About Stanislav Dnistrianskyi

Professor of Lviv University, one of the leaders of the Society of Ukrainian Lawyers, Member of the Austrian Parliament, author of the draft Constitution of the Western Ukrainian People's Republic, one of the founders of the Ukrainian Free University - this is only part of what can be said about Stanislav Dnistrianskys. 

Already as a student, he was actively involved in research, his works were published in German and Ukrainian, and customary law research was even used in the work of the Austrian Supreme Court. 

After graduating in 1898, Stanislav Dnistryansky began teaching and research at Lviv University. During this period, he also immersed himself in public life.

    Political domain was an important direction of professor Dnistrianskyi’s work. In 1907 and 1911 he was elected deputy of the Austro-Hungarian Parliament to represent the Ukrainian National-Democratic Party in the circuit that included the towns of Yavoriv, Rava-Ruska, and Nemyriv. Besides representing the interests of the Ukrainian community of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in the Parliament, Stanislav Dnistrianskyi also advocated them at Lviv University, in particular, as far as the language of teaching was concerned, and even published the paper “Pravo Ruskoyi Movy u Lvivskim Universyteti” (“The Right of the Rus (Ukrainian) Language at Lviv University” (1901).

    The experience gained in the Austrian Parliament was actively used by Stanislav Dnistrianskyi in the period of the Western Ukrainian People’s Republic (ZUNR). He was a member of the Ukrainian National Council – the legislative body of ZUNR, dealt with the issues of recognition of the newly established republic under the international law, wrote a lot of papers substantiating the status of ZUNR and the rights of Ukrainians to self-determination, prepared a number of official documents of the Republic, in particular, draft Constitution of the Republic.

    In 1926 the Soviet authorities offered the scholar to move to Kyiv, but, due to a number of formal and personal reasons, this transition would, most probably, inadvertently lead to tragic consequences, therefore, it did not happen. However, constant work exhausted the professor who was already not young. On having two heart strokes, in 1933 he left teaching and public work and moved to Uzhhorod where he intended to practice as a lawyer and to research the customary law of Zakarpattia. There, on May 5, 1935, Stanislav Dnistrianskyi died of a heart attack during a public lecture.