|Article title||The UPR Constitution of 1918 – the Pinnacle of Legislative Activities of the Ukrainian Central Rada|
|Name of magazine||Legal journal «Law of Ukraine» (Ukrainian version)|
Ukrainian constitutionalism has rich history which dates back to the beginning of the XVIII century and is associated with the Pylyp Orlyk Constitution of 1710. An outstanding document of the Ukrainian state-building of the XX century is the Constitution of the Ukrainian People’s Republic (hereinafter – UPR) adopted by the Ukrainian Central Rada (hereafter – UCR) on April 29, 1918. It signified the final stage of the UCR legislative activities during 1917 – early 1918. This article aims at analyzing the contents of the four UCR Universals and other UCR legal acts for the purpose of identifying their place and role in the UCR state-building activity as the documents of the constitutional nature. These acts defined the legal bases of sovereignty of the Ukrainian people and of the system of central public bodies, and also granted the UPR citizens a wide range of rights and freedoms, including the right of national minorities to national and personal autonomy. The author arrives at the conclusion that UCR legal acts of the pre- constitutional period contained the provisions which set up the foundations of local self-government in the UPR, the state’s social and economic structure and its foreign policies. In addition to the Universals as UCR complex acts, the following laws can be mentioned in the first place as the most significant acts of the constitutional nature: dated November 25, 1917 “On Maintenance of the Central Rada at Public Expense”, dated November 25, 1917 “On the Exclusive Right of the Central Rada to Issue Legislative Acts“, “On the Elections to the Constituent Assembly of the Ukrainian People’s Republic” (November 1917), dated December 2, 1917 “On the Establishment of the General Court”, dated January 9, 1918 “On the National and Personal Autonomy”, the Interim Land Law of January 31, 1918, dated March 2, 1918 “On Citizenship of the Ukrainian People’s Republic”, dated March 4, 1918 “On Registration of Citizenship of the Ukrainian People’s Republic”, dated March 6, 1918 “On the Administrative Territorial Division of Ukraine”. The author demonstrates that all of the transformations in the UPR were made with a view to building the independent Ukrainian state, and this idea was the keynote in most of the UCR legislative acts which preceded the UPR Constitution of 1918. As a conclusion, it is noted that the UPR Constitution, in terms of its concept and contents, largely repeated the preceding UPR legislation of the constitutional nature, the provisions of which provided for legitimation of the UPR as one of the forms of Ukrainian national statehood arising in the period of liberation of 1917–1921. It is stated that the draft UPR Constitution was prepared taking into account the constitutional development experience of foreign countries, in particular, the United States.
|Keywords||Ukrainian People’s Republic; UPR Constitution of 1918; Universals of the Ukrainian Central Rada|
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