Belarus' Constitution and legal system: We need to keep up with the times


Belarus' Constitution and legal system: We need to keep up with the times

A solid foundation for a legal and democratic state. March 15 Belarus marked Day of Constitution. On this occasion, President Alexander Lukashenko gathered a meeting with judges to discuss the pressing issues of the country's judicial system.

During the meeting with the judges of the Constitutional Court, he raised questions about optimizing the legislation and the effectiveness of the judiciary. Our President is confident: the knowledge of the representatives of this structure should be used to the maximum in the interests of people and the state. These two components should be the main ones in the improvement of the Constitution.

146 articles of our Constitution contain the whole essence of Belarusian statehood. From the definition of a country as a Republic to the universal human rights to life, study or work.

In the history of modern times Belarus had six constitutions. The present one has been in force since 1994.

The modern Constitution of Belarus consists of 9 sections, 8 chapters and 146 articles.

The most frequently repeated words in the document are the Republic - 245 times, Belarus - 181 times and the law - 137 times.

In essence, this is a contract between society and the state. It identifies all the branches of power, the foundation of the foundations for any country. That is why the heads of state are sworn in with their hand on the Constitution.

Ekaterina Zhilyanina, CTV reporter:
Here is a copy of the edition on which the President of Belarus takes the oath. The text of the oath is prescribed in Article 83. The copy is kept in the Museum of Modern Statehood. Here, among the exhibits is the original stand, on which the Constitution lies during the inauguration.

According to Article 79, President in our country is the guarantor of the Constitution, human rights and freedoms. Live according to the Constitution, follow it, monitor compliance, ensure its supremacy is an unconditional principle for each of the branches of power. But in order not to remain a formal symbol, as the judges say, the Constitution itself must "live" and be really working.

The Constitutional Court, 12 judges. Only highly qualified staff. Six of them are appointed by the President and the same number by senators. Their term of office is 11 years. Of course, re-election is possible. These 12 people are here to make sure that the country lives under the Constitution.

Tadeush Voronovich is one of the 12 judges. Together with colleagues these days he moved to the new building of the Constitutional Court.

The cabinet is classic. Among the mandatory attributes, in addition to the main law of the country, are the flag and the coat of arms. It is in these rooms where daily work with documents takes place.

The Constitutional Court reviews every legal act before it is signed. Be it a law, decree or an ordinance. It is checked for compliance with the Constitution. Ordinary citizens can apply to this authority too. In those cases, when they see shortcomings of our legal system.

Tadeush Voronovich, judge of the Constitutional Court of Belarus:
If citizens perceive the uncertainty of the norms, if they believe that some public relation is not sufficiently regulated or legal norms conflict, thereby violating their rights, they are entitled to apply to the Constitutional Court. We consider such appeals, we make a decision to eliminate such defects of constitutional and legal regulation.

Judge study all such shortcomings, gaps and contradictions and then send recommendations to lawmakers for improvement and elimination of defects. Every year the Constitutional Court reports to the Parliament and the President on the compliance with the main law, the documents adopted in the country, in its message. This is another feature of our country.

On March 15, on the Constitution Day, the President received judges. Such meetings are held periodically. Last time it was in 2014. Back then Alexander Lukashenko took a decision that the Constitutional Court needs a decent building convenient for work. Today, talk was about a different thing - about the relevance of current laws. The country is changing and life is changing. The country's main law, of course, must correspond to it. Only then, documents adopted on the basis of the Constitution will be harmonious. That is, the Constitution will be "alive".

Alexander Lukashenko asked the judges to work out proposals and recommendations regarding norms in which changes are ripe. To study the best world practice that can be applied in Belarus. At the same time, the President notes that he personally is a supporter of nationwide discussions of the most important decisions in the country. By the way, the meeting participants touched upon the direct appeals of citizens to the Constitutional Court.

Life will show whether a multi-party system in Belarus will be established or not. But in order for this to become real, Alexander Lukashenko is convinced, there must be a foundation, so consolidating the relevant norms in the Constitution is one of the possible innovations in the future.

Alexander Lukashenko, President of Belarus:
There is an acute debate over the establishment of a full-fledged multiparty system in the country. In particular, some say it is necessary to create a political party on the basis of Belaya Rus organization. I am absolutely against it being a pro-governmental party, so that all the bosses would sit there, as it happened in Russia at one time. I see such discussions. Someone says it's time to transfer some duties to the party, for example personnel issues. All this is correct. Someone says it's not time for that yet.

I believe that we should not begin with this. Everything must happen in due time. It is necessary to put these amendments into the Constitution if we are ready for this. If we are ready today for those incessant debates.

If we are ready to create a real multiparty system, we need to start with the Constitution and outline there a rigidly multi-party system, the role of the parties and so on.

There, everything should be aimed at those who will live after us, our children and grandchildren. What kind of society will we offer them to form?

Practice of neighbors confirms the correctness of the Belarusian format. On the one hand, no European constitutional court is endowed with such powers as ours. On the other hand, it is protected from a multitude of irrelevant complaints, with which colleagues from other countries have to deal.

Belarusians should realize the importance of the main law of the country from the school bench. After all, this is a symbol of Belarusian statehood. Judges of the Constitutional Court do hold meetings with students but that's not enough, says the President.

Alexander Lukashenko:
We need to create the "grains" of this process in school. At least at the elementary level. But in high schools... Before your speech, I wrote down: work in universities. I would like you, at least in our main universities, to teach and observe what is happening there. You are highly professional and authoritative specialists. Students will listen to you. At the same time you will feel at what level and what exactly we teach our future lawyers.