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Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Ukraine law info. The sources of Ukrainian law

The principal source of Ukrainian law is the Constitution, having the highest legal force. The rule of law is recognized by the Constitution. Appeals to the court in defence of the constitutional rights and freedoms of individuals are guaranteed directly by the Constitution.

The provisions of the Constitution of Ukraine are norms of a direct effect. Laws and other normative legal acts should be adopted on its basis and conform to it.

Codified Laws

As Ukrainian legal system is code-based there are a number of codified laws in the main spheres of national legislation. Among such codes the main ones are the following: the Civil Code, the Economic Code, the Criminal Code, the Land Code, the Family Code, the Customs Code, the Code of Civil Procedure, the Code of Criminal Procedure, the Labor Code, the Air Code, etc.


Only the Verkhovna Rada is entitled to issue normative acts in the form of laws. They are the highest normative acts in Ukraine.

The number of laws increases constantly, which creates the problem of contradictions between them. The imperfectness of Ukrainian legislation lies in its instability, overregulation, complexity of norms etc.

Secondary Legislation

The next layer of Ukrainian legislation is secondary legislation. Different normative acts in the form of decrees, resolutions, orders etc. issued by the President, the Cabinet of Ministers, the National Bank, ministries and other state agencies are adopted on the basis and in realization of the general provisions of laws.

The President of Ukraine issues decrees (ukazy) and directives (rozporiadzhennia).

The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, within the limits of its competence, issues resolutions (postanovy) and directives (rozporiadzhennia). All the documents produced by the highest state bodies are mandatory for execution by every person on the territory of Ukraine.

In pursuance of the laws of Ukraine, the ministries, state agencies and committees issue resolutions, directives, regulations, instructions and orders that concern their specific sphere of competence.

All these normative legal acts and international treaties of Ukraine are registered at the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine.

Local state administrations and bodies of local self-government issue resolutions, orders, decisions etc. to ensure the observance of laws and freedoms of citizens, and the implementation of development programs and regional budgets.

Ukraine carries out foreign policy activity. It is a member to different international organizations and agreements. Ukraine was one of the founding members of the United Nations. International treaties come into force on the consent of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine to be binding. Since that moment they become an important part of the national legislation. The conclusion of international treaties that contravene the Constitution of Ukraine is possible only after introducing relevant amendments to the Constitution.

The acts of the official interpretation as well as court decisions are not formally the source of laws but they are taken into consideration when a certain case is administered in lower courts.