Law in a Linguistic Battlefield: The Language of the New State Versus the ‘Language of the Oppressors’ in Ukraine

Bill Bowring

Abstract


Article 10 of the 1996 Ukrainian Constitution proclaims that “The state language of Ukraine shall be the Ukrainian language” but continues: “Free development, use, and protection of Russian and other languages of national minorities of Ukraine shall be guaranteed in Ukraine.” Consolidating the position of the state language was at the centre of the "Orange Revolution", but President Yanukovich, elected in February 2010, has committed himself to a defence of the Russian language, as a regional language of Ukraine, and the battle is on to replace the Law on Languages of the Ukrainian SSR of 1989, which is still in force. Ukraine has ratified the Council of Europe’s European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. This article reflects on the relation between language and law, and endeavours to bring clarity to a situation which at times resembles an overheated kettle about to explode.

Cite as: Bowring, JLL 1 (2012), 87–105, DOI: 10.14762/jll.2012.087


Full Text:

PDF

References


Arel, Dominique (1995) “Language politics in independent Ukraine: Towards one or two state languages?” v.23, n.3 Nationalities Papers, pp.597-622

Arel, Dominique (2002) “Interpreting “Nationality” and “Language” in the 2001 Ukrainian Census” v.18 n.3 Post-Soviet Affairs pp. 213–249

Berdnik, Miroslava (2010) “Yanukovych and the Language Issues” 27 April 2010 at http://www.iob.su/society/58-yanukovych-and-the-language-issues.html (accessed on 29 December 2010)

Bourdieu, Pierre (1992) Language and Symbolic Power (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press)

Bowring, Bill (1998) “The Rights of Indigenous Peoples: International Perspectives” No.2(5) Migration Issues, Kyiv, p.22, in English and in Ukrainian

Bowring, Bill (1999) “New Nations and National Minorities: Ukraine and the Question of Citizenship” in Peter Cumper and Steven Wheatley (eds) Minority Rights in the ‘New’ Europe (Kluwer Law International)

Bowring, Bill (2002) "Between a (Russian) rock and a (Crimean Tatar) hard place? Ethnic, linguistic and minority issues" in Ann Lewis (ed) Ukraine and the EU: Neighbours, Friends, Partners? (London: The Federal Trust)

Bowring, Bill (2005) “The Crimean autonomy: innovation or anomaly?” in Marc Weller and Stefan Wolff Autonomy, Self-governance and Conflict Resolution: Innovative approaches to institutional design in divided societies (Abingdon, Routledge) pp.75-97

Bowring, Bill (2006) “Ombudsman Institutions and Ethnic Conflict in Russia and Ukraine: A Failure of Local Institution-building?” in Vol.4, 2004/5, European Yearbook of Minority Issues (Leiden: Martinus Nijhoff), pp.269-294

Bowring, Bill (2008) “Language Policy in Ukraine. International Standards and Obligation, and Ukrainian Law and Legislation” in Juliane Besters-Dilgers (ed) Language Policy and Language Situation in Ukraine: Analysis and Recommendations (Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang) pp.57-100

Bowring, Bill (2008a) “Movna politika v Ukraini. Mizhnarodni normi ta zobovyazannya i ukrainsii zakon ta zakonodavstvo” in Juliane Besters-Dilgers (ed) Movna Politika ta Movna Situatsiya v Ukraini: Analiz i Rekomendatsii (Kyiv: Kyiv Mohyla Academy, 2008) pp. 55-95

Bowring, Bill and Antonovych, Myroslava (2008) “Ukraine’s long and winding road to the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages” in Robert Dunbar, (ed) The European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages: Legal Challenges and Opportunities (Strasbourg: Council of Europe), pp.157-182

Constitutional Court of Ukraine (1999) Decision of 14 December 1999, 10-pn(1999) at http://www.ccu.gov.ua/doccatalog/document?id=9344 (accessed on 30 December 2010)

Council of Europe (2010) European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages: Report of the Committee of Experts on the Application of the Charter by Ukraine adopted on 27 November 2008, released on 7 July 2010, at http://www.coe.int/t/dg4/education/minlang/Report/EvaluationReports/UkraineECRML1_en.pdf (accessed on 29 December 2010)

Council of Europe (2010a) European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages: Recommendation RecChL(2010) 6 on Application by Ukraine adopted on 7 July 2010, at http://www.coe.int/t/dg4/education/minlang/Report/Recommendations/UkraineCMRec1_en.pdf

Draft Law on Languages of Ukraine, No.1015-3 of 7 September 2010, in Russian at http://r-u.org.ua/images/stories/newwwww/doc_171605.doc , and in English translation at http://r-u.org.ua/en/images/stories/fruit/1015_3_law_on_languages.pdf (accessed on 1 January 2011)

DrukuvatyKiev “Uchoniye prizvali ne dopustit prinyatiya novovo zakona o yazikakh (Scholars have insisted on the inadmissibility of adoption of the new law on languages) 14 September 2010 at http://ru.tsn.ua/ukrayina/uchenye-prizvali-ne-dopustit-prinyatiya-novogo-zakona-o-yazykah.html (accessed on 29 December 2010)

European Commission Against Racism and Intolerance (Council of Europe, ECRI) (2007) Third Report on Ukraine 29 June 2007 at http://hudoc.ecri.coe.int/XMLEcri/ENGLISH/Cycle_03/03_CbC_eng/UKR-CbC-III-2008-4-ENG.pdf (accessed on 29 December 2010)

High Commissioner on National Minorities (HCNM) (2010) "Assessment and Recommendations of the OSCE HCNM on the Draft Law "On Languages in Ukraine"", 20 December 2010

Katchanovski, Ivan (2010) “The Politics of Soviet and Nazi Genocides in Orange Ukraine” v.26, n.6 Europe-Asia Studies pp. 973-997

Kolesnichenko, Vadim & Bortnik, Ruslan (2010) Public Report on the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages fulfilment in Ukraine (for the period from 17 May 2007 till 18 May 2008), 7 July 2010, at http://www.r-u.org.ua/en/official/9-news.html (accessed on 29 December 2010)

Kolesnichenko, Vadim & Bortnik, Ruslan (2010a) Additional information to the Public Report on the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages fulfilment in Ukraine (for the period from 17 May 2007 till 18 May 200 8) 7 July 2010 at http://www.r-u.org.ua/en/official/8-news.html (accessed on 29 December 2010)

Kolesnichenko, Vadim (2010) “Legal proceedings can be carried out in Russian language” 11 August 2010, at http://www.r-u.org.ua/en/russian/21-news.html (accessed on 29 December 2010)

Kolesnichenko, Vadim (2010a) “Governing coalition submitted draft law on Languages to Verkhovna Rada” 8 September 2010 at http://www.r-u.org.ua/en/draft-law-on-languages-in-ukraine.html (accessed on 29 December 2010)

Kolesnichenko, Vadim (2010b) (Radi budushchevo strany neobkhodimo prinyat ‘Zakon o yazikakh v Ukraine’ i vozprodit russkuyu identichnosti ( For the good of the future of the country it is necessary to adopt the “Law on languages in Ukraine” and re-establish Russian identity) 4 December 2010 at http://www.r-u.org.ua/russ/3187-deputat.html (accessed on 29 December 2010)

Kolesnichenko, Vadim (2010c) “Ukraine to repair injustice towards Russian” 1 October 2010 at http://www.r-u.org.ua/en/russian/67-news.html (accessed on 29 December 2010)

Kulyk, Voldymyr (2006) “Constructing common sense: Language and ethnicity in Ukrainian public discourse” v.29 n.2 Ethnic and Racial Studies pp.281-314

Kulyk, Volodymyr (2008) “Language Policy in Ukraine: What People Want the State to Do” Paper presented at the Sciences Po-ASN conference on “Empires and Nations”, Paris, 3-5 July 2008, on file with the author

Kulyk, Volodymyr (2010) “Language in times of transition: an introduction” 201 International Journal of the Sociology of Language, pp. 1-4

Kulyk, Volodymyr (2010a) “Ideologies of language use in post-Soviet Ukrainian media” 201 International Journal of the Sociology of Language, pp. 79–104

Kuzio, Taras (2001) “‘Nationalising states’ or nation-building?: a critical review of the theoretical literature and empirical evidence” v.7, n.2 Nations and Nationalism pp. 135-154

Kvit, Sergei (2010) “Ministersvu obrazovaniya ne nravitsya “svobodniye” universiteti (The Ministry of Education does not like “free” universities)” 9 December 2010 at http://www.bagnet.org/news/summaries/ukraine/2010-12-09/89097 (accessed on 29 December 2010)

Lemkin, Raphael (1953 ) Soviet Genocide in the Ukraine published in L.Y. Luciuk (ed), Holodomor: Reflections on the Great Famine of 1932–1933 in Soviet Ukraine (Kingston: The KashtanPress, 2008) and at http://www.uccla.ca/SOVIET_GENOCIDE_IN_THE_UKRAINE.pdf (accessed on 29 December 2010)

Masalkova, Olga (2010) “Yanukovich denies Russian the status of second official language” Russia Today 9 March 2010, at http://rt.com/politics/yanukovich-denies-russian-status/ (accessed on 30 December 2010)

Mazurkiewicz, Alexander (2010) “Language bill may split Ukraine – deputy” (Vyacheslav Kirilenko) 19 September 2010 at http://en.rian.ru/world/20100919/160643650.html (accessed on 29 December 2010)

Mironenko O. M. (1999) Separate Opinion of 14 December 1999, decision 10-pn(1999), at http://www.ccu.gov.ua/doccatalog/document?id=9345 (accessed on 30 December 2010)

Nic Shuibhne, Niamh (1999) “Ascertaining a Minority Linguistic Group: Ireland as a Case Study” in Deirdre Fottrell and Bill Bowring (eds) Minority and Group Rights in the New Millennium (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff)

Polityuk, Pavel & Richard Balmforth (2010) “Yanukovich declared winner in Ukraine poll” 15 February 2010 The Independent at http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/yanukovich-declared-winner-in-ukraine-poll-1899552.html (accessed on 31 December 2010)

Romanov, Pyotr (2008) “Ukraine blames Russia for Holodomor famine” RIA NOVOSTI 22 December 2008, at http://en.rian.ru/analysis/20081222/119103228.html (accessed on 1 January 2011)

Shumlianskyi, Stanislav (2010) “Conflicting abstractions: language groups in language politics in Ukraine” 201 International Journal of the Sociology of Language, Pages 135–161

Sinelnikov, Vladimir (2010) “Ukraina legalizuyet Russkiy Yazyk (Ukraine legalises the Russian language)” Vesti FM 8 September 2010, at http://www.vesti.ru/doc.html?id=391187 (accessed on 1 January 2011)

Søvik, Margrethe (2010) “Language practices and the language situation in Kharkiv: examining the concept of legitimate language in relation to identification and utility” 201 International Journal of the Sociology of Language pp. 5-28

Sussex, Roland and Paul Cubberley (2006) The Slavic Languages (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

Toivanen, Reeta (2007) “Linguistic Diversity and the Paradox of Rights Discourse” in Dario Castiglione and Chris Longman (eds) The Language Question in Europe and Diverse Societies: Political, Legal and Social Perspectives (Oxford: Hart Publishing), pp.101-122

Trukhachev, Vadim (2010) “Russkiy yazyk mozhet ‘demontirovat’ Ukrainu (The Russian language may ‘dismember’ Ukraine) Pravda.ru 15 September 2010 at http://www.pravda.ru/world/formerussr/ukraine/15-09-2010/1049457-ukraine-0/ (accessed on 29 December 2010)

Ukraine (2001) Vseukrainskii perepis naselennya at http://2001.ukrcensus.gov.ua/ (accessed on 31 December 2010)

Ukraine (2007) Initial Periodical Report to the Languages Charter 2 August 2007, MIN-LANG/PR (2007) 6

Ukraine (1989) Law on Languages of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, translation into English at http://www.minelres.lv/NationalLegislation/Ukraine/Ukraine_Language_English.htm (accessed on 30 December 2010)

Ukrainian Genocide Famine Foundation (2009) “The Ukrainian Holodomor of 1932-1933: Student Handouts. Educational materials on the Holodomor, the Famine-Genocide carried out by Stalin’s Communist regime in Ukraine” at http://internationalstudies.uchicago.edu/outreach/workshops/2009-2010/documents/100113-ukraine-holodomor-handouts.pdf (accessed on 29 December 2010)

Vasilenko, Vladimir (2008) “The holodomor 1932-33 in Ukraine: legal evaluation” Zerkalo Nedeli No.39 (718) 24 October 2008, at http://www.zn.ua/3000/3150/64368/ (accessed on 29 December 2010)

Venice Commission (2011) Opinion on the draft law on languages in Ukraine Opinion no. 605 / 2010, CDL-AD(2011)008, 30 March 2011

Wylegała, Anna (2007) “Territorialism in a variety of ways: Identity choices among young Russian-speaking inhabitants of Lviv” 31 Nationalities Affairs, pp.345-353

Wylegała, Anna (2010) “Minority language as identity factor: case study of young Russian speakers in Lviv” 201 International Journal of the Sociology of Language, Pages 29–51

Yavorska, Galina (2010) “The impact of ideologies on the standardization of modern Ukrainian” 201 International Journal of the Sociology of Language, Pages 163–197

Zemlyanska, Vira (2009) Otsenka golodomora s tochki zreniya mezhdunarodnovo ugolovnovo prava (The evaluation of the golodomor from the point of view of international criminal law), Naukovi zapiski NaUKMA – 2009 T.90: Yuridichni nauki in Ukrainian at http://www.nbuv.gov.ua/portal/soc_gum/naukma/law/2009_90/06_zemlyanska_vv.pdf (accessed on 29 December 2010)

Zizaniy, Lavrentiy (1596) Leksis: Sinonima slavenorosskaya at http://litopys.org.ua/zyzlex/zyz.htm




DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.14762/jll.2012.087

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.


Copyright (c) 2012 Bill Bowring

License URL: http://www.dipp.nrw.de/lizenzen/dppl/dppl/DPPL_v2_en_06-2004.html