Ukrainian legal system

Ukrainian legal system is based on Roman law and consists mainly of codified laws. Since obtaining independence by Ukraine in 1991 the legal system has undergone several important development stages. Ukraine became a member of the European Council in 1995 and adopted a new Constitution in 1996. In 1998 the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) with the EU entered into force, and in 2005 it was adopted according to the operating plan for approximations of laws. Also a working party for WTO (World Trading Organization) entering was established in 1993. The Civil Code had been reformed, and the new one came into force in 2004. Further, according to the market-oriented legislation, the Economic Code was also adopted together with the new Civil Code.
Ukraine is a parliamentary presidential republic with separate legislative, executive and judicial branches of power. Ukraine has recently undergone the constitutional reform that has changed the balance of power between the executive and legislative branches and their relation to the President.

Source and hierarchy of laws

The Constitution has the highest legal force. Laws and other legal regulations shall be adopted on its basis.

National laws
The next legislative level is based on laws adopted by Ukrainian Parliament (Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine). Specific spheres of legislation are regulated by “codes”, such as the Civil Code, the Economic Code, the Criminal Code, the Labour Code etc.
After adoption by the Parliament the law is to be signed and published by the President or returned to the Parliament for further considerations. The Cabinet of Ministers with the Prime Minister as its head ensures the execution of laws including the implementation of the state budget. Local state administrations execute the laws on regional and municipal levels.

Fields of law in Ukraine

In Ukraine the legislation may be categorized by various different fields. The main categories are:

Constitutional Law

Constitutional Law regulates the basic principles of state structure and management in Ukraine, the competencies of main authorities including the Parliament, the President, the Cabinet of Ministers, other central authorities and the judiciary.

Administrative Law

Administrative Law comprises norms regulating the relations between state authorities and municipalities, as well as between them and natural / legal persons.

Civil Law

Civil Law comprises provisions regulating the relations between private persons and legal entities. The main act in this regard is the Civil Code.

Commercial Law

Commercial Law comprises norms regulating the relations between legal and natural persons with regard to their engagement into commercial (entrepreneurial) activity.

Criminal Law

Criminal Law comprises legal norms defining crimes and criminal penalties according to the Criminal Code of Ukraine.

Labour Law

Labour Law comprises norms regulating legal relations between employer and employee, such as labour contracts, safety at work and vacations. The main law in this respect is the Labour Code adopted in 1971.

Family Law

Family Law comprises legal norms regulating  relations in the sphere of marriage and family according to the Family Code of Ukraine.

Financial Law

Financial Law comprises legal norms regulating relations in the sphere of state budget formation and disposition, budget approval, capital turnover, taxation etc.

Land Law

Land Law comprises legal norms regulating relations in the sphere of  land ownership, norms and order of land utilization etc. according to the Land Code of Ukraine.

Ecological Law

Ecological Law comprises legal norms defining ways, forms and order of natural environment protection.

Procedural law

Procedural Law is a general term for court and sanction procedures in the sphere of civil, commercial, administrative, criminal law. Procedural Law in Ukraine is represented, for instance, by such codes as Civil Procedure Code or Criminal Procedure Code.