Historical Aspects Of Constitutional Responsibility In Ukrainian Lands In 1917-1920

  • V.V. Knysh
Keywords: Ukrainian People’s Republic (UPR), responsibility, social responsibility, legal responsibility, constitutional responsibility, constitutional and legal responsibility, constitutional and legal responsibility in the Ukrainian People’s Republic (UPR).


The article explores the main aspects of legal consolidation of constitutional legal responsibility on Ukrainian lands in 1917-1920. In this case, the main attention is paid to the legislation of the Ukrainian People’s Republic (UNR) on this issue.

On the author’s conviction, the responsibility of state authorities and local selfgovernment of the UPR was characterized by the following features:

1)     the consolidation at the level of the Constitution of the general and specific features of the constitutional and legal responsibility of the parliament of the UPR (NationalAssembly ofthe UPR). In particular, the common features ofthe constitutional legal responsibility of the Parliament of the UPR are their clear correspondence with the main functions: law-making (responsibility for the exercise of the functions of the legislative power) and personnel (constitutional and legal responsibility for the formation of executive and judicial authorities). Specific features of constitutional legal responsibility were expressed in the functions of exclusive constitutional rulemaking (amending the Constitution of the UPR by at least 3/5 of the votes of the present deputies; the authority to approve political and economic treaties concluded in the name of the UPR and to be responsible for their content and execution); economic and fiscal functions (the impossibility of collecting taxes without a decision of the National Assembly; the impossibility of establishing loans and pledging state property without a resolution of the National Assembly) emergency functions (responsibility for the National Assembly to form troops and law enforcement agencies of the state, for declaring war and peace)

1)    legal consolidation in relation to the government (Council of People’s Ministers) of sole retrospective (negative) constitutional legal responsibility, which provides for constitutional legal sanctions against the ministers themselves, as well as collective retrospective (negative) constitutional legal responsibility, which provides for constitutional legal sanctions against the entire government;

2)    Determination of constitutional legal responsibility (both positive and negative) for the administration of justice in the state by the General Court of the UPR;

3)    approval of the constitutional and legal responsibility of local authorities for the control function of the ministers of the UPR in relation to the elected Councils and Administrations of communities, volosts and lands, as well as through the jurisdictional function of the justice authorities;

4)    Conditionality of the constitutional and legal responsibility of the autonomous rights of national Unions with the exclusive competence of the National Unions and bodies representing them with functions of a fiscal and economic nature.

So, the basic principles of competence and constitutional legal responsibility of the organs of state power and local self-government of the UPR according to the Constitution of the UPR were closely related to the principle of separation of powers and other leading principles, corresponding models of a democratic, social and legal state.

It should also be noted that the normative consolidation of the foundations of constitutional legal responsibility (as well as other institutions of constitutional law of Ukraine) at the present stage of development of Ukrainian constitutionalism should be based not only on the current needs of state and law-making, but also certain positive historical and legal traditions, earlier existed on Ukrainian lands.