Law of Ukraine

"On the Legal Status of the State of Emergency"

Date of entry into force:
April 25, 2000

The Law determines the essence of the legal status of the state of emergency, the procedure for introducing and lifting it, the work specifics of the bodies of state power and bodies of local self-government, enterprises, institutions and organizations in the state of emergency, observing the human and citizen rights and freedoms, as well as the rights and legitimate interests of legal entities, and the liability for violating the requirements or failing to observe the measures of the legal status of the state of emergency.

According to Article 1 of the Law, a state of emergency is a special legal status that can be temporarily introduced in Ukraine or its separate regions in case of man-made or natural disasters of at least national level, which have caused or may cause loss of life and property, create a threat to the life and health of the citizens, or in case of attempted takeover of state power or change of the constitutional order of Ukraine by force; this state entails granting authority, according to the Law, to appropriate bodies of state power, bodies of military command and bodies of local self-government, to enable them to eliminate the threat and ensure safety and health of the citizens, normal functioning of the national economy, the bodies of state power and local self-government, and protect the constitutional order; it also allows temporary limitation in the exercising of the human and citizen constitutional rights and freedoms, and the rights and legitimate interests of legal entities, as caused by the threat, for a specified term.

The state of emergency is introduced only in the presence of a real threat to the safety of the citizens or the constitutional order, which cannot be eliminated otherwise (Article 4 of the Law).

The state of emergency can be introduced in case of:
  • particularly severe man-made and natural disasters (acts of nature, catastrophes, large-scale fires, use of killing agents, pandemics, panzootics, etc.) that create a threat to the life and health of large groups of the population;
  • mass terrorist acts accompanied by death of people or destruction of vital infrastructure objects;
  • international and inter-confessional conflicts, blocking or takeover of specific important objects or areas that creates a threat to the safety of the citizens and disrupts normal work of the bodies of state power and local self-government;
  • mass disturbances that are accompanied with violence towards citizens and limit citizen rights and freedoms;
  • attempts to take over the state power or change the constitutional order of Ukraine by force;
  • mass crossing of the state border from the territory of the neighboring states;
  • the necessity to restore the constitutional law and order and the work of the bodies of state power.

Article 5 of the Law states that the state of emergency in Ukraine or its separate regions is introduced by Order of the President of Ukraine, subject to approval by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine within two days after being addressed by the President of Ukraine.

According to Article 6 of the Law, the Order of the President of Ukraine on introducing the state of emergency shall state:
  • reasons substantiating the necessity for introducing the state of emergency;
  • boundaries of the area where the state of emergency is being introduced;
  • the time on which the state of emergency is introduced, and the term for which it is introduced;
  • the list and limits of emergency measures, an exhaustive list of human and citizen constitutional rights and freedoms that are temporarily limited due to the introduction of the state of emergency, and a list of temporarily limitations of the rights and legitimate interests of legal entities, specifying the term of such limitations;
  • the bodies of state power, bodies of military command and bodies of local state-government that are charged with carrying out the emergency state measures, and the limits of their additional authority;
  • other issues arising from the Law.

The state of emergency in Ukraine can be introduced for a term not exceeding 30 days, and in separate regions of Ukraine for a term not exceeding 60 days. If necessary, the state of emergency can be extended by the President of Ukraine, but no more than by 30 days (Article 7 of the Law).

Article 8 of the Law envisages that the state of emergency in Ukraine or its separate regions can be lifted by Order of the President of Ukraine before expiration of the term for which it was introduced, in case the circumstances that had created the necessity to introduce the state of emergency have been eliminated.

Article 10 of the Law establishes that the military command which, together with the bodies of executive power, the Council of Ministers of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the bodies of local self-government, receives the rights to carry out the measures of the legal status of the state of emergency, within the boundaries established by the Law, are:
  • the Main Department of the Interior Troops of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine;
  • the Security Service of Ukraine;
  • the Main Department of the Civil Defense forces of the central body of executive power in the issues of emergencies and the affairs in protection of population from the consequences of the Chornobyl catastrophe;
  • the Military Law and Order Service at the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

If the state of emergency is introduced in Ukraine or in its separate regions, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine decides to continue its session or to continue working in plenary sessions throughout the entire period of the state of emergency.

In case the term of authority of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine expires while the state of emergency is in effect, its authority is extended until the day of the first meeting of the first session of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine elected after the state of emergency has been lifted.

According to Article 16 of the Law, the Order of the President of Ukraine on introducing the state of emergency in the interests of national security and public order, to avoid disorders or crimes, to protect the public health, or protect the rights and freedoms of other people for the duration of the state of emergency can implement the following measures:
  • implementing a special regime for entry to and exit from, as well as limit the freedom of movement through the territory on which the state of emergency is introduced;
  • limiting the movement of vehicles, and inspection of vehicles;
  • intensified safeguarding of public order and objects that are vitally important for the population and the national economy;
  • forbidding public events, except for events that can only be forbidden by court;
  • forbidding strikes.

Ensuring public order and protection of life, health, rights, freedoms and legitimate interests of the citizens during the state of emergency is carried out by the resources and means of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine, including the Interior Troops, the Civil Defense troops, the Security Service of Ukraine, and the Military Law and Order Service at the Armed Forces of Ukraine, according to their authority established by the law (Article 20 of the Law).

According to Article 21 of the Law, the following is forbidden:
  • amendment of the Constitution of Ukraine;
  • amendment of the Constitution of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea;
  • amendment of election laws;
  • holding elections of the President of Ukraine, elections to the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, the Verkhovna Rada of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and bodies of local self-government;
  • holding national and local referendums;
  • limiting the rights and authority of the people's deputies of Ukraine.

The limitations of the constitutional rights and freedoms of the citizens provided for by the Law that may be implemented during the state of emergency constitute an exhaustive list and are not subject to extensive interpretation. Their term of application shall not exceed the term of the state of emergency. Imposing any other limitations is forbidden (Article 22 of the Law).

Article 27 of the Law envisages that in case the state of emergency is introduced, Ukraine, according to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, immediately informs the covenant participant states via the Secretary General of the UN, of the limitations to the human and citizen rights and freedoms that deviate from the obligations under the International Covenant, of the extent of such deviations, and of the reasons for such decision.

Justice on the territory of the state of emergency is administered only by courts created according to the Constitution of Ukraine. Introducing any shortened or expedited judicial forms is forbidden (Article 31 of the Law).

Article 33 of the Law states that the work of the bodies of executive power in the state of emergency is controlled by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine and the Council for National Security and Defense of Ukraine.
Warning! The information is outdated due to the fact that this section is temporarily not updated!


on top