Kyiv University. The Faculty of Law. Prominent People.

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Kyiv University. The Faculty of Law. Prominent People.

Block 1. Law

Kyiv University. The Faculty of Law. Prominent People.

Kyiv University. Its Historical and Modern Aspects.

Kyiv University is a higher educational establishment, which trains specialists in many fields of knowledge and carries out research. It was founded in 1834 and since then it has made a priceless contribution to the education, science and culture of Ukraine. Although this description can be applied to many other institution of a similar kind, Kyiv University enjoys a special status among the establishments of higher learning in Ukraine. It is the number one Ukrainian university, and a major center of advanced learning and progressive thinking. It consists of more faculties [΄fæk(ə)lti] and departments than any other higher school in Ukraine and provides training of specialists in a greater number of fields than any other comparable Ukrainian educational institution.

Kyiv University is named after Taras Shevchenko, a major figure in Ukrainian arts. Its reputation transcends the boundaries of Ukraine. Since the time of its foundation a hundred and seventy five years ago, the University has been generating progressive ideas, shaping Ukrainian intellect and providing championship of national liberation activity in Ukraine. It has always upheld the Ukrainian freedom-loving spirit.

The first 62 students started their studies at Kyiv University in 1834, in one and the only Faculty of Philosophy, which had two departments: the Department of History and Philology and the Department of Physics and Mathematics. There were new additions to the original faculty in 1835 and 1847: the Faculty of Law and the Faculty of Medicine. Later on, the original Faculty of Philosophy was divided into two separate units: the Faculty of History and Philology and the Faculty of Natural Sciences. There were no more additions to the number of the departments until the 1920s. The names of the University changed several times: Kyiv Emperor’s University named after St. Volodymyr, Kyiv University, Kyiv Higher Institute of People’s Education named after Drahomanov, Kyiv State University named after Taras Shevchenko. The present name of the Alma Mater is Kyiv National University named after Taras Shevchenko.

According to the Statute, Kyiv University was under the jurisdiction of the Minister of Public Education as well as the Guardian of the district, the latter was considered “the head of the University”. The Rada (Council) governed the University. The rector headed the Rada and the Guardian personally supervised it. The Rada consisted of ordinary and extraordinary professors. It elected rector for two years and the Tsar approved him. The Rada also elected professors and adjuncts (junior scientific assistants) and the Minister approved them. The University Rada annually elected the deans, the Minister later approved them. The term of study was four years. All applicants had to pass examination to a “special committee of professors” appointed by the rector. Students also had to pass exams at the end of each course and before graduation.

Faculty members, scholars and scientists of Kyiv University have made a worthy contribution to the development of science and social and political thinking in Ukraine. The list is long and comprises, among others, prominent historians and philologists M. Maksymovytch, M.Kostomarov, M.Drahomanov, Agatangel Krymsky; lawyers: K.Nevolin, M.Ivanishev, M.Vladimirskiy-Budanov, O.Kystyakovskyi; biochemist O.Palladin; specialists in medicine: M.Sklifosofsky, M.Strazhesko and many others.

The newly acquired independence and changing situation in Ukraine have put forward new requirements to Kyiv University. Kyiv University has constantly been improving the study process to train specialists with profound fundamental knowledge, capable of independent creative work. A whole series of new perspective specialities and specializations [spe∫əlai΄zie∫(ə)n] have been introduced such as ‘International Economics’, ‘International Management’, ‘Land and Ecology Law’, ‘Social Work’, ‘Social Information Science’, ‘Medical Radio Physics’ and others.

Today, Kyiv University is a powerful diversified educational and scientific complex combining 14 faculties, 5 educational institutes, a centre for training and advanced training of foreign citizens and two lyceums. The University provides training and re-training for specialists comprising 63 specialties and 157 specializations. The University study process is performed by 158 departments with 1,840 teachers, 82 per cent of which are in possession of academic degrees and status, and 24 per cent are doctors of science and professors.

What is Law? Need for Law.

The Need for Law. Functions of Law. Kinds of Law

The question ‘What is law?’ has troubled people for many years. Scientists devote an entire field of study known as jurisprudence to answering this question. Many definitions of law exist, but for our purposes, we can define law as the set of rules and regulations by which a government regulates the conduct of people within a society. Even with this explanation, many questions arise. Where do laws come from? Do we need laws? Are all laws written? Can laws change? If so, how? What is the difference between laws and morals?

To understand the law, we must consider the relationship of law to morals. Traditional ideas of right and wrong influence our legal system. Thus, most people condemn murder, regardless of what the law says. However, everything that they consider immoral is not necessarily illegal. For example, lying to a friend may be immoral but not really illegal.

One thing is certain: every society that has ever existed has recognized the need for law. These laws may have been written, but even primitive people had rules to regulate the conduct of the group. For a very long time now, members of every community have made laws for themselves in self-protection. Without laws, there would be confusion, fear, and disorder. This does not mean that all laws are fair or even good, but imagine how people might take advantage of one another without some set of rules. We are far better off with the imperfect laws which we have, than if we had none at all.

Law serves a variety of functions. It helps to maintain a peaceful, orderly, relatively stable society, to contribute to social stability by resolving disputes in civilized fashion, to facilitate business activities and private planning, to provide some degree of freedom that would not otherwise be possible, to inhibit social discrimination and improve the quality of individual life in matters of health, education and welfare. The law is an enabler, something that permits us to enjoy rights within the framework of an ordered society. In many ways law is the cornerstone of our culture. The rule of law provides society with the rules by which all of us live. Citizens can know the law and live their lives accordingly.

Laws fall into two major groups: criminal and civil. Criminal laws regulate public conduct and set our duties owed to society. A criminal case is a legal action by the government against a person charged with committing a crime. Criminal laws have penalties requiring that offenders should be imprisoned, fined, placed under supervision, or punished in some other way.

Civil laws regulate relations between individuals or group of individuals. A person can bring a civil action (lawsuit) when this person feels wronged or injured by another person. Civil laws regulate many everyday situations such as marriage, divorce, contracts, real estate, insurance, consumer protection and negligence.


History of Law. Sources of Law of Great Britain, Sources of Law in Ukraine.

The Birth of Law

Laws and rules – and the customs and conventions – from which they are descended have always been the part of human life ever since our ancestors first began to live in large and settled groups. But our knowledge is vague of laws that were in effect before the invention of writing in about 3500 B.C. The earliest known legal text was written by Ur-Nammu, the king of the Mesopotamian city of Ur, in about 2100 B.C. It dealt largely with compensation for bodily injuries, penalties for witchcraft and runaway slaves.

One of the earliest known collections of codified laws is the Code of Hammurabi. Hammurabi [,hæmu΄ra:bi] was a king of Babylon from 1728 B.C. to 1686 B.C. So that everyone could know the laws, they were carved into the stone pillars set up in the temple to the Babylonian god Marduk. The laws covered crime, divorce, marriage, the rights of slave owners and slaves, the settlement of debts, inheritance and property contracts; there were even regulations about taxes and the prices of goods. Punishments under the code were harsh. The cruel principle of revenge was observed: an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth, which meant that the punishment had to correspond to those damages and injuries that criminals had inflicted upon their victims. Not only murderers but also thieves and false accusers faced the death penalty. And a child who hit his father could lose the hand that struck the blow. The code outlawed private blood feuds and banned the tradition by which a man could kidnap and keep the woman he wanted for his bride. In addition, the new laws took account of the circumstances of the offender as well as the offence. So a lower-ranking citizen who lost a civil case would be fined less than an aristocrat in the same position – though he would also be awarded less if he won.

Another code of early law is the Code of Hebraic laws, or Mosaic Law of about 1400 B.C. This code is set out in detail in the first five books of the Old Testament, which are called the Torah, meaning ‘law’ or ‘guidance’ These books recount the forty-year-long wandering of Moses and the tribes of Israel from Egypt across the Sinai desert to the Promised Land of Canaan. While in the desert, Moses was summoned to the top of Mount Sinai by God and was given the tablets of Ten Commandments. Like the Babylonians, the Hebrew compilers believed that their laws were based on the will of God. Unlike the commercially-oriented Code of Hammurabi, the Mosaic Law reflects the agrarian community which Moses presided over. As chief lawgiver and magistrate, Moses was both a legislator and a judge in the modern sense. The Ten Commandments still hold a central position today in the teaching of both the Hebrew and the Christian faiths. As well, the Mosaic Law forms an important part of the laws of many countries today.

Note. the Promised Land of Canaan [΄keinən] – земля обітована Ханаанка (стародавня назва Палестини, Сирії та Фінікії)

The Sources of English Law

At the heart of the English system there are two principles of government – limited government and representative government. The idea that government was not all-powerful first appeared in the Magna Carta, or Great Charter, that King John signed in 1215 under the threat of civil war. The Magna Carta established the principle of limited government, in which the power of the monarch, or government, was limited, not absolute. This document provided for protection against unjust punishment and loss of life, liberty, and property except according to law. It stipulated that no citizen could be punished or kept in prison without a fair trial. Under the Magna Carta, the king agreed that certain taxes could not be levied without popular consent. The Magna Carta came in time to be regarded as a cornerstone of British liberties. It is one of the oldest written constitutional papers.

In Britain, the United States, and many other English-speaking countries, the law of Habeas Corpus guarantees that nobody can be held in prison without trial. Habeas Corpus became a law because of a wild party held in 1621 at the London home of a notoriously rowdy woman, Alice Robinson. When a constable [΄kΛnstəbl] appeared and asked her and her guests to quiet down, Mrs. Robinson swore at him so violently that he arrested her, and a local justice of the peace committed her to jail. When she was brought to trial, Mrs. Robinson’s story of her treatment in prison caused an outcry. Such treatment was barbaric even by the harsh standards of the time. Public anger was so great that she was acquitted, the constable who had arrested her without the warrant was himself sent to prison, and the justice of the peace was severely reprimanded. And the case led to the passing of the Habeas Corpus Act in Britain in 1679. The law is still on the British statute books. Habeas Corpus is part of a Latin phrase – Habeas Corpus ad subjiciendum - that means ‘Let the body be brought before the judge,’ In effect, a writ of Habeas Corpus is an order in the name of the people (or, in Britain, of the sovereign) to produce an imprisoned person in court at once.

The Bill of Rights (1689) is one of the basic instruments of the British constitution, the result of the long 17th century struggle between the Stuart kings and the English people and Parliament. The revolution settlement made monarchy conditional on the will of Parliament and provided a freedom from arbitrary government of which most Englishmen were notably proud during the 18th century. The main purpose of the act was unequivocally to declare illegal various practices of James II. Among such practices proscribed were the royal prerogatives of dispensing with the law in certain cases, the complete suspension of laws without the consent of Parliament, and the levying of taxes and the maintenance of a standing army in peacetime without specific parliamentary authorization. A number of clauses sought to eliminate royal interference in parliamentary matters, stressing that elections must be free and that members of Parliament must have complete freedom of speech. Certain forms of interference of the course of justice were also proscribed. The act also dealt with proximate succession to the throne, provided the heirs were Protestants. It is the constitutional paper of great importance, which prevented the sovereign from abusing his authority.

The laws of much continental Europe owe their modern form largely to a man who never studied law. Napoleon Bonaparte established in 1800 five commissions to refine and organize the diverse legal systems of France. The resulting Code was a triumphant attempt to create a legal system that treated all citizens as equals without regard to their rank or previous privileges. It was also so clearly written that it could be read and understood by ordinary people. The code was adopted intact in most of the areas of Europe and spread from there across the Atlantic. Many of its principles are still in force.

Legal Language.


Legal Language

Legal writing in English has developed over hundreds of years and is characterised by specific features, some of which can make it difficult for the non-lawyers to understand. Characteristics of legal writing include: using Latin terms; using technical terms (“subsidiarity”); using old-fashioned words not much in general use; using pair of words with reciprocal relationship (‘lessor’/’lessee’); using legal jargon (‘without prejudice to’) including the use of pairs of words (‘terms and conditions’), or triplets (‘build, erect or construct’); having special meanings for words in ordinary use (‘the judge determined the fact of the case’), where ‘determined’ means ‘decided’; using vague words (‘provide a sufficient service’); using long sentences with little punctuation; inverting word order (‘title absolute’); using capital letters to signal important or defined terms (‘the terms of the Lease…’) avoiding personal pronouns (‘you’, ‘we’, ‘I’); the specific use of the modal verb ‘shall’ to impose an obligation or duty on someone (‘The tenant shall not sub-let the whole or part of the premises.’); the use of ‘shall’ in a directory sense (‘Notice of an appeal shall be filed within 28 days.’)

There is a movement to draft legal text in standard, modern, ‘plain’ English but any change will be slow.

Note: Some legal drafters argue that the use of ‘shall’ in a directory sense is to be avoided because of confusion. Note also the general English use of ‘shall’ to refer to future intentions (‘I shall write to him’), although this use is increasingly uncommon.

Latin terms

There are many legal terms in written English legal texts, although recent reforms in the English justice system have encouraged the use of English rather than Latin. Some Latin terms are used so frequently that they are in general English use (e.g. ad hoc,bona fide, pro rata, etc.). It is useful to be able to recognize their meaning and a dictionary or online glossary will help. Forms of pronunciation vary.

Branches of Law.

Constitutional Law

Constitutional law establishes the political and state system, rights, freedoms and duties of citizens, legal status of the Verkhovna Rada, the President, the Cabinet of Ministers, other bodies of state executive power and of local authorities, the justice system, territorial structure, state symbols, etc. The main source of constitutional law is the Constitution of Ukraine.

Civil Law

Civil law includes the legal rules governing the ownership and non-property relations, as well as personal relations between the objects of public relations in order to satisfy their demands. The main act in this branch is the Civil Code of Ukraine which entered in force on December 1, 2004. It contains six books and sets basically a new (for Ukraine) system of norms to govern civil relations. Taking into account new constitutional approaches to the human being and its inalienable rights it fixes individual non-property rights of a person and governs relations which enforce these rights.

Labour Law

Labour Law includes the legal rules collected in the Labour Code and governs the relations as to the labour contracts, working time and conditions, safety at the working place, social protection, the order of labour disputes resolution, etc.

Matrimonial Law

Matrimonial law relates to the grounds of marriage, its solemnization and dissolution, personal ownership and non-property rights and duties of the spouses, relations between parents and children, adoption issues, etc. Such rules are incorporated into the Code on Family which was adopted on January 10, 2002 and came in force on January 1, 2003.

Financial Law

Financial lawregulates the state budget, banking, tax system, etc and its object of regulation is money and securities. The formation of financial system of Ukraine is in progress. In 2001 the Budget Code was adopted on June 21, 2001 and came in force in June, 2001.

Land Law

Land law includes the legal rules governing land use and protection. Here the main source is the Land Code of Ukraine adopted on October 26, 2001, which established the private ownership of lands. The Land Code came in force on January, 1, 2002.

Administrative Law

Administrative law is based on the legal rules on the relations between the bodies of state government, executive and command activities, corpus delicti (Eng. body of crime) of administrative offences, etc. The main source of administrative law is the Code on Administrative Infractions, which entered in force on September 9, 2005.

Criminal Law

Criminal law includes the legal rules defining criminal acts, forms of guilt, punishment making, discharge or mitigation. The main source of criminal law is the new Criminal Code of Ukraine. The Code was adopted on April 5, 2001 and came into force from September 1, 2001. Its main novel is the replacement of the death penalty for the grave crimes by the perpetual imprisonment. It also provides for such new types of punishment as public works, arrest, deprivation of liberty, and official restrictions for persons on military service.

Correctional Law

Correctional law includes the legal rules governing the relations resulting from the execution of punishment and penal treatment. The main source of the law is the Correctional Code which came in force on January, 1, 2004.

Law of Civil Procedure

Law of civil procedure includes the legal rules governing the procedure of the court consideration and resolving civil cases, and enforcement of writs. They are combined in the Civil Procedural Code, which entered in force on January 1, 2005.

Commercial Law

Commercial Law regulates contractual relations and conflicts between legal entities, citizens and/or a state. Commercial Procedural Code provides that commercial court should bring an action on the basis of the business activity subject’s claim about protection of its legal rights, as well as the notices of suit from state authorities, the Office of Public Prosecutor or the Chamber of Accounting of Ukraine.

Law of Criminal Procedure

Procedural criminal law relates to the commencement of criminal proceedings, investigation and court examination of criminal cases. The Criminal Action Code regulates these issues.

International Law

International law governs relations between states (public) or between citizens of different countries and their associations (private). As Ukraine is a part to numerous multilateral and bilateral international treaties, agreements and conventions, they are included into the domestic legislation and determine international status of Ukraine.

The legislative system of Ukraine includes other specialized codes, each of them has its own inner structure and governs relations in its field.


6. Career in the Law. Kinds of Legal Profession.


Barristers and Solicitors

The court system is dependent upon the legal profession to make it work. Although individuals can institute cases and defend them normally lawyers do this job for them. The legal profession is the normal source of judicial personnel for any court system.

England is almost unique in having two different kinds of lawyers, with separate jobs in the legal system. The two kinds of lawyers are solicitors and barristers. This division of the legal profession is due mainly to historical causes. Each branch has its own characteristic functions and a separate governing body. The division has a number of significant impacts upon the judicial system. It is the main reason for the separation between civil and criminal courts. It also has a significant impact upon judicial appointments.

The traditional picture of the English lawyer is that the solicitor is the general practitioner, confined mainly to the office. The solicitor is the legal adviser of the public. Members of the public are able to call at a solicitor's office and seek his advice in a personal interview. The barrister is the specialist adviser much of whose time is taken up with court-room appearance. A barrister can only be consulted indirectly through a solicitor. Today however the lines of demarcation are blurred.

There is approximately one solicitor to every 1300 of the population, with considerable regional and local variations. There is a heavy concentration in commercial centres. The ratio for barristers is about one per every 10,000. Taking the legal profession as a whole (38,500), there is one practising lawyer per 1200 people. This compares with about one lawyer per 600 in the USA. But a lot of work in English solicitors' offices is undertaken by managing clerks, now called «legal executives» , who are a third type of lawyers. (Legal executives now have their own professional and examining body — «the Institute of Legal Executives»).

Most barristers are professional advocates earning their living by the presentation of civil and criminal cases in court. A barrister must be capable of prosecuting in a criminal case one day, and defending an accused person the next, or of preparing the pleadings and taking the case for a plaintiff in a civil action one day, and doing the same for a defendant the next. Barristers are experts in the interpretation of the law. They are called in to advise on really difficult points.

A would-be barrister must first register as a student member of one of the four Inns of Court. A student must pass a group of examinations to obtain a law degree and then proceed to a. vocational course, the passing of which will result in his being called to the Bar. All practising barristers are junior counsels unless they have been designated Queen's Counsels (QC). QС is expected to appear only in the most important cases.

If a person has a legal problem he will go and see a solicitor. There is no end to the variety of matters which a solicitor deals with. He does a legal work involved in buying house, he writes legal letters for you and carries on legal arguments outside Court, he prepares the case and the evidence. If you want to make a will the best man to advise you is a solicitor.

In a civil action solicitors have a right to speak in the County Court, when the case is one of divorce or recovering some debts, and they deal with petty crimes and some matrimonial matters in Magistrates Courts, the lowest Courts.

To become a solicitor a young man joins a solicitor as a «clerk» and works for him while studying part time for the Law Society exams. When you have passed all the necessary exams, you may apply to the Law Society to be «admitted». After that you can practise, which means you can start business on your own.


Solicitor — солісітор, повірений у справах (юрист, який консультує клієнтів, організації та фірми; готує справи для баристерів)

barrister — баррістер (адвокат, який має право виступати у вищих судах)

a would-be barrister —майбутній баристер

Inns of Court — «Судові Іни» (чотири корпорації баристерів в Лондоні; користуються виключним правом прийому в адвокатуру; в школах при цих корпораціях готують баристерів; існують з XIV ст.).


The judge is the presiding officer of the court. The statutory basis for the appointment of judges dates from the Act of Settlement 1700. Judges are not themselves a separate profession: they are barristers who have been elevated to the bench, itself a name derived from the part of the Court where they sit. The judge decides the interpretation of the law. After all the evidence has been given the judge summarizes the case, both law and facts, for the jury. This is called his summing up.

Judges cannot be removed from office on account of political considerations — the independence of the judiciary is, at least theoretically guaranteed.

The professional judges, ‘High Court Judges’, deal with the most serious crimes. They are paid salaries by the state. Alongside with professional judges there are unpaid judges. They are called ‘Magistrates’ or ‘Justices of the Peace’ (JPs). They are ordinary citizens who are selected not because they have any legal training but because they have ‘sound common sense’ and understanding of their fellow human beings. They give up their time voluntarily.

Magistrates are selected by special committees in every town and district. Nobody, not even the Magistrates themselves, knows who is on the special committee in their area. The committee tries to draw Magistrates from different professions and social classes. The work of the Magistrates' Courts throughout the country depends on the unpaid services of JPs.

The use of the jury in English law stretches far into history; the modern English jury now owes its statutory existence to the Juries Act 1974. To qualify for jury service it is necessary to be a registered elector between the ages of 18 and 65 (the property qualification for jurors was abolished). All those people connected with the law by way of occupation (including ex-prisoners) are ineligible to jury service, as well as the clergy and the mentally ill. Barristers, solicitors and police officers must have retired from that work for a minimum of ten years. The call to jury service is regarded as an obligation.

A jury is normally composed of twelve persons whose names have been selected at random from the list of qualified jurors for the area. Its verdict must be unanimous (it is essentially one of «guilty» or «not guilty») and, in the event of failure to reach agreement, the case is retried before another jury. Only 6 - 7% of jury decisions are by a majority verdict.

Juries most frequently appear in criminal cases in the Crown Courts. The function of the jury is to determine the facts, having heard the judge's summing up and his directions on questions of law.

The lawyers may ask the judge to excuse a member of the ‘jury pool’ from sitting on the jury for this particular case. This is called challenging a juror. There are two types of challenges. The first is called a challenge for cause, which means that the counsel has a specific reason for thinking that the juror would be impartial. There is no limit on the number of panel members that the lawyers may have excuse for cause. The second type of challenge is called a peremptory challenge, which means that a lawyer does not have to state a reason for asking that the juror be excused. Like challenges for cause, peremptory challenges are designed to allow lawyers to do their best to assure that their clients will have a fair trial.

7. My future Profession.

My Future Profession

I am a second-year student of Kyiv National University named after Taras Shevchenko, Law faculty. When I entered the University I had a vague [veig] idea of what I would do in future. Having studied a lot of legal subjects, such as Theory of Law and State, Criminal Law, Civil Law, Financial Law and others I could outline the profession I’m engaged in. Now it is obvious that in community some kind of law is necessary because every day of our lives we are restrained and guided by law. It protects us while it restricts us. Sometimes it punishes us.

Law can also be defined as a standard of conduct, which regulates the relation of the individual to the central government, the relation of the government to the individual, and the relations among the individuals. If there is a conflict in these relations, the law also provides the court system, through which the respective sides can litigate a problem and reach a solution. So, the scope of the law necessarily makes it complex, and complexity has created the need for specialists, namely a lawyer, whose work is quite diversified [dai´və:sifaid]. He may act as the defence counsel in court, he may represent the interest of the plaintiff or the defendant in civil and criminal cases.

In national economy lawyers are entrusted the control on the legality of orders and instructions issued by governing bodies: they participate in drawing up different agreements and contracts, which are concluded with other enterprises; lawyers also inform on the current legislation and give help in legal matters, conduct cases in courts. In addition, they give advice on various legal problems and are often employed by business firms. In almost all civil-law countries there are notaries, who have exclusive rights to deal with such office work as marriage settlements and wills.

All barristers in our country are incorporated either in the national or regional (territorial) bar. Members of the bar work at legal advisory offices, which function in every town administrative district.

Our department trains specialists for working in court, Office of Public Prosecutor, Notary’s offices, other juridical bodies and also in legal service of national economy.


Block 2. Countries and their Political Systems.

The Constitution of Ukraine

Governed by the Act of Ukraine’s Independence of August 24, 1991, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine on behalf of the Ukrainian people adopted the Constitution – the Fundamental Law on June 28, 1996.

The Constitution establishes the country’s political system, assures rights, freedoms and duties of citizens and is the basis for its laws. It asserts that Ukraine is a sovereign and independent, democratic, social, legal state. It is a unitary state with single citizenship. Ukraine is a republic. The people are the only source of power which is exercised directly and through the bodies of state power and local self-government. The land, mineral raw materials, air space, water and other natural resources which are on the territory of Ukraine are objects of the property right of Ukrainian people. The state language in Ukraine is Ukrainian.

The state symbols of Ukraine are the State Flag, the State Emblem and the State Anthem of Ukraine. The State Flag is a blue and yellow banner made from two equal horizontal stripes. The Small State Emblem of Ukraine is the trident. The Anthem of Ukraine is the national anthem with the music of M. Verbytsky.

The capital of Ukraine is Kyiv.

The Constitution states that every person has the right to the free development of his/her personality, and has obligations before society where free and full development of the personality is assured. Citizens have equal Constitutional rights and freedoms and are equal before the law. There are no privileges or restrictions based upon race, color of skin, political and other beliefs, gender, ethnic and social origin, property, ownership, position, place of residence, language, religion. The articles of the Constitution guarantee the rights to life, personal inviolability and the inviolability of dwelling, noninterference in private life, free choice of residence, work, rest, education, social security, housing, health protection, medical care and medical insurance, legal assistance, a safe and healthy environment.

Defense of the Motherland, of the independence and territorial integrity of Ukraine, and respect for the state’s symbols are the duty of citizens. Citizens of Ukraine perform military services in compliance with the law. No person may damage the environment, cultural heritage. Every person shall pay taxes and duties in the order and amount determined by law.

The Constitution outlines the structure of the national government and specifies its powers and duties. Under the Constitution the powers of the government are divided into three branches – the legislative which consists of the Verkhovna Rada, the executive, headed by the Prime Minister, and the judicial, which is led by the Supreme Court. The Parliament – the Verkhovna Rada is the only body of the legislative power in Ukraine. There are 450 people’s deputies who are elected for a term of five years on the basis universal, equal and direct suffrage by secret ballot. The Verkhovna Rada’s main function is making laws. Laws drafting work is performed by its Committees. The Verkhovna Rada adopts the state Budget for the period from January 1 till December 31 and controls the execution of it. The President of Ukraine is the head of the state and speaks on behalf of it. He is elected directly by the voters for a term of five years with no more than two full terms. The highest body of the executive power is the Cabinet of Ministers. It is responsible to the President and is accountable to the Verkhovna Rada. It carries out domestic and foreign policy of the State, the fulfillment of the Constitution, as well as the acts of the President, develops and fulfills national programs on the economic, scientific and technical, social and cultural development of Ukraine. Justice in Ukraine is exercised entirely by courts. It is administered by the Constitutional Court and by courts of general jurisdiction. The Supreme Court of Ukraine is the highest judicial body of general jurisdiction.

The monetary unit of Ukraine is the Hryvnia.

The Constitution defines the territorial structure of Ukraine. It is composed of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, 24 regions, districts, cities, and districts in cities, settlements and villages. Cities of Kyiv and Sevastopol possess a special status determined by law.

The Constitution of Ukraine consists of 16 chapters, 161 articles.

The day of its adoption is a state holiday – the Day of the Constitution of Ukraine.

The British Constitution

Before examining the nature of the British constitution it is important to have a clear understanding of what is meant by ‘organs’ or ‘institutions’ of government. In this context we mean the executive, the legislature and the judiciary, in addition, in the United Kingdom, the monarch has an important constitutional role as head of the state.

The British constitution is not ‘written’, that is to say, it has never been wholly reduced to writing. Further, since Parliament is ‘sovereign’ it can, without any special procedure, and by simple Act, alter any law at any time, however, fundamental it may seem to be. Although, therefore, the courts have always been statute to safeguard the rights of the subject and although legal remedies, such as habeas corpus, are designed to protect him, yet, under the constitution, there are no guaranteed rights similar to the fundamental liberties safeguarded by the US Constitution.

The statement that the British Constitution is not ‘written’ does not mean that the British citizens possess no important constitutional documents; it merely means that the constitution is not embodied in any single document, or series of documents, containing the essential constitutional laws. Thus, the British citizens have many enactments which either have been or still are, of great importance. One needs only to cite as examples Magna Carta (1215), the Habeas Corpus (1679), the Bill of Rights (1688) – which set out the principle rights gained by Parliament and the nation as the result of the seventeenth century constitutional struggles – the Act of Settlement, (1700), and the Parliament Acts 1911 and 1949.

The sources of the British Constitution can be found in custom law, case law books, European Community law (since 1972) / European Union law (at present) and, most important, constitutional conventions. These are informal or ‘moral’ rules – a code of practice for government, which has evolved over the years. They are primarily concerned with the relationship between the Crown (Monarch) and the executive and the legislature. Many constitutional rules, such, for example, as the provisions of the Act of Settlement are laws in the ordinary sense, that is, they will be recognized and enforced by the courts.


The first 10 amendments to the Constitution and their purpose

Protections afforded fundamental rights and freedoms

Amendment 1. Freedom of religion, speech, press, and assembly; the right to petition the government,

Protections against arbitrary military action

Amendment 2. Right to bear arms and maintain state militia (National Guard).

Amendment 3. Troops may be quartered in homes in peacetime.

Protections against arbitrary police and court action

Amendment 4. No reasonable searches or seizures.

Amendment 5. Grand jury indictment required to prosecute a person for a serious crime. No ‘double jeopardy’ – being tried twice for the same offence. Forcing a person to testify against himself or herself prohibited. No loss of life, liberty or property without due process.

Amendment 6. Right to speedy, public, impartial trial with defense counsel, and the right to cross-examine witnesses.

Amendment 7. Jury trials in civil suits where value exceeds 20 dollars.

Amendment 8. No excessive bail or fines, no cruel and unusual punishments.

Protections of states’ rights and unnamed rights of the people

Amendment 9. Unlisted rights are not necessary denied.

Amendment 10. Powers not delegated to the United States or denied to states are reserved to the states or to the people.

Political Parties of the UK

In a democracy, people vote for the political party (e.g. conservatives, liberals or socialists) that they want to form the government. What does it mean to be a conservative orasocialist? Often, it means different things in different countries, but in Britain we often talk about someone’s political position like this: left-wing (on the left) means socialist, in the centre (middle of the road) – liberal, right-wing (on the right) – conservative. The main parties in the UK are the Conservative party (right wing), the Labour Party (left wing) and the Liberal Democrats (centre).

The Conservative party goes back to the Tories, or Royalists, who originated in King John’s reign (1660-1685) The Tories were the party that supported the Church and the King; the other main party of the time were the Whigs, who were a group eager for political reforms. The Tory party gave way to its successor, the Conservative Party, in around 1830. The Conservative party believes in free enterprise and the importance of a market economy, with private ownership preferred to state control.

In 1899 the Trade Union Congress summoned a special conference of trade unions and special bodies to make plans to represent labour in Parliament. The proposal for such a meeting had come from Thomas Steels, a member of the Independent Labour Party, which was formed in 1893. The Conference met in February 1900 in London and has always been looked on as the foundation of the Labour party. The Labour party believes that private ownership and enterprise should be allowed to flourish, but not at the expense of their traditional support of the public services.

There has been a Liberal party in Great Britain since 1868 when the name was adopted by the Whig party. The Whig party was created after the Revolution of 1688 and aimed to subordinate the power of the Crown to that of Parliament and upper classes. In 1981 a second centre party was created by 24 Labour MPs. It was called the Social Democratic party, and soon formed an alliance with the Liberal party. They formed a single party which became the Liberal Democrats after the 1987 election. The Liberal Democrats believe that the state should have some control over the economy, but there should be individual ownership.

Electoral System in the UK

Every British citizen aged eighteen years or over who is not serving a sentence of imprisonment and is not a peer is eligible to be placed on the electoral register in a constituency. Normally this involves residence in the constituency on a certain day (10 October) but members of the armed forces and now British citizens who live abroad but have been registered within the previous five years can be entered on the register. At the moment there are 650 constituencies, the boundaries being drawn by impartial Boundary Commissions whose recommendations need approval of both Houses of Parliament. Their impartiality has not prevented their recommendations from being highly controversial as the way the boundaries are drawn can profoundly affect the electoral prospects of a particular party. The parties draw their support from different sections of the electorate and the exclusion or inclusion of a particular area can turn a safe seat into a marginal one and vice versa.

The choice of candidates by the parties profoundly affects the extent to which the voters’ wishes are reflected in the House of Commons because the voter can only choose between rival candidates. Each party has its own method for choosing candidates. The Labour Party in 1980 insisted that all Labour MPs must undergo a reselection process if they wished to be candidates at the next General Election. Anyone can form a political party, as happened in 1981 when the Social Democratic Party (SDP) was launched. Though election law puts strict limits on expenditure during an electoral campaign, to prevent bribery and corruption, it is very expensive to fight an election, particularly as national propaganda does not count towards election expenses. The Labour and Conservative parties draw their financial support mainly from the trade unions and industry respectively.

Their main disadvantage is, however, the British electoral system. Electors vote in their constituency and whichever candidate obtains most votes is elected an MP; even if he or she obtains only one vote more than his or her nearest rival and only a small percentage of the total vote. This system works best when there are only two parties, though even then it is possible for a party to obtain more over the country as a whole but have fewer seats in the House of Commons because its support may be unevenly distributed, so that it obtains big majorities in some seats and loses narrowly in others. This result is accentuated when there are three or more parties. A third party like the Liberals or now the Social Democratic and Liberal Alliance, whose support is spread fairly evenly throughout the country, is likely to win few seats but come second in many. Thus in the General Election of 1983, the Alliance obtained 25 per cent of vote but only 4 per cent of the seats.

Elections in Great Britain

The general election means that the voters in the country cast their votefor the candidate from the political party of their choice to be the Member of Parliament for the constituency. The political party which wins the most seats in the House of Commons forms the Government. This is different from by-election, which occurs when a Member dies, retires or disqualified, and voting takes place only in the constituency without a member, not throughout the country.

The United Kingdom is divided into areas which are known as constituencies. You live in a constituency and will register to vote there. You have one vote which you cast for the person you wish to represent you in the Parliament. Through this you also vote for the party which you wish to be in power.

The time between general elections is 5 years. About the month before the election the Prime Minister meets a small group of close advisers to discuss the date which would best suit the party. The date is announced to the Cabinet. The Prime Minister formally asks the Sovereign to dissolve the Parliament. General elections are usually held 17 days after the dissolution of the Parliament. Thursdays are popular general election days. General elections are often held in either spring or autumn.

Each constituency is divided into a number of polling districts; each of them has a polling station. Most polling stations are in public buildings such as schools, town halls or council offices. Voting takes place on Election Day (polling day) from 7 am till 10 pm in each constituency. Voters are sent a polling card in advance. Voting is by secret ballot, and the only people allowed in the polling station are presiding officer, the polling clerks, the duty police officer, the candidates, their election agents and the voters.

Just before the poll opens, the presiding officer shows the ballot boxes to those at the polling station to prove they are empty. The boxes are then locked and sealed. Voting takes place in a booth. The voter marks the ballot paper with a cross in the box opposite the name of the candidate of his or her choice and folds the paper to concealthe vote before placing it in the ballot box.

The results from each constituency are announced as soon as the votes have been counted, usually the same night. The national result is known by the next morning.

When all the results are known, the Queen usually invites the leader of the party winning the most seats in the House of Commons to be the Prime Minister and to form a Government. The second largest party becomes the official Opposition with the small group of its MPs being chosen to form the Shadow Cabinet. Its leader is known as the Leader of the Opposition. A date is then announced for the State Opening of Parliament, when the Monarch officially opens the new Parliament.

The House of Lords is unelected Chamber so is not involved in the electoral process. It closes when the Parliament dissolves and reassembles for the State Opening of Parliament.

Elections in the USA

Anyone who is an American citizen, at least 18 years old, and is registered to vote may vote. Each state has the right to determine registration procedures. A number of civic groups, such as the League of Women Voters, are actively trying to get more people involved in the electoral process and have drives to register as many as possible. Americans who want to vote must register, that is, put down their names in register before the actual elections take place. There are 50 different registration laws in the US – one set for each state. In the South, voters often have to register not only locally but also at the county seat.

Another important factor is that there are more elections in the US at the state and local levels than in most countries. Certainly, Americans are much more interested in local politics than in those at federal level. Many of the matters, such as those concerning education, housing, taxes, and so on, are made close to home, in the state or county.

The national presidential elections really consist of two separate campaigns: one is for the nomination at national party conventions. The other is to win the actual election. The nominating race is a competition between members of the same party. They run in a succession of state primaries and caucuses (which take place between March and June). They hope to gain a majority of delegate votes for their national party conventions (in July and August). The party convention then votes to select the party’s official candidate for the presidency. Then follow several months of presidential campaigns by the candidate.

In November of the election year (years are divided by four – leap years, e.g. 2000, 2004, 2008), the voters across the nation go to the polls. If the majority of popular votes in a state go to the presidential (and vice-presidential) candidate of one party, then that person is supposed to get all of that state’s ‘electoral votes’. These electoral votes are equal to the number of Senators and Representatives each state has in Congress. The candidate with largest number of these electoral votes wins the election. Each state’s electoral votes are formally reported by the ‘Electoral College’. In January of the following year, in a joint session of congress, the new President and Vice President are officially announced.

3. Legislative Power in Ukraine, Great Britain and the USA.

Legislature(Great Britain)

Parliament is the legislative organ and is constitutionally composed of the Monarch, the House of Lords, and the House of Commons.

The House of Lords currently has around 730 members, and there are four different types: life peers, Law Lords, bishops and elected hereditary peers. Unlike MPs, the public do not elect the Lords. The majority are appointed by the Queen on the recommendation of the Prime Minister or of the House of Lords Appointments Commission.

Life peers appointed for their lifetime make up the majority of the total membership. The power to appoint belongs formally to the Crown, but members are essentially created on the advice of the Prime Minister. Life peers’ titles cease on death. Law Lords were the first life peers. The Appellate Jurisdiction Act 1876 provides for up to 12 Law Lords to be appointed to hear appeals from the lower courts. They are salaried and can continue to hear appeals until they are 70 years old. After they retire they go on sitting in the House. Archbishops and bishops. The Anglican Archbishops of Canterbury and York, the Bishops of Durham [´darəm], London and Winchester and the 21 senior bishops of the Church of England have seats in the House. This is because the Church of England is the “established” Church of the State. When they retire as bishops their membership of the House ceases. Elected hereditary peers. The House of Lords Act 1999 ended the right of hereditary peers to sit and vote in the House of Lords. Until then there had been about 700 hereditary members. While the Bill was being considered, an amendment was passed which enable 92 of the existing hereditary peers to remain as members until the next stage of reform.

The House of Lords has a judicial function in addition to its legislative and deliberative functions. The House is the highest court in the land – the supreme court of appeal. It acts as the final court on points of law for the whole of the United Kingdom in civil cases and for England, Wales and Northern Ireland in criminal cases. Its decisions bind all courts below.

This is an unusual role for a legislative body that is part of Parliament. In most other democracies, the judiciary is separate from the legislature – usually in the form of a supreme court of appeal. For this reason the Government has legislated to establish a United Kingdom Supreme Court that will be constitutionally and physically separate from Parliament. Until October 2008, when the new UK Supreme Court is expected to come into operation, the present system will continue. The reasons for the present set-up are historical – the House of Lords has done this work for more than 600 years as part of the High Court of Parliament. Although the House of Commons was originally part of the High Court of Parliament, it has not been involved in judicial work since 1399. Today only highly qualified professional judges appointed to be law lords take part in the judicial function of the House.

The House of Commons is an elected and representative body; members (at present 650) are elected by almost universal adult suffrage to represent constituencies in England (523), Scotland (72), Wales (38) and Northern Ireland (17). The law relating to Parliamentary elections is contained in substance in the Representation of the People Act, 1949, as amended. Any British subject aged 21 or over, not otherwise disqualified (as for example, members of the House of Lords, certain clergy, undercharged bankrupts, civil servants, holders of judicial office, members of the regular armed services and the police forces) may be elected a Member of Parliament (M.P). Members are paid a salary and an allowance for secretarial and office expenses; after a Parliament is dissolved all seats are subject to a General Election. By elections take place when a vacancy occurs during the life of a Parliament, as when a member dies, is elevated to the House of Lords or accepts an “office of profit” under the Crown.

The Speaker of the House of Commons is elected by the members from the members to preside over the House immediately after each new Parliament is formed. He is an impartial arbiter over Parliamentary procedure and the traditional guardian of the rights and privileges of the House of Commons.

The functions of Parliament are: making laws; providing money for the government through taxation; examining government policy, administration and spending; debating political questions.

No law can be passed unless it has completed a number of stages in the House of Commons and the House of Lords. The Monarch also has to give a Bill the Royal Assent, which is now just a formality. Whilst a law is still going through Parliament it is called a Bill There are two main types of Bills – Public Bills, which deal with matters of public importance, and Private Bills which deal with local matters and individuals. Public and Private Bills are passed through Parliament in much the same way. When a Bill is introduced in the House of Commons, it receives a formal first reading. It is then printed and read a second time, when it is debated but not amended. After the second reading the Bill is referred to a committee, either a special committee made up of certain members of the House, or to the House itself as a committee. Here it is discussed in detailed and amended if necessary. The Bill is then presented for a third reading and is debated. If the Bill is passed by the Commons, it goes to the Lords, and provided it is not rejected by them, it goes through the same procedure as in the Commons. After receiving the Royal Assent the Bill becomes an Act of Parliament. In order to be enforced, it must be published in Statute form, becoming a part of Statute Law. The power of the Lords to reject a Bill has been severely curtailed. A money Bill must be passed by the Lords without amendment within a month of being presented in the House. The Act of 1949 provides that any Public Bill passed by the Commons in two successive parliamentary sessions and rejected both times by the Lords, may be presented for the Royal Assent, even though it has not been passed by the Lords. The Lords, therefore, can only delay the passage of a Public Bill, they cannot reject it.

The supremacy, or sovereignty, of the United Kingdom Parliament is probably the most basic principle of British constitutional law. Parliament acts in such a way as not to bind its successors in the manner or form of their legislation, and, in the Parliament Acts of 1911 and 1949 has provided that in certain circumstances a Bill may become law without the concurrence of all the component parts of Parliament. These two acts have clarified the supremacy of the House of Commons over the House of Lords, which can only delay the passage of Public Bills for a maximum period of one year and cannot delay at all the passage of Money Bills (financial measures).


Supreme legislative power in the American government lies with Congress, which consists of two chambers or houses – the Senate (the upper house) and the House of Representatives (the lower house). Each state has its own government, following the Washingtonpattern– State Assemblies or Legislatures with two chambers.

Congress of the United States is the legislature of the United States of America established under the Constitution of 1789 and separated structurally from the executive and judicial branches of government.

Congress has no general legislative power such as is enjoyed by the British Parliament, and to a lesser degree by the legislatures of the American states; it has only such functions and authority as are expressly conferred on it by the Constitution or are impliedin the Constitution. Many of the express powers are defined in Article 1, Section 8. Among these are the power ‘to levy and collect taxes’, ‘borrow money on the credit of the United States’, ‘regulate commerce with foreign nations and among several states’, ‘coin money’, ‘establish post offices’, ‘declare war’, ‘raise and support armies’, and ‘make all laws’ necessary for the execution of its own powers and ‘all other powers vestedby this Constitution in the government of the United States’. This Section also empowersCongress to administer the District of Columbia, which containsseat of the federal government. Other express powers are conferred on Congress in other articles of the Constitution. Among the implied powers of Congress is the right to establish legislative machinery to give effect to its express powers.

The Senate is one of the two houses of the legislature of the United States established in 1789 under the Constitution. The role of the Senate was conceived by the Founding Fathers as a check on the popularly elected House of Representatives. The US Senate has some special powers, not given to the House of Representatives. The Senate approves or disapproves major Presidential appointments of such high officials asambassadors, Cabinet ministers and federal judges. The Senate must also ratify, by a two-third vote, treaties between the USA and foreign countries.

The House of Representatives has a special power of its own. Only a member of the House can introduce a bill to raisemoney, but it must also be passed by the Senate before it can become a law.

The Senate is composed of 100 members, two from each of 50 states, who are elected for a term of six years. Although Congressional elections take place every two years, only one-third of the Senate is re-elected, thereby ensuring continuity.

The Constitution says that a Senator must be at least 30 years old, a citizen of the USA for nine years and a resident of the state from which he is elected. The individual seats in the Senate are numbered. Democrats sit in the Western part of the chamber – on Vice President’s right. Republicans sit on his left. Vice President presidesover the Senate and conducts debates. The Senate is more stable and more conservative than the House of Representatives, as many Senators are re-elected several times and often they are more experienced politicians.

The House of Representatives has 435 members. The number of Representatives which each state sends to the House depends on its population. The Constitution says that each state, no matter how small it is in population, must have at least one Representative.

A Representative must be at least 25 years of age, a US citizen for seven years and live in the state from which he is elected. Congressmen of the House do not have individual seats, by tradition Democrats sit on the Speaker’s right, Republicans – on his left. The Speaker presides over the House and conducts debates. The Speaker, like the Vice-President in the Senate, may vote, but usually he does not do it, except in case of a tie-vote.

Votes are taken in American Congress in four different ways. Usually the Speaker or the Vice-President says, ‘As many as are in favour say ‘Aye’!’ and then, ‘As many as are opposed say ‘No’!’ In most case it is enough. But if there is a doubt those in favour are asked to stand up and they are counted. The Speaker or the Vice President does the counting in his chamber and announces the result. If there is still doubt, two tellers are appointed. The fourth way is the roll-call, where the names of all Congressmen are called out and they answer ‘Aye’ or ‘No’.

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