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Grand Duchy of Lithuania's 3rd Statute presented in Belarus' Presidential Library

A masterpiece of legal thought in 1588 in Belarus, The 3rd Statute of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania (GDL), was presented in the Presidential Library on December 10. This set of laws proclaimed transition from feudalism to capitalist relations.

That III statute of the GDL limited the power of the Grand Duke. After adoption of this document there appeared the division of power between the legislative, executive and judicial branches. The statute introduced the notion of state sovereignty, and the society got a new idea of ​​equality before the law, irrespective of their ranks and classes.

Sergei Kvachan, director of the Presidential Library of the Republic of Belarus:
It is our cultural heritage. It is why this heritage should be explored and promoted in every possible way. On the basis of these publications, we can generate a sense of national identity, patriotism and pride for our country.

The book was published in 1744 in the Polish language. The rarity was acquired in Poland at an antiques market. This is the third copy of an outstanding instrument. Two others, issued later in Old Belarusian language, are now in the Museum of the History of Mogilev.

For nearly 300 years this set of laws was used to resolve issues ranging from administrative to criminal. Many bookmarks and notes in the margins confirm this.

Grand Duchy of Lithuania's 3rd Statute presented in Belarus' Presidential Library