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What rights of citizens cannot be restricted during martial law?

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What rights of citizens cannot be restricted during martial law?

The martial law imposed on the territory of Ukraine entails a number of restrictions and prohibitions for Ukrainian citizens and foreign visitors. Find out which rights cannot be restricted during martial law according to the Constitution of Ukraine

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Martial law, as well as a state of war, is a special legal regime provided for by international law and the Constitution of Ukraine, but each of these regimes has its own specifics

Ukraine is currently under martial law, which means that a number of restrictions and prohibitions are in place in the country, including a curfew, restrictions on the right of men liable for military service to leave the country, a ban on elections, etc.


The article below describes which rights of citizens cannot be restricted during the war according to the Constitution of Ukraine.


Restrictions during martial law: what does the law say?


According to Article 64 of Section II of the Constitution of Ukraine on "Human and Civil Rights, Freedoms and Duties", constitutional rights and freedoms of a person and a citizen cannot be restricted, except in cases provided for by the Constitution of Ukraine. 

According to the laws "On Defense of Ukraine" and "Legal Regime of Martial Law", martial law is a special legal regime that provides for the relevant state authority to grant powers to avert a threat, as well as temporary restriction of constitutional rights and freedoms for citizens and legal entities throughout the country or its separate parts without any limitations on the number of extensions of the special state.


The rights that may be restricted include:


– The right to free movement (closed borders, curfews, etc.)

– the right to free choice of labor (involvement in socially useful work, introduction of labor duty, etc;)

– the right to participate in the management of public affairs (elections, referendums, etc. are prohibited).


In addition, the legislation provides that during martial law, interference with personal life is possible: control of communication means, inspection of belongings, documents, housing, etc. Read more about what other rights may be restricted during martial law here.


What rights cannot be restricted during martial law?


Article 64, Section II of the CCU states that certain restrictions on rights and freedoms may be imposed under martial law or a state of emergency, specifying the duration of these restrictions. However, the rights and freedoms provided for in Articles 24, 25, 27, 28, 29, 40, 47, 51, 52, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63 of this Constitution cannot be restricted. In particular:


Article 24 — Citizens have equal constitutional rights and freedoms and are equal before the law. This means that there can be no privileges or restrictions based on race, color, gender, religious beliefs, property status, etc.

Article 25 — A citizen of Ukraine cannot be deprived of citizenship and the right to change citizenship. At the same time, a citizen of Ukraine may not be expelled from Ukraine or extradited to another state, and the state itself guarantees care and protection to citizens abroad.

● Article 27 — Everyone has the inherent right to life. This means that no one may be arbitrarily deprived of his or her life, and the state has a duty to protect human life.

Article 28 — Everyone has the right to respect for his or her dignity. This means that no one shall be subjected to torture, cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

Article 29 — Everyone has the right to liberty and security of person. This means that no one may be arrested or detained without a court order (except in cases where there is an urgent need to prevent a crime, in which case the relevant law enforcement agencies may apply temporary detention - this is supposed to be 72 hours; this is the time for the court to decide on further measures).

Article 40 — Everyone has the right to own, use and dispose of his or her property and the results of his or her intellectual and creative activity. At the same time, the law provides that martial law or a state of emergency on the territory of Ukraine is the only case when such property may be expropriated with subsequent full compensation of its value. At the same time, property may be confiscated only by court order.




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Article 47 — Everyone has the right to housing. The state shall create conditions under which every citizen will be able to build housing, purchase it as property or rent it. The state provides housing to citizens in need of social protection.

Article 51 — Marriage is based on the free consent of a woman and a man. Each spouse has equal rights and responsibilities in marriage and family. At the same time, parents are obliged to support their children until they reach the age of majority, and adult children are obliged to take care of disabled parents.

Article 52 — Children are equal in their rights regardless of their origin and whether they are born in or out of wedlock.

Article 55 — Human and civil rights and freedoms shall be protected by the courts. In other words, everyone has the right to appeal decisions in court, including those concerning actions or omissions of state authorities, local self-government bodies, as well as officials or employees.

Article 56 — Everyone has the right to compensation at the expense of the state or local self-government bodies for material and moral damage caused by unlawful decisions, actions or inaction of state authorities, local self-government bodies, their officials and employees in the exercise of their powers.

● Article 57 — guarantees everyone the right to know their rights and obligations. This means that all laws and other legal acts defining the rights and obligations of citizens that are not communicated to the public in the manner prescribed by law are null and void.

● Article 58 — Laws and other normative legal acts shall not have retroactive effect, except in cases where they mitigate or cancel the liability of a person.

Article 59 — Everyone has the right to professional legal assistance. In cases provided for by law, it may be provided free of charge, and everyone is free to choose a defender of their rights.

Article 60 — No one shall be obliged to execute manifestly criminal orders or instructions. At the same time, in case of fulfillment of such an order, legal liability arises.

Article 61 — No one shall be held legally liable twice for the same offense.

Article  62 — A person shall be presumed innocent of committing a crime and shall not be subjected to criminal punishment until his or her guilt is proved in accordance with the law and established by a court verdict of guilty. At the same time, if a court verdict is canceled as unjust, the state compensates material and moral damage caused by an unjustified conviction.

Article 63 — A person shall not be liable for refusing to testify or explain themselves, family members or close relatives, the circle of which is determined by law. At the same time, a suspect, accused or defendant has the right to defense, and a convicted person enjoys all human and civil rights, except for restrictions determined by law and established by a court verdict.


If you find yourself in a controversial situation and need legal protection, you can contact Visit Ukraine lawyers for help. Our experts will answer all your questions and help you understand the intricacies of the law. Both Ukrainians who need help anywhere in the world and foreigners who are planning or already in Ukraine can apply for advice. 


We remind you! The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine has adopted a law that provides for changes in the military registration process. Read what the electronic register of persons liable for military service is and how it will affect Ukrainians and mobilization in our previous article.


Want to know more? Read the latest news and useful materials about Ukraine and the world in the News section.




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