Institute of State and Law of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine

Institute of State and Law of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine (Інститут держави і права імені В. Корецького НАН України; Instytut derzhavy i prava imeni V. Koretskoho NAN Ukrainy). A scientific research institute at the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, originally formed in 1969 out of the Sector of Government and Law of Ukraine (est 1949). It is Ukraine’s leading institution of scientific research in law that also provides the theoretical framework for the nation’s legislation.

By the 1970s the institute was organized into six departments: theory and history of the state and law, Soviet construction, the management of the state and economy, socialist legality and criminology, problems of Ukraine’s involvement in international law, and comparative state studies. There were also several councils devoted to specific problems, including a council titled Principles of the Development of State, Administration, and Law. The institute had the task of co-ordinating research in the field of juridical sciences in the Ukraininian SSR (see also Legal scholarship). Specifically, it coordinated Kharkiv Judicial Institute, faculties of law of Kyiv University, Lviv University, Odesa University, Kyiv Higher School of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, and the department of legal disciplines of Kyiv Institute of the National Economy. The institute had close relations with the Moscow-based Institute of State and Law of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR. It also provided graduate studies in its various departments. During the cultural revival of the 1960s an attempt was made to develop the history of the Soviet Ukrainian state and law. From the early 1970s the institute concentrated on the problems of economic management, socialist construction, international legal activities of Soviet Ukraine, and Soviet procuratorial and investigative practice. Aside from legal research, the institute was tasked with the ideological criticism of ‘bourgeois-nationalist and revisionist views’ on the history of Soviet Ukrainian statehood. In 1977–8 the institute’s scholars (Borys Babii, Vadym Brazhnikov, Ivan Butko, Andrii Taranov, and Valentyn Terletsky) worked on the draft of the Constitution of the Ukrainian SSR (adopted in 1978).

Its most important publications of the Soviet period include Narysy z istoriï derzhavy i prava Ukraïns'koï RSR (A Survey of the History of State and Law of the Ukrainian SSR, 1957), Zahal'ni pryntsypy prava u mizhnarodnomu pravi (General Legal Principles in International Law, 1957), Borys Babii, ed., 500 zapytan' i vidpovidei z radians'koho zakonodavstva (500 Questions and Responses about the Soviet Law, 1961), Deklaratsiia prav i obov’iazkiv derzhav (Declaration of Rights and Responsibilities of States, 1962), Istoriia derzhavy i prava Ukraïns'koï RSR (1917–1967) (The History of the State and Law of the Ukrainian SSR [1917–1967], 2 vols, 1967), Ivan Butko and Yurii Shemshuchenko, Mistsevi rady i zabezpechennia zakonnosti (Local Soviets and the Provision of Legality, 1973), Iurydychnyi slovnyk (Juridical Dictionary, 1974), O. Vysotsky, Chorne more: mizhnarodno-pravovi pytannia (Black Sea: Issues of International Law, 1979), Andrii Taranov, Konstytutsiia zahal'nonarodnoї derzhavy (The Constitution of the People’s State, 1980), Okhorona navkolyshnioho seredovyshcha u mistakh: orhanizatsiino-pravovi pytannia (Preservation of the Environment in Cities: Organizational and Legal Issues, 1981), V. Leonenko, Profesiina etyka uchasnykiv kriminal'noho sudochynstva (Professional Ethics of the Participants of the Criminal Court Action, 1981), Udoskonalennia radians'koho zakonodavstva na osnovi Konstytutsiї SRSR (The Improvement of Soviet Laws on the Basis of the Constitution of the USSR, 1982), Narys rozvytku pravovykh doslidzhen' v Ukraїns'kii RSR, 1919–1984 (A Sketch of the Development of Legal Studies in the Ukrainian SSR, 1919–1984, 1984), and several collections of documents on the history of the international relations of the Ukrainian SSR. Despite a seemingly prolific output of the institute’s scholars, many of their publications prior to 1991 had little or no intellectual value, as they served the purposes of Soviet propaganda more than they did scholarship. The prime objects of research in the institute, such as ‘Socialist legality,’ constitutional order, or Ukraine’s ‘international legal personality’ were fictions in the USSR. Furthermore, ideological pressures on scholars only increased in the early 1980s, which culminated in the opening of the special ‘sector of counter-propaganda work in the area of state and law’ (1984).

Things began to change in the late 1980s, when, in response to Mikhail Gorbachev’s perestroika and the liberalization of Soviet politics, several new topics appeared on the jurists’ research agenda: ‘democratization’ of Soviet society, local self-government, and the role of international law ‘in the struggle for peace.’ New publications reflected this paradigmatic shift in the work of the institute: Demokratiia i perebudova (Democracy and Restructuring, 1988), Konstytutsiia URSR: realizatsiia її pryntsypiv i norm (The Constitution of the Ukrainian SSR: Realization of its Principles and Norms, 1988), Perebudova i pravove vykhovannia hromadian (Restructuring and the Legal Education of Citizens, 1989), and V. Denysov, Pravo mizhnarodnoї bezpeky і obmezhennia honky ozbroien' (The International Security Law and Arms Race Limitation, 1989), and others. In 1990 the institute was named after its fist director Volodymyr Koretsky. The institute’s scholars worked on the text of the Declaration on the State Sovereignty of Ukraine of 16 July 1990, and on the draft of the Constitution of Ukraine of 1996. The institute’s director Yurii Shemshuchenko was a member of the Constitutional Commission of the Supreme Council of Ukraine, while several other scholars (Vadym Averianov, Ihor Butko, Lidiia Kryvenko, and Viktor Pohorilko) were members of the working groups in charge of preparing the draft of the Constitution.

In independent Ukraine, the institute’s main goal has been to provide a theoretical basis and legal expertise for state-building in accordance with the rule of law. A wide range of new subjects of research was added after 1991, among them a history of state and law of Ukraine; its current legal system; the role of law and legislation in managing social relations; the efficiency of the current laws’ implementation; the development of state legal institutions; civil rights and liberties; public administration; economic law; and issues of civil, labor, ecological, and agrarian law. The institute’s scholars have also studied several social and political issues Ukraine was facing as a transitional society, such as judicial and administrative reforms; the fight against organized crime and corruption; and the confirmation of Ukraine’s place as a fully-fledged member of the international community and a subject of international law (Ukraine’s ‘international legal personality’). Currently it has nine research departments: theory of the state and law; constitutional law and local self-government; state governance and administrative law; agrarian, land, and ecological law; criminal law, criminology, and judicial system; international law and comparative law studies; legal problems of political science; history and law studies; and civil, labor, and entrepreneurial law. It also operates eight research centers: theoretical issues of law-making; energy and nuclear law; bank law; local self-government; legal issues of intellectual property; space law; legal studies of gender politics; and encyclopedic juridical studies. The institute’s scholars participate in the drafting of bills, conduct their scholarly expertise, and work on the scholarly concepts underlying the bills and their alternative variants. The institute cooperates with the Supreme Council of Ukraine, Office of the President of Ukraine, Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, Ministry of Justice of Ukraine, Constitutional Court of Ukraine, Supreme Court of Ukraine, Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine, and local state administrations and organs of self-government. The institute’s scholars also sit as experts on a number of research advisory boards under different government ministries and commissions. Among the institute’s close partners are such prominent research and educational institutions as the Legislative Institute of the Supreme Council of Ukraine, National Law University of Ukraine, and faculty of law of Kyiv National University. From 1993 to 2000 the institute operated the Higher School of Law that trained lawyers for the government, law-enforcement agencies, and private sector. In 2000 it was transformed into Kyiv University of Law of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine.

The institute has its own publishing house Yurydychna dumka. It has published several fundamental studies, including the multivolume Iurydychna entsyklopediia (The Juridical Encyclopedia, 6 vols, 1998–2004), the multivolume Antolohiia ukraїn'koi iurydychnoї dumky (An Anthology of Ukrainian Juridical Thought, 10 vols, 2002– 2005), Evoliutsiia tsyvil'noho zakonodavstva Ukraїny: problemy teorii і praktyky (Evolution of Civil Law of Ukraine: Issues of Theory and Practice, 2007), Diia prava: intehratyvnyi aspekt (The Act of Law: Integrative Aspect, 2010), Demokratychni zasady derzhavnoho upravlinnia ta administratyvne pravo (Democratic Principles of State Administration and Administrative Law, 2010), Pryntsyp rivnosti u pravi: teoriia i praktyka (Principle of Equality in Law: Theory and Practice, 2014), Pravova politolohiia: problemy kontseptualizatsiї ta instytutsionalizatsiї (Legal Political Science: Issues of Conceptualization and Institutionalization, 2019), and Naukovi zasady derzhavotvorennia i pravotvorennia: istoriia, suchasnist' i perspektyvy (Scholarly Principles of State- and Law-Building: History, Present, and Perspectives, 2021). The institute has an academic staff of 81, including academicians and corresponding members of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine and the Academy of Legal Sciences of Ukraine. In 1958–91 the institute published the journal Radians'ke pravo in collaboration with the Ministry of Justice of the Ukrainian SSR, the Supreme Court of the Ukrainian SSR, and the republican procurator’s office. The journal was renamed Pravo Ukraїny in 1992 and is no longer published by the institute. The institute publishes several periodicals, among them Derzhava i pravo (61 vols, 1997–), Pravova derzhava (33 vols, 1992–), Al'manakh prava (13 vols, 2010–), and ScienceRise: Juridical Science (21 vols, 2017–). The institute’s directors have been Volodymyr Koretsky (1969–74), Borys Babii (1974–88), and Yurii Shemshuchenko (1988–).

Instytut derzhavy i prava imeni V.M. Korets'koho NAN Ukraїny. 1949–1999 (Kyiv 1999)
The Institute’s official website:

Serhiy Bilenky, Ivan Myhul

[This article was updated in 2022.]

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