PUBLIC SERVANT: LEGAL AND ETHICAL DIMENSIONS IN THE CONTEXT OF CONTEMPORARY REALITIES.

Author:Onishchenko, Nataliya M.
Position:Report - Abstract
 
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INTRODUCTION

The reformation of many important spheres and branches of civil life objectively presupposes not only profound and comprehensive analysis of specific character and peculiarities of their establishment and development in particular temporal and spatial coordinates, but also identification of notions and categories, which are in the basis of this reformation activity and supporting of its complete character. One of such crucial categories of contemporary political and legal discourse, which is still at the stage of its theoretical and legislative codification under the conditions of current Ukrainian legal system functioning, is "public service".

A public service, as any other socially critical activity of corresponding subjects, objectively requires a proper, consistent legal support, clear identification of peculiarities of public servants' legal status in particular, including causes of acquisition of its status. Indeed, the most social expectations are held for legal regulations of certain civic relationships and statuses under the contemporary conditions of rule of law in the system of social regulation. It corresponds to the liberal democratic character of public development, where other traditional socio-normative systems, such as moral and religion, have no particular meaning. However, present complex and controversial realities show that scholars need to draw their attention to not only legal aspect of any activity, but also to its moral and ethical side, the role and meaning of moral coordinates in behavior and activity of a person, especially whose functions are socially important.

The aim of this article is to identify the peculiarities of the legal regulation of public servants status in Ukraine and to determine the role and meaning of ethic (moral) foundation of public servants' activities.

Legal Dimension of the Public Service in Contemporary Ukraine

Nowadays, it is possible to talk about the public service as about legal category both in the context of its legislative definition and from different sides of its doctrinal interpretation. For instance, the Code of Administrative Proceedings of Ukraine (later on CAP of Ukraine) defines the category "public service" as an activity in the government political positions, in government collective bodies, professional activity of judges and prosecutors, military service, alternative (non-military) service, other civil service, executive support service in government bodies, service in government bodies of Autonomous Republic of Crimea and local government bodies. The need to add this notion to CAP of Ukraine depends on, firstly, absence of certain law, which would determine principles, legal and organizational concepts of public service provision, and secondly, jurisdiction of disputes concerning acceptance into public service, the following process and discharge from public service (article 19 CAP of Ukraine) (Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, 2005).

As we can see, the definition of public service proposed by a legislator points only at its most significant and widespread kinds according to its subjects. The meaning is related primarily to activity in corresponding positions in government bodies, and to exercise of public and administrative functions under the legislation. However, the fact of alternative (non-military) service included into public service shows that the term "public" is beyond administrative relationships and also consists of, according to legislation, socially important and useful activity with the view to perform certain duty to society. In addition to this, it is necessary to pay attention to that according to the proposed definition, any civil service is public. Taking into account the aforementioned, there is needed to establish corresponding criteria to identify certain socially significant activity as public service (Kolesnikov et al., 2018).

In this context provision of article 3 of Law of Ukraine "On Prevention of Corruption" is of special interest. According to it, the law reaches people who are authorized to exercise functions of government or local government, and specifically people, who are not state employees, civil servants in local government, but they render public services (statutory auditors, notaries, private executors, appraisers, and experts, court-appointed receivers, arbitrators in the line of duty, other people conferred by the law) (Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, 2014). Obviously, mentioned categories of servants are not civil in accordance with the definition, but are considered equivalent to them only due to the expansion scale of such social phenomenon as corruption and the need to provide appropriate legal conditions, in order to prevent and resist this socially dangerous phenomenon. Meanwhile, the fact that mentioned subjects renders public services, which sense is, unfortunately, is not described by the current legislation, and is reasonable. Without resorting to the analysis of corresponding doctrinal definitions of the notion "public services", we think that they should mean legally and socially significant actions, which are mostly of administrative and imperative character, cause legal effects, are rendered by government bodies, local government bodies and other subjects conferred in the legislation in the interests of society, state and civilians.

In this context it is logical and reasonable that the public services rendered by an authorized subject can be considered as one of the...

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