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.

Jurisdiction(s) of Islamic Law

Islamic law has no official jurisdiction of operation in Ukraine.

Dominant School of Islamic Law

Ukraine has no official school of Islamic law.

Sources of Law for Legal Research

Official Publications

Unofficial Databases

  • FAOLEX: Ukraine (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations) database of national laws and regulations on food, agriculture, and renewable natural resources.
  • NATLEX: Ukraine (International Labour Organization) database of national laws on labor, social security, and related human rights.
  • RefWorld Legal Information: Ukraine (UNHCR)
  • WIPO Lex: Ukraine (World Intellectual Property Organization) 


For an extended list of legal resources for this country, see the Library of Congress’s Research Guide, and for a narrative review, see the GlobaLex Foreign Law Research Guide (most updated version, where available). The Constitution is available in the LOC Guide in its original language and at Constitute in English and Arabic translation. For full versions of past constitutions, amendments, and related legislation, see HeinOnline World Constitutions Illustrated or Oxford Constitutions of the World [subscription required for each].