Говоримо англійською - 40 розмовних тем - Л. П. Ільєнко 1997

The constitution of Ukraine

New words and word-combinations to be remembered:

governed (by) керуючись (чимось)

on behalf of від імені

single citizenship єдине громадянство

body кодекс, звід

obligation обов’язок

full development всебічний розвиток

restriction обмеження

inviolability недоторканість

in compliance with відповідно до

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 Unitarian state with single citizenship.

Ukraine is the 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 the Ukrainian people.

The state language in Ukraine is Ukrainian.

The state symbols of Ukraine are the National Flag, the National Emblem and the National Anthem of Ukraine, The National Flag is a rectangular cloth with two equal horizontal stripes, the upper coloured blue and the lower golden yellow. The National Emblem of Ukraine is a golden Tryzub on a blue shield.

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 face, colour 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, non-inteference in private and family 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.

Defence 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 President, 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 four years on the basis of universal, equal and direct suffrage by secret ballot.

The Verkhovna Rada’s main function is making laws. Law drafting work is performed by its Committees.

The Verkhovna Rada adopts the State Budget for the period from January 1 to December 31 and controls the execution of it. The monetary unit of Ukraine is the Hryvnia.

'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 technological, social and cultural development of Ukraine.

Answer the following questions:

1. When was the Act of Ukraine’s Independence adopted?

2. Whom do the land, mineral raw materials, air space, water and other natural resources belong to?

3. What rights does the Constitution guarantee?

4. What branches are the powers of the government divided into?

5. What is the Verkhovna Rada’s main function?

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