THE LAW OF UKRAINE ON PUBLIC ASSOCIATIONS
The right of citizens on freedom of association is an inalienable human right, set forth in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and is guaranteed by the Constitution and laws of Ukraine. The State assists in the development of political and public involvement, creative initiative of citizens and provides equal opportunities for their associations` activity.
CHAPTER I. GENERAL PRINCIPLES
ARTICLE 1. Public AssociationsA public association is a voluntary public amalgamation, formed on the basis of unity of interests with the purpose of realization by citizens of their mutual rights and freedoms.A public association, regardless of its title (movement, congress, association, foundation, union etc.), is recognized by this Law as a political party or public organization.This Law does not extend its force over religious, cooperative organizations, profit public associations, commercial foundations, bodies of local and regional self-government (including councils and committees of micro-rayons, house, street, block, village, settlement committees), bodies of public self-organization (people`s militia, comrades` courts etc.,), other public associations, whose procedure of establishment and activity is determined by the appropriate laws.Peculiarities of legal regulation of trade unions` activity are determined by the Law of Ukraine on Trade Unions.
ARTICLE 2. A Political PartyA political party is a public association of citizens who support a certain all-national program of public development, consider participation in development of state policy, forming of bodies of power, local and regional self-government and representation in their membership as their main goal.
ARTICLE 3. A Public OrganizationA public organization is a public association of citizens established with the purpose of satisfaction and protection of their legal social, economic, creative, age, national and cultural, sport and other mutual interests.
ARTICLE 4. Restrictions regarding establishment and activity of public associationsPublic associations whose goals are:
· changing of the constitutional system by violence and of the territorial integrity of the state by any illegal means;
· undermining of the state security in the form of activity to the advantage of foreign states;
· propaganda of war, violence or brutality, fascism and neo-faschism;
· initiation of national or religious intolerance;
· creation of illegal military units;
· restriction of generally acknowledged human rights may not be subject of legalization, and activity of such legalized public associations must be judicially banned.Establishment and activity of political parties, of which leading bodies or structural branches are situated outside Ukraine, as well as any structural branches of political parties in bodies of executive and judicial power, Armed Forces, National Guard and Frontier Troops, within state enterprises, state institutions and organizations, state education institutions is prohibited.
ARTICLE 5. Legislation Regarding Public AssociationsLegislation on Public Associations consists of the Constitution of Ukraine, this Law and other legislative acts, adopted in accordance with this Law.
CHAPTER II. PRINCIPLES OF ACTIVITY AND STATUS OF PUBLIC ASSOCIATIONS
ARTICLE 6. Principles of Establishment and Activity of Public AssociationsPublic associations are established and act on a voluntary basis and on the principles of its members` (participants`) equality, self-government, legality and openness. They are free in the choice of their activity`s directions.Restrictions regarding activity of public associations may be established only by the Constitution and laws of Ukraine.All main issues of public associations` activity have to be resolved at all its members` or members representatives` meetings.A public association is required to regularly publish its main documents, membership of its leading body, information about sources of funding and expenditures.
ARTICLE 7. Prohibition of Restriction of Human Rights and Freedoms with Regard to Their Membership or Non-Membership in Public AssociationsNo one may be forced to join any public association. Membership or non-membership in a public association may not be a reason for restriction of human rights and freedoms or for privileges or advantages provided by the State.Requirements regarding notification in official documents of membership (participation) in one or another public association is not permitted.Refusal to grant membership or expulsion from a political party due to gender or nationality is prohibited. Restrictions regarding membership in political parties for certain categories of citizens shall be set forth in the Constitution and laws of Ukraine.Staff members of public associations enjoy provisions of legislation on labor, social security and social insurance.
ARTICLE 8. The State and Public AssociationsThe State respects the rights and legal interests of public associations legalized in the order set forth in this Law.Interference of state bodies and officials in the activity of public associations, as well as interference of public associations in the activity of state bodies, officials, and other public associations is not permitted except for those cases stipulated by law.The Verkhovna Rada shall establish privileges regarding taxation of certain types of economic or other commercial activity of public associations, institutions and organizations formed by them, enterprises established by them; maximum amounts of particular and common annual contributions in support of political parties; approve the lists of public organizations, which shall enjoy state material support.
ARTICLE 9. Status of Public AssociationsPublic associations shall be established and act having either all-Ukrainian, local or international status.An association is considered to be an all-Ukrainian association if its activity is extended throughout the entire territory of Ukraine and if it has local branches in majority of oblasts of Ukraine.An association is considered to be a local association if its activity is extended over the territory of the appropriate administrative-territorial unit or region. A public association should establish the territory of its activity independently.A public organization is considered to be international if its activity is extended over the territory of Ukraine and of at least one other state.Political parties in Ukraine shall be established and act having only all-Ukrainian status.
ARTICLE 10. Public Associations` UnionsPublic associations have the right to establish or conclude unions (associations etc.), form blocs and coalitions, enter into agreements regarding cooperation and mutual assistance on a voluntary basis.Establishment and legalization of public associations` unions, order of their activity and liquidation shall be performed according to this Law.
CHAPTER III. THE ORDER OF ESTABLISHMENT AND TERMINATION OF PUBLIC ASSOCIATIONS` ACTIVITY
ARTICLE 11. Founders of Public AssociationsPolitical parties shall be established upon the initiative of Ukrainian citizens no less than 18 years of age, who are not restricted in their legal competency and are not being held in a jail.Citizens of Ukraine, citizens of other countries, people without citizenship at least 18 years of age may be founders of public associations; people at least 15 years of age may be founders of youth and children associations.A decision on establishment of a public association shall be adopted by a Constituent Congress (Conference) or by a General Meeting.Public associations shall be founders of unions of public associations.
ARTICLE 12. Membership in Public AssociationsCitizens of Ukraine at least 18 years of age may be members of political parties.People at least 14 years of age may be members of all public organizations except for youth and children organizations. Sufficient age of members of youth and children organization shall be determined in their statutes.Public organizations may not have a fixed membership of individuals.Collective members may take part in activity of public organizations in events, foreseen by their statutes.
ARTICLE 13. Statute (Regulations) of Public AssociationsA public association shall act on a basis of its statute.The Statute of a public association should include the following:1) original title of the public association, its status and legal address;2) goal and task of the public association;3) conditions and order of granting membership in the public association and retirement;4) rights and duties of members (participants) of the public association;5) order of establishment and activity of statute bodies of the public association, local branches and their powers;6) sources and procedure of usage of funds and other property of the public association, the procedure of reporting, control, performing of economic and other commercial activity, necessary for fulfillment of goals prescribed in the statute;7) procedure of amending and changing of the public association`s statute;8) procedure of termination of the public association`s activity and resolving the property issues appearing due to its liquidation.Other provisions which may concern peculiarities of establishment and activity of the public association may be stipulated in the statute.A public association`s statute may not contradict the laws of Ukraine
ARTICLE 14. Registration of Public AssociationsRegistration (official recognition) of public associations shall be made by means of their registration or report regarding its establishment.In the event of registration, the public association obtains the status of a legal entity.Political parties and international public associations are subjects of obligatory registration by the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine.Registration of a public association shall be made respectively by the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine, local bodies of the state executive power, executive committees of village, settlement and city radas of people`s deputies.In the event activity of a local public association extends on the territory of two or more administrative-territorial units, its registration shall be made by the appropriate higher body whose territory of authority encompasses the sphere of activity of the public association.Local branches of registered all-Ukrainian and international public associations are the subject of obligatory registration by the local bodies of the state executive power, executive committee of village, settlement, city rada of people`s deputies, if such registration is stipulated in the statute documents of these associations.
ARTICLE 15. Registration Procedures of Public AssociationsIn order to register a public association its founders shall submit an application. The application on registration of a public association must be supported by signatures of no less than one thousand Ukrainian citizens who have the right to vote.The following documents should be attached to the application: statute (regulations), minutes of the Constituent Congress (Conference) or General Meeting, information about personnel of the leading bodies determined in the statute, information about local branches, documents confirming the payment of a registration fee. A political party should also attach their program documents.An application on registration is to be considered within two months from the date of the receipt of the appropriate documents. If necessary, a body which is supposed to conduct registration shall check the information included into the submitted documents. The applicant shall be informed in written form about the decision on registration or refusal to register within 10 days.Representatives of a public association may be present during the consideration of the issue of registration.A public association shall inform the registering body about changes in the statutory documents within 5 days.Re-registration of a public association shall be made according to this Law.Bodies, which perform registration of public associations shall keep and properly update the list of registered public associations.The amount of the registration fee shall be determined by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine.
ARTICLE 16. Refusal to RegisterIf the statutory documents of a public association or other documents submitted for registration contradict Ukrainian law, such public association may be denied registration.A decision to deny registration must include the basis for such refusal. This decision may be appealed to the courts.
ARTICLE 17. A Report on EstablishmentPublic associations and their unions may legalize their establishment by means of a written report to, respectively, the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine, local bodies of state executive power, executive committees of village, settlement, city radas of people`s deputies.ARTICLE 18. Symbols of Public AssociationsPublic associations may use their own symbols.Symbols of a public association shall be approved according to its statute.Symbols of a public association must not resemble state or religious symbols.Symbols of a public association are the subject of state registration in the order, determined by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine.
ARTICLE 19. Termination of a Public Association`s ActivityTermination of a public association`s activity may be executed my means of its reorganization or liquidation (self-dissolution, forced dissolution).Reorganization of a public association shall be executed according to its statute. Registration of a new public association shall be conducted in the order established by this Law.Liquidation of a public association shall be performed on the basis of the statute or a court decision.
CHAPTER IV. RIGHTS OF PUBLIC ASSOCIATIONS, ECONOMIC AND OTHER COMMERCIAL ACTIVITY
ARTICLE 20. Rights of Registered Public AssociationsTo accomplish goals and tasks determined in statutory documents, public associations enjoy the following rights:
· to take part in civil legal relations, acquire property and non-property rights;
· to represent and protect its legal interests and legal interests of its members (participants) in state and public bodies;
· to take part in the political activity, conduct public measures (meetings, gatherings, demonstration etc.);
· ideologically, organizationally and materially support other public associations, provide assistant in their establishment;
· to establish institutions and organizations;
· to receive from bodies of state power and administration, as well as from bodies of local self-government, information which is necessary for achievement of their goals and tasks;
· to submit proposals to state bodies of power and administration;
· to spread information and propagandize its ideas and goals;
· to establish means of mass media. Public associations have the right to establish enterprises, necessary for accomplishment of statutory goals.In addition, in the order determined by law, political parties have the following rights:
· to participate in the development of state policy;
· to participate in the formation of bodies of power, representation therein;
· to access to the state mass-media during electoral campaigns. Public associations enjoy other rights set forth by law of Ukraine.
ARTICLE 21. Property of Public AssociationsA public association may hold in ownership funds and other properties necessary for fulfillment of its statutory activity.A public association obtains the right of ownership of funds and other property transmitted to it by its founders, members (participants) or the State, received through internship and member fees, contributions by citizens, enterprises, institutions and organizations as well as the property acquired at the expense of its own funds or on other bases which are not prohibited by law.Political parties also have rights acquired as the result of selling public and political literature, other materials of agitation and propaganda, articles with their own symbols, the conduct of festivals, holidays, exhibitions, lectures and other political measures.Public organizations have also the right to property and funds, acquired as the result of economic and other commercial activity of institutions and organizations created on a self-supporting basis, enterprises established by them.Funds and other property of public associations, including those which are being liquidated, may not be distributed among their members and shall be used only for the purposes of fulfillment of the statutory tasks or for the purposes of charity; in events foreseen by legislative acts, they shall be transferred to the state benefit by a court decision.
ARTICLE 22. Restrictions Regarding Receiving of Funds and Other Property by Political Parties, Their Institutions and OrganizationsPolitical parties, their institutions and organizations may not receive funds or other property, either directly or indirectly, from:
· foreign states and organizations, international organizations, foreign citizens and persons without citizenship;
· state bodies, state enterprises, institutions and organizations except for cases determined in the law of Ukraine;
· enterprises, established on the basis of mixed form of property, if the state`s or a foreign participants` share exceeds 20 per cent;
· non-registered public associations;
· anonymous contributors. Political parties do not have the right to receive revenues from shares and other stocks, and may not have accounts in foreign banks and keep valuables in them. Political parties are required to publish their budgets on an annual basis for public review.
ARTICLE 23. Exercising Property RightsProperty rights of public associations shall be exercised by their highest bodies of administration (general meetings, conferences, congresses, etc.) in the order stipulated by the laws of Ukraine and statutory documents.Certain functions regarding the administration of property may be placed by the highest statutory bodies of administration on bodies or local branches established by them, or may be transferred to unions of public associations.
ARTICLE 24. Economic and Other Commercial ActivityWith the aim to approach statutory tasks and goals, registered public associations may perform appropriate economic and other commercial activity by means of establishment of institutions and organizations on a self-supporting basis having the status of legal entities, establishment of enterprises in the order determined by law.Political parties, institutions and organizations established by them do not have the right to establish enterprises except for mass-media, and perform economic and other commercial activity except for selling public and political literature, other materials of agitation and propaganda, articles with their own symbols, the conduct of festivals, holidays, exhibitions, lectures and other public and political measures.Public associations, institutions and organizations established by them are required to perform current calculations and accounting, statistical reporting, undergo registration in the institutions of the state tax inspection and pay budget contributions in the order and amount stipulated by law.
CHAPTER V. OVERSIGHT AND CONTROL OVER THE ACTIVITY OF PUBLIC ASSOCIATIONS. ACCOUNTABILITY FOR VIOLATING THE LAW
ARTICLE 25. State Oversight and Control over the Activity of Public AssociationsState control over the activity of public associations shall be performed by state bodies in the order set forth by the laws of Ukraine.Bodies which conduct registration of public associations shall perform control over their adherence to the statutory provisions. Representatives of these organizations have the right to be present at measures conducted by public associations, require necessary documents, receive proper explanations.Oversight of fulfillment of and adherence to legal requirements by public associations shall be performed by the bodies of the Prosecutor`s office.Control over sources and the amount of contributions to, and tax payment by public associations shall be performed by the appropriate financial bodies and bodies of the state tax inspection.
ARTICLE 26. The Order of Performing Financial ControlPublic associations shall submit to financial bodies declarations regarding their contributions and expenditures in the determined order.Lists of entities whose contributions to political parties exceed the amount determined by the Verkhovna Rada shall be published in the newspaper "Holos Ukrayiny" (The Voice of Ukraine) on an annual basis and on the basis of financial declarations.A special commission of the Verkhovna Rada, which consists of deputies - representatives of all political parties having representation in the Verkhovna Rada, shall consider their financial activity during the last year and shall report on its findings at a plenary meeting of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.In the event of violation of the financial restrictions, a political party shall be held accountable in accordance with the law. Illegal contributions shall be withdrawn and transferred to the State Budget; this action may not be appealed.
ARTICLE 27. Accountability for Violating the LawOfficials of the bodies which perform legalization of public associations as well as citizens hold disciplinary, civil, administrative or criminal accountability for violating the Law on Public Associations.Public associations are held accountable for the provisions set forth in this Law and in other legal acts of Ukraine.ARTICLE 28. Types of PenaltiesFor violating the law, a public association may be penalized as follows:· a notice; · a fine;
· temporary prohibition (termination) of certain types of activity;
· temporary prohibition (termination) of activity;
· forced dismissal (liquidation).
ARTICLE 29. A NoticeIn the event of committing an offense by a public association, which does not lead to inevitable usage of other kinds of penalties foreseen by this Law, the appropriate legal body shall issue a written notice.
ARTICLE 30. A FineIn the event of serious or systematic commission of offenses, upon submission by an appropriate legal body or by a procurator, a public association may be fined in accordance with a court order.
ARTICLE 31. Temporary Prohibition (Termination) of Certain Types of Activity or of Activity in its EntiretyDue to illegal activity of a public association, upon submission by an appropriate legal body or by a procurator, a court may temporarily ban certain types of activity or temporarily ban the entire activity of a public association for a term of three months.Temporary bans of certain types of a public association`s activity may be performed by prohibition to conduct public measures (meetings, gatherings, demonstrations etc.) executing of publishing activity, conduct of bank transfers, operations with material values etc.Upon submission of a legal body which has appealed to a court regarding the temporary ban of certain types of the entire activity of a public association, a court may extend this term. The entire term of a ban must not exceed six months.Upon elimination of circumstances which were reasons for a temporary ban, upon application of a public association, its activity may be restored entirely by a court.
ARTICLE 32. Forced Dismissal (Liquidation) of a Public AssociationUpon submission by a legal body or by a procurator, a public association shall be forcibly dismissed (liquidated) by a court decision in the following events:1. Commission of actions stipulated in Article 4 of this Law.2. Systematic or serious violation of the requirements of Article 22 of this Law.3. Continuation of illegal activity after penalty in accordance with this Law.4. Decrease in the membership of a public association to the extent where it may not be considered as such.A decision on forced dismissal of all-Ukrainian and international public associations on the territory of Ukraine shall be adopted by the Constitutional Court of Ukraine.
CHAPTER VI. INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS OF PUBLIC ASSOCIATIONS. INTERNATIONAL PUBLIC ASSOCIATIONS
ARTICLE 33. International Relations of Public AssociationsPublic organizations and their unions in accordance with their statutes may establish or join international public (non-governmental) organizations, form international unions of public associations, hold direct international contacts and relations, enter into the appropriate agreements as well as take part in undertaking measures which do not contradict the international commitments of Ukraine.Political parties have the right to establish or join international unions, whose statutes provide only for establishment of consultative or coordinative central bodies.
ARTICLE 34. International Public Organizations. Branches of International Public OrganizationsInternational public organizations, branches, affiliations, representations, other structural branches of public (non-governmental) organizations of foreign states on the territory of Ukraine shall act in accordance with this Law and other legislative acts of Ukraine.A legalized public organization, which is a founder or member of an international organization or otherwise extended its activity over the territory of a foreign state, is required to submit the appropriate documents for re-registration in the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine as an international organization within a one-month term.The order of registration of affiliates and other structural branches of public organizations shall be determined by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine.
L.KRAVCHUKPresident of UkraineKyiv,
June 16, 1992 SOURCE: IFES Ukraine.