Country Profile: Ukraine

This Country Profile provides a basic overview of the legal history and institutional structures of Ukraine (Ukrayina), based on research produced by GlobaLex at NYU Law School and the Library of Congress. Under Ukraine’s Constitution, Islamic law (sharīʿa or fiqh) has no legal status.

Country Background

Ukraine is located in Eastern Europe, bordering the Black Sea. It is bounded by Moldova, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia, Poland, Belarus, and Russia. Ukraine is involved in an ongoing land dispute with Russia over Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014. The capital of Ukraine is Kiev (Kyiv). The official language is Ukrainian. The country’s population in 2016 was approximately 44.2 million, with the highest population density around the capital. Ukraine is a predominantly Christian country, with about 65% of the population Orthodox.

Constitution & Legal Structure

Ukraine is referred to as a semi-presidential republic. The system of government is based on principles of separation and checks and balances and has three branches: legislative, executive, and judicial. After Ukraine gained independence from the USSR, the first Constitution was adopted in 1996, and established a semi-presidential form of government. In 2004, in the course of profound political crisis, the Verkhovna Rada (the Ukrainian Parliament) amended the Constitution and redistributed state power, which weakened the presidency. Subsequently, in 2010, the Constitutional Court of Ukraine declared the amendments unconstitutional, and the initial edition of the Constitution was reinstated. In 2014, Ukraine experienced another serious political crisis, accompanied by violent clashes between protesters and police forces; in February of that year, the Parliament restored the 2004 constitutional reforms.

Constitutional Status of Islamic Law

Islamic law has no constitutional status in Ukraine. . . .

Read Ukraine’s profile.