Навчально - довiдковi матерiали до курсу "Фахова iноземна мова" для студентiв 2, 3, 4 курсів, що навчаються за спецiальнiстю “Полiтологiя”. Частина 3. (PDF)
1. Political system of Ukraine. An overview of the history of Ukrainian State.
Ukraine is the second largest country in Europe in the terms of area (603,700 sq. Km) and fifth in Europe in terms of population (46.2 million people). It is a country with a thousand-year history whose roots reach back to the time of Kyivan Rus (9th century).
The lands that make up modern Ukraine’s territory are home to thousands of mysterious and the stories of hundreds peoples, states and cultures. In the history of Ukraine heroic and dramatic plots have taken place over the centuries.
Kiev was the centre of the first eastern Slavic state, which during the 10th and 11th centuries was the largest and the most powerful state in Europe. Later in the 13th century the prince’s of Rus were the first in Europe to meet the Mongol invasion, which ruined the state-building potential and Kyiv. Some Ukrainian lands fell under the rule of neighbouring states – Lithuania and Poland.
But at the same time the Ukrainian phenomenon of free chivalry reached its apogee and Cossacks ( ‘free man’ from Turkic languages) appeared in the European area. They even managed to create their own state called Hetmanate. They took part in almost all the great wars in the region. Cossacks have their own unique customs, self- government and original military tradition.
From the end of the 18th century to the beginning of the 20th century , Ukrainian lands were part of two empires – Austrian ( later Austro-Hungarian) and Russian. The 20th century began in a stormy war for Ukraine, millions of people were thrown into the chorus of World War 1.
Later Ukraine made an attempt to build its own nation-state in 1917-1921, but it was hard to resist Russian Bolshevik troops and it was conquered.
Until 1991 Ukrainians lived under the power of totalitarian regime as a constituent part of the USSR. It was a difficult time with terrible tragedies and challenges – forced collectivization, Holodomor, deportation, GULAG, punitive psychiatry, the Chornobyl disaster, and other tragic events that took the lives of millions of Ukrainians. Ukraine was at the heart of World War 2 and millions of people were killed during the bloody aggression of the Nazis.
After the war and up until its independence many Ukrainian fighters, human rights defenders and dissidents contributed efforts to overthrow the totalitarian communist regime, which succeeded.
In 1991 Ukraine declared independence in order to build a free, democratic and sovereign state within internationally recognised borders.
2. State system of Ukraine.
Ukraine is a unitary, sovereign and independant, democratic, social and legal state, a parliamentary presidential republic. The people are the bearer of sovereignty and the only source of power in Ukraine.
The people exercise power directly and through state authorities and local self government bodies. The power in Ukraine is carried out according to the principle of its division into legislative, executive and judicial.
Legislative Power of Ukraine
The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine is the only legislative body of state power, one chamber parliament, which has the collegiate structure, presided over by the Speaker. The name Rada means council.
The institution was organised in Kyiv Rus and then in the 17th and 18th centuries the Cossacks used the term to refer to the meetings where major decisions were made. The Ukrainian People’s Republic between March 1917 and April 1918 had a Central Rada.
It consists of 450 (423 at present)) people’s deputies of Ukraine elected for a period of 5 years on the basis of universal, equal and direct suffrage by secret ballot.
The deputies are authorised to pass laws in Ukraine. The powers of Verkhovna Rada are realised by joined activity of people’s deputies at the sessions.
The Parlament determines the principles of domestic and foreign policy, introduces amendments to the Constitution of Ukraine, adopts laws, approves the state budget, impeaches the president, declares was and peace, appoints the Prime Minister of Ukraine, ratifies or denounces International treaties and exercises certain control functions.
All members of Verkhovna Rada are grouped into parliamentary fractions and groups which of them appoints a leader. Every deputy may not possess any other representative mandates, be appointed to the state service, be placed in other salaried position, participate in other paid activity ( except for teaching, scientific or artistic), be a member of a company or organisation that are for profit.
Before assuming office the Verkhovna Rada’s must take the oath before the parliament:
I swear allegiance to Ukraine. I commit myself with all my deeds to protect the sovereignty and independence of Ukraine, to provide for the good of the Motherland and for the welfare of the Ukrainian people…
Executive Power of Ukraine
The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine commonly referred to as the Government of Ukraine is the highest body of state executive power of the country.
The cabinet is a collegiate body consisting of the Prime Minister, First Vice Prime Minister, three Vice Prime Ministers and seventeen various departmental Ministers who exercise executive power in Ukraine.
The Prime Minister is responsible to the President, accountable and acts under control of Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine. The President appoints the Prime Minister under concent of over half of the composition of Verkhovna Rada and he on the advice of the Prime Minister appoints the Ministers of the Cabinet. He heads the Cabinet and directs its work.
The Cabinet of Ministers provides for carrying out financial, price, taxation policies, as well as actions in the spheres of labour and employment, social protection, education, science and culture, environment protection, ecological security and nature management. The Cabinet of Ministers works out the draft of Law on the State Budget of Ukraine for approval of Verkhovna Rada and ensures its execution.
In case of Prime Minister resignation or no confidence resolution adopted by Verkhovna Rada all the Government must step down from the office.
President of Ukraine
The president of Ukraine is the head of state. The president represents the nation in international relations, administrates the foreign political activity of the state, conducts negotiations, and concludes international treaties.
Also he serves as a supreme commander-in-chief of the military forces.
The status and powers of the President of Ukraine, as well as election procedures are stipulated by the Constitution of Ukraine, which defines rights and responsibilities of the President as Head of State.
The President of Ukraine is elected by the citizens of Ukraine on the basis of universal, equal and direct suffrage by means of secret ballot for 5 years.
According to the Constitution , the President of Ukraine is the Head of State and acts in its name, is the guarantor of state sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, compliance with the Constitution, rights and freedoms of man and citizen.
The President of Ukraine shall not delegate his powers to other persons or bodies. The powers of the President of Ukraine shall be terminated earlier in the event of resignation, inability to exercise his power for health reasons, removal from office by impeachment, death.
The presidential inauguration traditionally starts at the building of Verkhovna Rada. The new-elected president puts his(her) hand on the Constitution of Ukraine and the Peresopnytsia Gospels while reciting the oath. Then the president receives symbols and heraldry including the seal, the collar and bulava of the President of Ukraine.
3. Judicial system of Ukraine.
The judicial system of Ukraine is outlined in the 1996 Constitution of Ukraine. Before there were no notion of judicial review nor any Supreme Court since 1991’s Ukrainian independence. The principles of ensuring justice are declared in the Constitution of Ukraine, exclusively via courts.
The judicial system consists of general jurisdiction courts and the Constitutional Court of Ukraine. The courts of general jurisdiction form a single system, which consists of both general and specialised courts.
The Supreme Court is the highest judicial body of general jurisdiction in Ukraine, which may review decisions of the high specialised courts only in circumstances specified by law.
The Constitutional Court is the highest court in the country which ensures the supremacy of the Constitution of Ukraine. It comes to the interpretation , protection and enforcement of the Constitution. It deals exclusively with constitutional matters. It is composed of 18 judges. The Court adopt decisions, provides opinions, delivers rulings and issues orders.
The legal system of any society shall guarantee that every citizen will enjoy and fully realize his/her rights and freedoms underpinned by fundamental democratic values. By consideration of the role of constitutional court in protecting the rights and interests of its citizens it must be understood that such judicial protection is the highest form of guaranteeing respect for human rights in every democratic society.
Today the justice system do not perform its responsibilities properly. The primary reasons behind this include a low level of ‘ legal culture’ and legal consciousness in the society as well as continuing dependence of judges on Ukraine’s executive and legislative branches. So, there is a great need to reform judiciary system in Ukraine and to bring it to European standards.
4. Constitution of Ukraine.
The Constitution of Ukraine is the fundamental law of the state. It was adopted and ratified on 28 June 1996.
Within this context we should mention the first Constitution, in the world written by the Hetman of Ukraine , Pylyp Orlyk in 1710. It was titled as ‘ The Treaties and Resolutions of the Rights and Freedoms of the Zaporozhian Army.’ It established the principle of the separation of power in government between three branches. It was well before the Montesquieu’s ‘ Spirit of the Laws’. The document limited the executive authority of the hetman and established cossack parilament – Central Rada. The Constitution of Pylyp Orlyk is not only a memorial of Ukrainian political and legal thought, but also a memorial of the world political and philosophical idea presented to civilised countries by the Ukrainian cultural elite.
Current version of the Constitution of Ukraine lays down the framework that demarcates fundamental political code, structure, procedures, powers and duties of government institutions and sets out fundamental rights, directive principles and the duties of citizens.
According to the Constitution the power in Ukraine belongs to people. It is exercised through democratic elections and referendums and by state government bodies and self-government institutions. The form of state government is republic. The principles of economic, political and ideological multiformity are proclaimed in this main document. All citizens have equal rights. People are proclaimed to be the greatest social value in Ukraine. The best national traditions are embodied in the Constitution, it creates the legal bases of regulations of social relations.
According to the Fundamental Law of Ukraine The general principles are: Ukraine is a sovereign and independent, democratic, social, legal State. The sovereignty of Ukraine covers the entirety of its territory. Ukraine is a unitarian state.