“Rights and Liberties” in Pylyp Orlyk’s Constitution through the Prism of Renaissance Interpretations of Justice

Keywords: natural right, justice, Pylyp Orlyk, constitutionalism, equality, autocracy, Plato, protestanism.


Such an outstanding historical monument of Ukrainian state-building as the Constitution of Pylyp Orlyk of 1710 has been studied in the context of the traditions of European constitutionalism and its influence on the process of national state-building of the first half of the XVIII century. The author has determined the role of such a category of natural law as “justice” in its formation, which became pervasive in the Constitution of Pylyp Orlyk by guiding its content and spirit. Despite the more than 300-year history of this act, there are still discussions among scholars and researchers about its political and legal classification and the source base, in particular not only the contractual experience of the Hetmanate period, but also the influence of political, legal and philosophical thought that was developed since ancient times. There was an attempt to determine the grounds for protecting the “rights and liberties” of the Ukrainian people by tracing the influence of the ancient heritage of Plato and its revival in the Renaissance era, Protestant doctrine of the Reformation period, which lays the groundwork for further identification of ontological and praxeological problems of Ukrainian constitutionalism. The fundamental methodological approaches were axiological, comparative and historical, hermeneutic. Theoretical basis of the study consisted of regulatory legal documents, scientific publications and research, information materials. The Constitution of Pylyp Orlyk, being a remarkable achievement of political and legal thought of the early. XVIII century, has demonstrated the desire of its authors and the people to establish the principles of constitutionalism, law and order over the ideas of absolutism, which prevailed in Europe at that time. In this regard, the Constitution makes an unequivocal choice against the Russian autocracy, which was canceled previous agreements, in favor of the protection and restoration of violated rights and liberties, and as a consequence – the construction of an independent Ukraine. It laid down a progressive idea of ​​expressing the aspirations and needs of the whole nation, which shows the high level of legal and philosophical culture of the Ukrainian elite of that time.


Download data is not yet available.

Author Biography

S. B. Ivanov, Verhovna Rada of Ukraine

National Academy of Internal Affairs of Ukraine (postgraduate student).
Legislative assistant of member of Ukrainian parliament.


Koval A., 2017. The Constitution of Pylyp Orlyk is a valuable monument in the history of the development of Ukrainian and European constitutionalism [Konstytutsiia Pylypa Orlyka – tsinna pamiatka v istorii rozvytku ukrainskoho ta yevropeiskoho konstytutsionalizmu]. Ukraïnsʹkij časopis konstitucìjnogo prava – Ukrainian Journal of Constitutional Law, No. 3, pp. 52-59. https://doi.org/10.30970/jcl.3.2017.5.

Terliuk I.Ya., 2014. Legal bases of Ukrainian statehood in the creative heritage of Pylyp Orlyk [Pravovi pidstavy ukrainskoi derzhavnosti u tvorchii spadshchyni Pylypa Orlyka]. Vìsnik Nacìonalʹnogo unìversitetu “Lʹvìvsʹka polìtehnìka” – Bulletin of Lviv Polytechnic National University, No. 807, pp. 124-128.

Kresin O.V., 2001. Political and legal heritage of the Ukrainian political emigration of the first half of the XVIII century [Polityko-pravova spadshchyna ukrainskoi politychnoi emihratsii pershoi polovyny XVIII stolittia]. Kyiv: Instytut derzhavy i prava im. V. M. Koretskoho NAN Ukrainy.

Kononenko V., 2006. Political and legal origins of the «Treaties and Resolutions» of 1710 [Polityko-pravovi vytoky «Dohovoriv ta postanov» 1710 r.]. Ukraïna v Centralʹno-Shìdnìj Êvropì – Ukraine in Central-Eastern Europe, No. 6, pp. 297-322.

Vasylenko N.P., 2011. The Constitution of Pylyp Orlyk [Konstitutsiya Filippa Orlika]. In: Smolii V.A. (ed.). "Pacts and Constitutions" of the Ukrainian Cossack state (to the 300th anniversary of the conclusion) ["Pakty i Konstytutsii" Ukrainskoi kozatskoi derzhavy (do 300-richchia ukladennia)]. Lviv: Svit. Pp. 367-387.

Subtelnyi O., 1994. Mazepintsi. Ukrainian separatism on the ear of the XVIII century [Mazepyntsi. Ukrainskyi separatyzm na pochatku XVIII st.]. Kyiv: Lybid.

Smolii V.A. (manager), 2018. Sociopolitical space of early modern Ukraine: historical essays [Sotsiopolitychnyi prostir rannomodernoi Ukrainy: istorychni narysy]. Kyiv: Instytut istorii NAN Ukrainy.

Kononenko V., 2018. Constructing the memory of «rights and freedoms» in the texts of the Ukrainian emigration of 1709-1714 [Konstruiuvannia pamiati pro «prava ta volnosti» u tekstakh ukrainskoi emihratsii 1709-1714 rr.]. Ukraïna v Centralʹno-Shìdnìj Êvropì – Ukraine in Central-Eastern Europe, No. 18, pp. 239-273.

Trofymuk O.P. and Trofymuk M.S., 1994. The first Ukrainian Constitution [Persha Ukrainska Konstytutsiia]. In: Pritsak O. (ed.). The first Constitution of Ukraine by Hetman Pylyp Orlyk. 1710 [Persha Konstytutsiia Ukrainy hetmana Pylypa Orlyka. 1710]. Kyiv: Veselka. Pp. 49-67.

Ohlobyn O., 1957. Manifesto of Hetman Pylyp Orlyk [Manifest hetmana Pylypa Orlyka]. The Herald, No. 12, pp. 8-11.

Chukhlib T., 2011. The ideal state in Ukraine? Cossack project of 1710 [Idealna derzhava v Ukraini? Kozatskyi proekt 1710 r.]. Kyiv: Vydavnychyi dim «Kyievo-Mohylianska akademiia».

Bazile Dzh. M., 2010. "Pacta et constitutiones" between Hetman Pylyp Orlyk and the Zaporozhian Army, April 5, 1710: legal analysis [«Pacta et constitutiones» mizh hetmanom Pylypom Orlykom i Viiskom Zaporizkym, 5 kvitnia 1710: yurydychnyi analiz]. In: National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy et al. Pylyp Orlyk: life, politics, texts [Pylyp Orlyk: zhyttia, polityka, teksty]. Kyiv, 14-16 October. Kyiv: NaUKMA. Pp. 287-293.

Bahro S., 2010. Commentary by Giovanni Maniscalco Basile on the Constitution of Pylyp Orlyk [Komentar Dzhovanni Maniskalko Bazile do Konstytutsii Pylypa Orlyka]. In: National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy et al. Pylyp Orlyk: life, politics, texts [Pylyp Orlyk: zhyttia, polityka, teksty]. Kyiv, 14-16 October. Kyiv: NaUKMA. Pp. 282-287.

Samotovinskii D.V., 2014. «Tyranny» or «Legal Monarchy»? The political orders of Muscovy in the French ethnographic, political and historical literature of the era of religious wars ["Tiraniya" ili "zakonnaya monarkhiya"? Politicheskie poryadki Moskovii vo frantsuzskoi etnograficheskoi, politicheskoi i istoricheskoi literature еpokhi religioznykh voin]. Yzvestiya vuzov. Seriya «Gumanitarnye nauki», No. 5, pp. 142-150.

Dziuba O., 2010. Justus Lipsiy in the libraries of Mohyla professors [Yustus Lipsii u bibliotekakh mohylianskykh profesoriv]. In: National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy et al. Pylyp Orlyk: life, politics, texts [Pylyp Orlyk: zhyttia, polityka, teksty]. Kyiv, 14-16 October. Kyiv: NaUKMA. Pp. 103–107.

Stratii Ya., 1997. Development of philosophical and political and legal thought in the Kyiv-Mohyla Academy [Rozvytok filosofskoi ta polityko-pravovoi dumky v Kyievo-Mohylianskii akademii]. In: Horskyi V. and Tkachuk M. (eds). Kyiv horizons: historical and philosophical essays [Kyivski obrii: istoryko-filosofski narysy]. Kyiv: Stylos. Pp. 61-67.

Kostytskyi M.V., 2016. On the ancient origins of the understanding of law (legality) and law (legality) and the possibility of taking them into account in modern constitutional proceedings [Pro antychni vytoky rozuminnia prava (pravnosti) i zakonu (zakonnosti) ta mozhlyvist yikh urakhuvannia v suchasnomu konstytutsiinomu sudochynstvi]. Vìsnik Konstitucìjnogo Sudu Ukraïni – Constitutional Court of Ukraine, No. 4-5, pp. 139-148.

Blokha Ya., 2016. The category of «justice» in the ancient philosophy of the high classics [Katehoriia «spravedlyvist» v antychnii filosofii periodu vysokoi klasyky]. Fìlosofskì obrìï – Philosophical Horizons, No. 36, pp. 79-87. http://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.208942.

Sabadukha M.V., 2014. The problem of justice in Plato’s philosophy [Problema spravedlyvosti u filosofii Platona]. Vìsnik Nacìonalʹnogo avìacìjnogo unìversitetu – Proceedings of the National Aviation University, No. 1, pp. 94-98. http://doi.org/10.18372/2412-2157.19.10282.

Koire A., 1985. Essays on the history of philosophical thought [Ocherki istorii filosofskoi mysli]. Moscow: Progress.

Torkut N.M., 2002. Types of dialogicity from antiquity to the Renaissance [Typy dialohichnosti vid antychnosti do Renesansu]. Vìsnik Zaporìzʹkogo nacìonalʹnogo unìversitetu – Bulletin of Zaporizhzhia National University, No. 2, pp. 119-123.

Shepetiak O., 2017. The new rise of St. Augustine in the Renaissance [Novyi zlet sviatoho Avhustyna v epokhu Renesansu]. Problemi gumanìtarnih nauk – Problems of Numanities, No. 37, pp. 49-59. http://doi.org/10.24919/2522-4727.37.133023.

Trofymuk M., 2010. The Constitution of 1710: the problem of authenticity [Konstytutsiia 1710 roku: problema avtentychnosti]. In: National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy et al. Pylyp Orlyk: life, politics, texts [Pylyp Orlyk: zhyttia, polityka, teksty]. Kyiv, 14-16 October. Kyiv: NaUKMA. Pp. 266–275.

How to Cite
Ivanov, S. B. (2021) “‘Rights and Liberties’ in Pylyp Orlyk’s Constitution through the Prism of Renaissance Interpretations of Justice”, Bulletin of Kharkiv National University of Internal Affairs, 93(2), pp. 26-38. doi: 10.32631/v.2021.2.02.
Theory and Philosophy of Law; Comparative Law; History of Law and State