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Why does Ukraine need a new Constitution?
There are laws in every state which all citizens ought to follow. Our state isn’t an exception, there are laws here as well which, collected together, are called Constitution (Lat. Constitutio – decide, form, found).
Answering to the question “Why does Ukraine need a new Constitution?” we should look at the history of the very constitution. History of Ukraine is full of ups and downs, and history of our Constitution is colorful as well. Thus in exile on the territory of the Ottoman Empire at the Dniester on Cossacks meeting on the 5th(16th) of April 1710 the treaty that determined rights and responsibilities of all troops members was concluded between Cossack Hetman Philip Orlyk and officers and Cossacks troops. It had 16 Articles and a preamble and was called “Pacts and Constitutions of Rights and Freedoms of the Zaporizhian Host”. Thus one of the first European and the first Ukrainian Constitution appeared. Unfortunately it didn’t come into force.
It was followed by the Constitution of Ukrainian National Republic. The Central Rada approved its provisions on the 29th of April 1918 under pressure of German and Russian occupational forces, however at the same day it completed its existence together with its creator. The UNR Constitution had 83 articles put together into 8 chapters; the subtitle stated “Statute on the state system, the rights and liberties of the UNR”.
Structure of the Soviet Union became the third difficult stage of the history of Ukrainian Constitution. It created its own order trying to capture Ukraine. The Constitution of the USSR was created on the 10th of March 1919, however it came into force only next year. Four Constitutions replaced each other, including the one from March 10th, 1991 during the USSR existence.
70 years later — in 1990 Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine adopted the Declaration for state sovereignty. Act for independence of Ukraine proclaimed on the 24th of August 1991 provoked a necessity to create Ukrainian Constitution. Constitutional process started from two different drafts of the Constitution taking into people’s consideration in 1992-1993, however both of them failed. People who uncompromisingly wished to keep Soviet system slowed down the process of formation of the Fundamental law. There was a need for a compromise in sharpened relations between power bodies. A coordinated Constitutional treaty approved by Verkhovna Rada on the 8th of June 1995 became such a compromise. This document created conditions for constitutional process to be activated, regardless of its certain disadvantages. Second wave of discussions regarding the Fundamental law began. Thus after all disputes were resolved, the Constitution of Ukraine was adopted by on the all-Ukrainian referendum on the 28th of June 1996. This was how the Constitutional process was over.
There is a need not only for editing, but for composing a new Constitution, taking into consideration historical experience of our country and the way the Fundamental law was being created. One of the first examples of such necessity is content of the Constitution of Ukraine being too complicated for regular citizens; it should be understandable even for middle school students, and its whole body should be more specific.
Corruption in our country is another actual reason; in my opinion a clear separation of powers between citizens, decentralization in other words, and certain powers being delighted to the authorities of another structural unit would resolve the issue of corruption. However this problem can not be resolved by composing a bill to the present constitution, only writing a new one would destroy this disease.
Current Fundamental law of Ukraine was partially written by people who were against Ukrainian sovereignty, and as a result there were articles in the Constitution which were incomplete, struck off or used in favor of Soviet politicians. We live according to laws created by people whose followers arranged an unnamed war in Donbas and illegally annexed Crimea. Isn’t it a reason for creation of a new Constitution?
The most important reform must happen in our conscience, which would let us clearly realize that indisputable, inalienable and inviolable right to establish the power, as well as to reform and modify it, in case required by people’s level of life, belongs to a citizen. People themselves are responsible for the society being changed, and no amendment to the Constitution can be adopted before being approved by the nation.
The first Chief Justice of the USA advised to the American people: “Every member of the State ought diligently to read and to study the constitution of his country… By knowing their rights, they will sooner perceive when they are violated, and be the better prepared to defend and assert them.”
It’s time to change for better and create a new, strong and democratic state, without useless people, where everyone could find his place, where everyone would respect his own and others’ rights and freedoms. I believe that we could overcome all obstacles on our way towards the established goal. We just should tell to ourselves “What happens tomorrow depends on me”. This is why we need a new Constitution, as we won’t be free without it.
Glory to Ukraine.