Ivanova Anastasiia

Yearly journal of scientific articles “Pravova derzhava” Volume 31 (2020), 162-171 p.

Ivanova Anastasiia. Law on National Personal Autonomy as part of the Ńonstitution of Ukrainian People’s Republic: history of creation : on history of creation

Introduction. The article reconstructs the process of drafting the law of UPR "On National-Personal Autonomy" as part of the Constitution of UNR in 1918. The history of drafting the text of the bill, its discussion and adoption is considered. Particular attention is paid to the authorship of the law on national and personal autonomy prepared by a special commission of the Vice-Secretariat of Jewish Affairs, composed of M. Zilberfarb, I. Ya. Khurgin and M. Shats-Anin.

The aim of the article is to reconstruct the history of the preparation of the law on national-personal autonomy. The author regards it as part of the Constitution of UNR. The author argues that the authorship of the law, and, this part of the Constitution of UNR, belongs to a separate commission consisting of representatives of the vice secretary for Jewish affairs chaired by Moses Zilberfarb.

Methods and results. The process of drafting the law, as well as its subsequent discussion and adoption, are discussed in detail. The most painful issues were the scope of the powers of the National Union and their right to collect taxes with a corresponding narrowing of the tax capacity of the state. The draft law was first considered by the Jewish National Council, then on December 19, 1917, by the General Secretariat. The Ukrainian Central Rada began considering the law on December 30, 1917, continued on January 2, 1918, and finally adopted it on January 9, 1918.

Despite the fact that some points of the law caused controversy between the factions, and some memoir sources mention the extremely negative perception of the members of the Central Election Commission represented at the session of the law at the level of the idea of national and personal autonomy, while voting on the law as a whole there was “no dissent” or “abstained”.

Conclusions. Such an approach allows to deepen the traditional interpretation of the law on national-personal autonomy as a testimony to the liberality of national policy of the Central Rada. The experience of drafting a law on national personal autonomy and its subsequent discussion and adoption demonstrates a successful combination of a deep professional approach and political thinking, an active position in the defense of their own interests - by Jewish politicians, and state thinking, the ability to compromise, uphold national state priorities through the involvement of national minorities as "allies" – by pro-Ukrainian politicians.

This combination is evidenced by the existence of a significant influence of the Jewish factor on the development of the legal system of the young Ukrainian republic. Along with the obvious dependence of Ukrainian Jewry on the decisions of the Ukrainian government, there is every reason to argue that there has been a noticeable reverse influence of Jewish politicians on Ukrainian law, and ultimately about the mutual influence of Ukrainian and Jewish factors in Ukrainian lawmaking 1917–1918.

Key words: national-personal autonomy, Law on National Personal Autonomy, Statute of autonomy of Ukraine, Constitution of UPR April 29, 1918, Statute on the state system, rights and freedoms of Ukraine.


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