) the principles of the regulation of demographic and migration processes;

    11) the principles of the establishment and activity of political parties, other associations of citizens, and the mass media;

    12) the organisation and activity of bodies of executive power, the fundamentals of civil service, the organisation of state statistics and informatics;

    13) the territorial structure of Ukraine;

    14) the judicial system, judicial proceedings, the status of judges, the principles of judicial expertise, the organisation and operation of the procuracy, the bodies of inquiry and investigation, the notary, the bodies and institutions for the execution of punishments; the fundamentals of the organisation and activity of the advocacy;

    15) the principles of local self-government;

    16) the status of the capital of Ukraine; the special status of other cities;

    17) the fundamentals of national security, the organisation of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and ensuring public order;

    18) the legal regime of the state border;

    19) the legal regime of martial law and a state of emergency, zones of an ecological emergency situation;

    20) the organisation and procedure for conducting elections and referendums;

    21) the organisation and operational procedure of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, the status of National Deputies of Ukraine;

    22) the principles of civil legal liability; acts that are crimes, administrative or disciplinary offences, and liability for them.

The following are established exclusively by the laws of Ukraine:

    1) the State Budget of Ukraine and the budgetary system of Ukraine; the system of taxation, taxes and levies; the principles of the formation and operation of financial, monetary, credit and investment markets; the status of the national currency and also the status of foreign currencies on the territory of Ukraine; the procedure for the formation and payment of state domestic and foreign debt; the procedure for the issuance and circulation of state securities, their types and forms;

    2) the procedure for deploying units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine to other states; the procedure for admitting and the terms for stationing units of armed forces of other states on the territory of Ukraine;

    3) units of weight, measure and time; the procedure for establishing state standards;

    4) the procedure for the use and protection of state symbols;

    5) state awards;

    6) military ranks, diplomatic and other special ranks;

    7) state holidays;

    8) the procedure for the establishment and functioning of free and other special zones that have an economic and migration regime different from the general regime.

Amnesty is declared by the law of Ukraine.

Article 93

(amended bythe Law of 8 December 2004)

The right of legislative initiative in the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine belongs to the President of Ukraine, National Deputies of Ukraine, the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, and the National Bank of Ukraine.

The draft laws defined by the President of Ukraine as urgent shall be considered out of turn by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.

Article 94.

(Par. 4 amended by the Law of 8 December 2004)

The Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine signs a law and forwards it without delay to the President of Ukraine.

Within fifteen days of the receipt of a law, the President of Ukraine signs it, accepting it for execution, and officially promulgates it, or returns it to the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine with substantiated and formulated proposals for repeat consideration.

In the event that the President of Ukraine has not returned a law for repeat consideration within the established term, the law is deemed to be approved by the President of Ukraine and shall be signed and officially promulgated.

Where a law, during its repeat consideration, again receives votes of no less than two-thirds of the constitutional membership of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, the President of Ukraine shall be obliged to sign and to officially promulgate it within ten days. In the event that the President of Ukraine does not sign such a law, it shall be without delay promulgated officially by the Chairperson of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine and published under his or her signature.

A law enters into force in ten days from the day of its official promulgation, unless otherwise envisaged by the law itself, but not prior to the day of its publication.

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Chapter V

President of Ukraine

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Article 106.

(Subpar. 8-16, 19, 22, 30 and par. 4 amended by the Law of 8 December 2004)

The President of Ukraine:

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    29) signs laws adopted by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine;

    30) has the power to veto laws adopted by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine (except for laws on amendments to the Constitution of Ukraine), with such laws being subsequently returned to the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine for repeat consideration;

    31) exercises other powers determined by the Constitution of Ukraine.

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The President of Ukraine, on the basis and for the execution of the Constitution and the laws of Ukraine, issues decrees and directives that are mandatory for execution on the territory of Ukraine.

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Chapter VI

Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine. Other Bodies of Executive Power

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Article 116.

(Subpar. 91, 92 added, subpar. 10 amended by the Law of 8 December 2004)

The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine:

    1) ensures the state sovereignty and economic independence of Ukraine, the implementation of domestic and foreign policy of the State, the execution of the Constitution and the laws of Ukraine, and the acts of the President of Ukraine;

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Article 117.

The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, within the limits of its competence, issues resolutions and orders that are mandatory for execution.

Acts of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine are signed by the Prime Minister of Ukraine.

Normative legal acts of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, ministries and other central bodies of executive power, are subject to registration through the procedure established by law.

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Article 119.

Local state administrations on their respective territory ensure:

    1) the execution of the Constitution and the laws of Ukraine, acts of the President of Ukraine, acts of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine and other bodies of executive power;

    2) legality and legal order; the observance of laws and freedoms of citizens;

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Chapter X

Autonomous Republic of Crimea

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Article 137.

The Autonomous Republic of Crimea exercises normative regulation on the following issues:

    1) agriculture and forestry;

    2) land reclamation and mining;

    3) public works, crafts and trades; charity;

    4) city construction and housing management;

    5) tourism, hotel business, fairs;

    6) museums, libraries, theatres, other cultural establishments, historical and cultural preserves;

    7) public transportation, roadways, water supply;

    8) hunting and fishing;

    9) sanitary and hospital services.

For reasons of nonconformity of normative legal acts of the Verkhovna Rada of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea with the Constitution of Ukraine and the laws of Ukraine, the President of Ukraine may suspend these normative legal acts of the Verkhovna Rada of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea with a simultaneous appeal to the Constitutional Court of Ukraine in regard to their constitutionality.

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Chapter XII

Constitutional Court of Ukraine

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Article 150.

The authority of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine comprises:

1) deciding on issues of conformity with the Constitution of Ukraine (constitutionality) of the following:

    - laws and other legal acts of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine;

    - acts of the President of Ukraine;

    - cts of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine;

    - legal acts of the Verkhovna Rada of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea.

These issues are considered on the appeals of:

    - the President of Ukraine;

    - no less than forty-five National Deputies of Ukraine;

    - the Supreme Court of Ukraine;

    - the Authorised Human Rights Representative of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine;

    - the Verkhovna Rada of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea;

2) the official interpretation of the Constitution of Ukraine and the laws of Ukraine

On issues envisaged by this Article, the Constitutional Court of Ukraine adopts decisions that are mandatory for execution throughout the territory of Ukraine, that are final and shall not be appealed.

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