The adoption of a new constitution of Ukraine on the 28th of June 1996 became an important event in the life of the people of Ukraine.
Our country has long-standing constitutional traditions. The first constitutions were adopted at the end of the eighteenth century. The Constitution of the USA was adopted in 1787. In 1791 the Constitutions of France and Poland were adopted..
But long before, in 1710, in Bendery city Cossack Rada and Pylyp Orlyk, Getman of Ukraine in expulsion, adopted the document which was the first prototype of modern constitutions. It was called "Pacts and Constitutions of Laws and Freedoms of Zaporozhsky Troops".
Being the first constitution in Europe it was notable for its profound democracy. This Constitution included the preamble and 16 paragraphs. The main principles of construction of the Ukrainian state were formulated there: the role of orthodoxy in state and society, the independence of Ukraine from Poland and Moscow. But the most important achievement of this Constitution was the idea of separation of legislative, executive and judicial powers. This idea reflected the most progressive views of that time on the state building.
Nevertheless, all the attempts to create the independent Ukrainian state failed. 150 years later, in 1917—1920, the Central Rada, and then Getman Skoropadsky made one more unsuccessful attempt.
Only at the end of the 20th century Ukraine became both the independent state and the full member of the European Council. Due to this, it was necessary to bring the Ukrainian legislation into accord with European norms.
On the 24th of October 1990 the constitutional commission was appointed by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine. The draft constitution was written during the first stage of its preparation (1990 - 1993). It was logically and legally completed during the second stage (1994 - 1996). The draft constitution was published and went through nation-wide discussion. And during the 5th session of the Verhovna Rada, after the intensive and dramatic debates, which did not stop even at night, the Main Law of Ukraine was adopted. It happened on the 28th of June, 1996.
The Constitution of Ukraine includes the preamble and 102 clauses. They reflect the main principles of the state system of Ukraine, the rights and duties of its citizens. Common to all mankind principles of democracy are embodied in the Constitution. The basic economic, social, cultural, public and political rights are guaranteed by the Constitution. According to the Constitution of Ukraine is a sovereign, independent, democratic, social and juridical state. Territorial integrity and inviolability of Ukraine are proclaimed in the Constitution.
The power in Ukraine belongs to people. It is exercised through democratic elections and referendums and by state government bodies and self-government institutions. The form of state government is a republic. The head of state is the president. The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine is the highest legislative body in the country. All citizens have equal rights. People are proclaimed to be the greatest social value in Ukraine. These and other regulations are successively developed in the chapters of the Constitution.