Olesnytsky, Yaroslav

Olesnytsky, Yaroslav [Олесницький, Ярослав; Olesnyc'kyj, Jaroslav], b 25 February 1875 in Zarvanytsia, Ternopil county, Galicia, d 15 July 1933 in Zolochiv, Galicia. Lawyer and civic and political leader. A practicing lawyer in Drohobych and Lviv, he was the founder of the Zemlia society and a leading member of various civic organizations. When the Western Ukrainian National Republic was established, he became counsel of the State Secretariat of Foreign Affairs and a delegate of the Ukrainian National Rada to Kyiv for the drafting of the legislation for unification (22 January 1919). In 1919–21 he served as chief counsel and then head of the diplomatic mission of the Ukrainian National Republic to London. After returning to Lviv he taught at the Lviv (Underground) Ukrainian University and was active in the Union of Ukrainian Lawyers. In 1924 he opened a law office in Zolochiv. A member of the Ukrainian National Democratic Alliance, he was elected to the Polish Sejm in 1930. In the following year he submitted a memorandum on the Pacification from the Ukrainian Parliamentary Representation to the League of Nations. In addition to articles on political and legal issues, he wrote a study of minority rights according to international law.

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 3 (1993).]

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