Eine kurze Geschichte des ukrainischen Verfassungsrechts

On 21 February 2014, the parliament voted in favor of a law that reinstates into force several provisions of the 2004 Constitution of Ukraine, along with a few other changes (unfortunately, there is no English version of the new Constitution available yet; the one in force until February 2014 can be accessed here). 386 members of the parliament voted in favor. While the changes might not be perfect, they restore the balance of powers between the parliament and the president.

In my view, over the past years, Ukraine was de jure within the legal frames of the Constitution of 2004, and de facto illegally changed the Constitution that was operating by a 2010 decision of the Ukrainian Constitutional Court. The decision contradicts Ukrainian constitutional law and illustrates how Yanukovich sought to gather all power in his hands (along with his other acts, such as the “dictatorship laws” of 16 January 2014). Here is, step by step, how we ended up with the Constitution of 2010 and why it was actually invalid.

The Ukrainian Constitution before 2004

The Constitution of the USSR (Ukrainian Soviet Socialistic Republic) was adopted on 20th of April 1978 and went through substantial changes between 1989 and 1996. In 1992, after the Soviet Union collapsed, Art. 68 of the Constitution was amended to state that Ukraine is an independent state and the emblem of the USSR was removed, as were all provisions mentioning the Soviet Union later that year. In 1995, former Ukrainian president Leonid Kuchma and the speaker of the parliament Aleksandr Moroz signed a Constitutional agreement, which was in force until the adoption of the new Constitution of 1996.

The Constitution of an independent Ukraine was adopted in 1996 by the parliament. It replaced the previous Constitutional agreement and the Constitution of 1978 ...

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