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25 February 2022

The state of martial law restricts personal rights. For individuals, that is framed in terms of suspension of some constitutional rights and freedoms. In the case of organizations the law simply speaks of limiting their rights and interests.

Under martial law, the following rights and freedoms may be suspended (references are to articles of the Constitution of Ukraine):


  • a right to confidential correspondence, including telephone conversations (article 31),

  • a right to privacy (article 32),

  • freedom of movement, choosing a place of residence, and leaving or returning to Ukraine (article 33),

  • freedom of thought and expression, as well as collecting, using or distributing information (article 34),

  • a right to take part in elections, to elect state officials and be elected or appointed to governmental office (article 38),

  • freedom of assembly (article 39),

  • a right to own and use property (article 41), 

  • a right to pursue business activities (article 42),

  • a right to work (article 43),

  • a right to strike (article 44),

  • a right to education (article 53).


By law, the suspension is not absolute, but only operates in combination with and to the extent necessary to carry out martial law measures. This proviso apparently means that outside of such measures the rights and freedom in question continue applying. For example, authorized military officers may, as a martial law measure, seize private property for specified purposes and in proper circumstances. That would then be an authorized restriction of the right to own property. But the right would remain unaffected in other situations, such as where disputed by a private person or against a public authority not acting under a martial law measure.

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