Constitution of the Republic of Belarus

CONSTITUTION OF THE REPUBLIC OF BELARUS

Table of contents

 

Preamble

SECTION I. FUNDAMENTALS OF THE CONSTITUTIONAL ORDER 

Article 1. State REpublic of Belarus

Article 2. Democracy

Article 3. Separation of Powers

Article 4. Territory

Article 5. The Rule of Law

Article 6. Security

Article 7. Basic Principles of Foreign Policy

Article 8. STATE Languages

Article 9. State Symbols

Article 10. The Capital City

 

SECTION II. HUMAN RIGHTS, FREEDOMS, AND OBLIGATIONS


Article 11. Recognition of Human Rights and Freedoms

Article 12. Citizenship

Article 13. Rights of Foreign Citizens and Stateless Persons

Article 14. Right to Life

Article 15. Prohibition of Torture

Article 16. Right to Liberty and Security of Person

Article 17. Right to a Fair Trial

Article 18. Punishment SOlely on the BASIS of Law

Article 19. Right to Legal Assistance

Article 20. Right to Respect of Private and Family Life

Article 21. Freedom of Thought, Conscience, Religion, and Beliefs

Article 22. Freedom of EXPRESSION

Article 23. Freedom of Association

Article 24. Freedom of Assembly

Article 25. Marriage and Family

Article 26. Rights of the Child

Article 27. Prohibition of Discrimination

Article 28. Equality

Article 29. Freedom of Movement

Article 30. Right of Property

Article 31. Inviolability of the Home

Article 32. The Right to Participate in the Management of Societal and Public Affairs

Article 33. right to VOTE

Article 34. Right to Hold Office in State Bodies and Bodies of Local Self-Government

Article 35. Right OF APPEAL

Article 36. Right OF Access TO Public Information

Article 37. Right TO Work and to Choose an Occupation

Article 38. Right to the Protection of Economic and Social Interests

Article 39. Right to Personal Initiative and Freedom of Entrepreneurship

Article 40. Right to Education and Academic Freedom

Article 41. Right to Healthcare

Article 42. Right to Social Security and Voluntary Guardianship

Article 43. Rights of Persons with Disabilities

Article 44. Right to Housing

Article 45. UsE OF CULTURAL Achievements and Artistic Freedom

Article 46. Right to the Protection of Intellectual Property

Article 47. Right to a Favourable Natural Environment

Article 48. pROTECTION OF Sovereignty

Article 49. Right to DisobeY

Article 50. oBLIGATIONS of A Taxpayer and OBSERVANCE OF THE LAW

Article 51. Interpretation of Fundamental Rights

Article 52. Restrictive Norms

Article 53. Suspension of Obligations IN Emergencies

SECTION III. ELECTIONS. REFERENDUM

CHAPTER 1. ELECTIONS 
Article 54. Universal Suffrage

Article 55. Equal Suffrage

Article 56. Direct Suffrage

Article 57. Free Elections

Article 58. Openness and TRANSPARENCY of Elections

Article 59. SecreCY OF Ballot

Article 60. Procedural Guarantees and APPEAL SYSTEM

Article 61. financing OF Elections

Article 62. Organization of Elections by Impartial Bodies

Article 63. The Procedure for Regulating and Stability of Electoral Legislation

CHAPTER 2. THE REFERENDUM 
Article 64. Principles for Holding Referendums

Article 65. National Referendums

Article 66. Local Referendums

Article 67. Procedure for Holding Referendums

SECTION IV. LEGISLATIVE, EXECUTIVE AND JUDICIAL POWER

CHAPTER 3. SUPREME COUNCIL OF THE REPUBLIC OF BELARUS

Article 68. Status of the Supreme Council

Article 69. Composition and Elections

Article 70. Term of Office

Article 71. Early Elections

Article 72. iNDEPENDENCE OF A DepuTY

Article 73. Incompatibility

Article 74. Termination of Powers

Article 75. iMMUNITY OF A Deputy

Article 76. Sessions and SITTINGS

Article 77. Chairperson and Deputy Chairpersons of the Supreme Council

Article 78. The Presidium, Commissions, and Factions

Article 79. Inquiries and Interpellation

Article 80. Types of Laws

Article 81. International Treaties

Article 82. Legislative Initiative and the Right to Make Proposals

Article 83. Reviewing Issues at a Plenary Meeting

Article 84. Voting

Article 85. Signing and Publishing a Law

Article 86. Powers of the Supreme Council

Article 87. Procedure OF activity

CHAPTER 4. PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF BELARUS

Article 88. Status of the President of the Republic of Belarus

Article 89. elections of the President

Article 90. Oath of THE PRESIDENT and Term of Office

Article 91. Early Termination of Powers

Article 92. Vacancy of Office

Article 93. Incompatibility and Immunity

Article 94. Powers of the President

Article 95. Security Council of the Republic of Belarus

Article 96. Acts of the President  and the Countersignature

Article 97. Procedure FOR THE ExercisE Of Powers

CHAPTER 5. COUNCIL OF MINISTERS OF THE REPUBLIC OF BELARUS

Article 98. Status and Accountability of the Council of Ministers

Article 99. Composition of the Government

Article 100. Powers of Members of the Government

Article 101. Incompatibility, Immunity and Responsibility of a Member of the Government

Article 102. appointment of the Prime Minister

Article 103. Resignation, EXPRESSION OF Confidence or Lack of Confidence in the Government

Article 104. Powers of the Government

Article 105. Acts of the Government

Article 106. Monitoring the activities of BODIES OF local self-government

SECTION V. JUSTICE

 

CHAPTER 6. JUDICIAL BRANCH

Article 107. Judicial System

Article 108. Judges

Article 109. Appointment of a Judge

Article 110. The Independence and Immunity of Judges

Article 111. Legal Proceedings

Article 112. Issues of Constitutionality

Article 113. National Council of Justice

Article 114. Financial and Organizational Provision of Courts

CHAPTER 7. CONSTITUTIONAL COURT

Article 115. Judges of the Constitutional Court

Article 116. Powers of the Constitutional Court

Article 117. Hearings and Decisions of the Constitutional Court

CHAPTER 8. PUBLIC PROSECUTOR’S OFFICE IN THE REPUBLIC OF BELARUS
Article 118. Powers of the Public Prosecutor’s Office

Article 119. Appointment of Prosecutors and Their Term of Office

CHAPTER 9. LAWYER

Article 120. Institution of the Bar

Article 121. Status of a Lawyer

Article 122. Safeguards for the Practice of Law

SECTION  VI. LOCAL SELF-GOVERNMENT

 

Article 123. Hramada

Article 124. DELIMITATION of Powers

Article 125. FORMATION of the Bodies of Local Self-Government

Article 126. Exclusive Competence of a Representative Body

Article 127. Local Budgets

Article 128. Binding Nature of Decisions

Article 129. Right to ASSOCIATION and COOPERATION

Article 130. Oversight over Compliance with Legislation

Article 131. Judicial Protection of the Rights of Local Self-Government

Article 132. Early Elections

SECTION VII. CONTROL AND SUPERVISION

 

CHAPTER 10. The Commissioner for Human Rights

Article 133. Role and Status

Article 134. Election to Office and Term of Office

Article 135. Independence and INVIOLABILITY

Article 136. Rights and Powers

Article 137. Provision for activities

CHAPTER 11. CHAMBER OF CONTROL OF THE REPUBLIC OF BELARUS

Article 138. Role and Status

Article 139. The Appointment and Term of Office of Members of the Chamber of Control

Article 140. Accountability and Independence

Article 141. Rights and Powers

CHAPTER 12. THE COMMITTEE FOR OVERSIGHT OF ACTIVITIES OF INTELLIGENCE AND SECURITY SERVICES

Article 142. Role and Status

Article 143. APPOINTMENT OF Members of the Committee and Their Term of Office

Article 144. Rights and Powers

Article 145. Accountability and SETTLEMENT of Disputes

Article 146. Provision for activities

CHAPTER 13. THE COMMITTEE FOR THE ETHICS OF THE CIVIL SERVICE AND ANTI-CORRUPTION

Article 147. Role and Status

Article 148. Appointing Members of the Committee and Their Term of Office

Article 149. Rights and Powers

Article 150. Accountability

Article 151.  Provision for activities

SECTION VIII. PUBLIC FINANCE

Article 152. The Budgetary System

Article 153. The Tax System

Article 154. The State Budget

Article 155. Debt

Article 156. The National Bank of the Republic of Belarus

SECTION IХ. AMENDMENT OF THE CONSTITUTION

Article 157. Right to Initiative

Article 158. Procedure for CONSIDERATION and Voting

Article 159. Signing and Publishing

Article 160. Limits of Amendments

SECTION Х. TRANSITIONAL AND FINAL PROVISIONS

Article 161. The Entry into Force of the Constitution

Article 162. Previous Legislation

Article 163. Early Elections to the Supreme Council

Article 164. First Election of the President and Limitation of the President’s Term of Office

Article 165. appointment of members of the Central Election Commission

Article 166. Re-election of Judges of the Constitutional Court

Article 167. FORMATION of the National Council of Justice for the First Time

Article 168. FORMATION of the Chamber of Control of the Republic of Belarus

Article 169. ELECTION of the Commissioner for Human Rights for the First Time

Article 170. FORMATION of the Committee for Oversight over Activities of Intelligence and Security Services for the First Time

Article 171. formation of the Committee for the Ethics of the Civil Service and Anti-Corruption for the First Time

 

 

 

DRAFT (new version)

Constitution

of the Republic of Belarus

TEXT OF THE DRAFT CONSTITUTION

 

Preamble

 

We, the people of Belarus,

Recognizing our responsibility to present and future generations,

Based on a centuries-old history of the development of the Belarusian statehood from the Principality of Polotsk to the present day,

Paying tribute to the law, written down in the Belarusian language in the Statutes of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and the Belarusian Constitutions,

Asserting the inalienable right of the Belarusian people for self-determination and state independence,

Reaffirming our adherence to universal values, human rights and freedoms,

Wishing to develop friendly relations and cooperation with other states,

Respecting and preserving the national identity, language and culture,

Striving for the prosperity of the country and each person, for peace and tranquillity on the Belarusian land,

Adopt this Constitution – the Basic Law of the Republic of Belarus.

SECTION I. FUNDAMENTALS OF THE CONSTITUTIONAL ORDER 

Article 1. State Republic of Belarus

  1. The Republic of Belarus – Belarus – is a unitary democratic socially-oriented law-governed state.
  2. The names «The Republic of Belarus» and «Belarus» are equivalent.
  3. The Republic of Belarus possesses the supremacy of power on its territory, and independence in the implementation of domestic and foreign policies.

Article 2. Democracy

  1. A human being, his/her rights and freedoms are the highest values. The main duty of the state is the recognition, observance, provision and protection of human rights and freedoms, the creation of conditions for the free and dignified development of the individual.
  2. The people are the only source of power and the bearer of sovereignty in the Republic of Belarus.
  3. The people exercise their power through their democratically-elected representatives, as well as directly in the cases provided for by the Constitution and the law.
  4. Nobody may appropriate the power of the people.The seizure of power or the appropriation of power is punishable by the law.
  5. The people and every citizen of the Republic of Belarus shall have the right to resist tyranny and oppression by anyone who encroaches on the fundamentals of the constitutional order or on the democratic rights and freedoms of the individual, if other lawful means cannot be used efficiently.

Article 3. Separation of Powers

  1. Power in the Republic of Belarus shall be exercised on the basis of separation into legislative, executive, and judicial branches.Bodies of legislative, executive and judicial power shall be independent within the limits of their competence and authority.
  2. In the Republic of Belarus, issues of local importance are resolved through local self-government.Local self-government entities are independent within the limits of their competence and authority.

Article 4. Territory

  1. The territory of the Republic of Belarus is the people’s natural prerequisite for existence and the spatial limit of self-determination, the foundation of its well-being and of the sovereignty of Belarus.
  2. The territory of Belarus shall be one and inalienable.
  3. The administrative-territorial structure of the Republic of Belarus is determined by an organic law.
    4. The state facilitates sustainable and proportionate socio-economic development of the administrative-territorial units.

Article 5. The Rule of Law

  1. The rule of law is established in the Republic of Belarus.
  2. The Constitution of the Republic of Belarus has supreme legal force and direct effect.
    3. The state, public authorities, local self-government bodies and officials shall act within the limits of the Constitution and of the laws adopted in compliance with it.
  3. Regulatory legal acts that, in the manner prescribed by the Constitution and legislation, are recognized unconstitutional, shall lose their legal force.
  4. The Republic of Belarus recognizes the priority of the universally acknowledged principles of international law and ensures thecompliance of legislation with them.
  5. The Republic of Belarus shall not enter into international treaties that do not comply with the Constitution.
  6. An international treaty ratified by the Republic of Belarus has priority over the law and is a part of the national legislation.
  7. Regulatory legal acts shall be subject to publication.
  8. Each regulatory legal act shall be adopted and published in the two official languages.

Article 6. Security

  1. The Republic of Belarus shall ensure the safety of the individual, society, and the state.
    2. The state shall protect law and order, and shall protect the population from natural and technogenic emergencies.
  2. The Republic of Belarus ensures ecological safety, protection and improvement of the environment, takes measures to overcome the consequences of the Chernobyl disaster and to protect the citizens affected by it.
  3. The Republic of Belarus protects its sovereignty, territorial integrity, the inviolability of its borders, and its constitutional order.

Article 7. Basic Principles of Foreign Policy

  1. The Republic of Belarus in its foreign policy proceeds from the principles of the equality of states, the non-use of force or the threat of force, the peaceful settlement of disputes, the conscientious fulfilment of international obligations, the non-interference in internal affairs, international cooperation and other generally recognized principles and norms of international law.
  2. Belarus strives for the status of permanent neutrality.The territory of thestate is free from nuclear weapons.
  3. In compliance with norms of international law, the Republic of Belarus may on a voluntary basis join interstate entities and exit from them. A decision to join an interstate entity that presupposes a transfer of some state powers to supranational bodies shall be made at a national referendum.
  4. Belarus may not join an interstate entity if it results in the loss of its independence and full-fledged international legal capacity.

Article 8. State Languages

  1. The official languages ​​in the Republic of Belarus shall beBelarusianand Russian.
  2. While respecting the right of everyone to choose the language of communication, the state takes measures to expand the use of theBelarusianlanguage.

Article 9. State Symbols

  1. The state symbols of the Republic of Belarus are its flag, coat of arms, anthem, and motto.
    2. The state flag of the Republic of Belarus is a rectangular cloth consisting of three horizontal stripes of white, red, and white of equal widths: the top and bottom stripes are white in color and the central stripe is red in color. The width-to-length ratio of the flag is one to two.
  2. The state coat of arms of the Republic of Belarus is the Pahonia coat of arms that is a depiction of a white horseback rider against the red background with his image turned left, with a raised sword and a red shield with a cross on it.
  3. The motto of the state is «Long liveBelarus!»
    5. The standard description of and the procedure for using state symbols are established by an organic law.

Article 10. The Capital City

  1. The capital of the Republic of Belarus is the city of Minsk.
  2. The status of the city of Minsk is determined by an organic law.

SECTION II. HUMAN RIGHTS, FREEDOMS, AND OBLIGATIONS

Article 11. Recognition of Human Rights and Freedoms

  1. All people shall be free and equal in their rights.
  2. Fundamental rights and freedoms are inalienable and belong to a personfrom birth.
  3. Human dignity is an inviolable and absolute right that is subject to protection even after the death of a person.
    4. Human rights and freedoms are binding on legislative and executive authorities, bodies of local self-government and justice as directly applicable law.

Article 12. Citizenship

  1. Citizenship of the Republic of Belarus is acquired by right of birth and on other grounds; it is equal regardless of the grounds of acquisition.
  2. A person who is a citizen of the Republic of Belarus may have the citizenship of another state.
    3. Citizens are guaranteed the protection and patronage of the state both in the territory of the Belarus and abroad.
  3. No one shall be deprived of citizenship or the right to change citizenship.
  4. A person who is a citizen of the Republic of Belarus cannot be extradited to another state, unless otherwise provided for by international treaties of the Republic of Belarus.
  5. Acquisition and termination of citizenship of the Republic of Belarus are carried out in accordance with an organic law.

Article 13. Rights of Foreign Citizens and Stateless Persons

  1. Foreign citizens and stateless persons staying in the territory of the Republic of Belarus shall enjoy rights and freedoms and perform duties on an equal basis with citizens of the Republic of Belarus, unless otherwise specified by the Constitution, laws, and international treaties.
  2. Persons persecuted in other states for their political, religious beliefs or nationality may be granted the right to asylum in the Republic of Belarus in compliance with universally recognized norms of international law.
  3. Nobody shall be forcibly deported, returned or in any other manner expelled to a country where that person faces a serious danger of being sentenced to the death penalty, being subjected to torture or another form of inhumane or degrading treatment or punishment.

Article 14. Right to Life

  1. Every person has the inalienable right to life.
  2. The use of the death penalty as punishment is prohibited.
  3. Every person has the right to protect their own life and well-being and the life and well-being of any person from unlawful encroachments.

Article 15. Prohibition of Torture

No one shall be subjected to torture, cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment or punishment, nor shall anyone be subjected to medical or other experimentation without voluntary consent.

Article 16. Right to Liberty and Security of Person

  1. Every person shall have the right to liberty and security of person.
    2. Nobody may be deprived of freedom merely on the basis of not being able to fulfill a contractual obligation.
  2. Restriction or deprivation of personal freedom shall be permissible only by a court decision in the cases and in the manner prescribedby the law.A person may not be detained or held in custody for more than 48 hours before a court ruling is issued.
  3. Every person who is deprived of freedom shall be without delay and in a manner comprehensible to them informed about the grounds for the deprivation of freedom and about their rights, as well as provided with an opportunity to notify their friends, lawyer or other persons at their discretion about the deprivation of freedom.
  4. The duration of detention prior to the issuance of a court verdict shall not exceed 9 months.
  5. A person unlawfully or groundlessly deprived of freedom or unjustly convicted shall have the right to receive restitution from the state.

Article 17. Right to a Fair Trial

  1. Every person is guaranteed the protection of his rights and freedoms by a competent, independent and impartial court within a reasonable time-frame as determined by the law.
  2. Everyone shall have the right to the judicial protection of honour, dignity and business reputation, the right to both recover in court property damage and claim material compensation for moral damage.
  3. Every person shall have the right to appeal in court against a decision or action/inaction of a public authority, local self-government body or an official who infringes on the person’s rights and freedoms, in the manner determined by the Constitution and the law.
  4. Denial of judicial protection based on the absence, incompleteness, inconsistency, or ambiguity of a regulatory legal act is not allowed. Those responsible for unlawful deprivation of the right to judicial protection are prosecuted.
    5. Every person is guaranteed the right to submit a constitutional complaint to the Constitutional Court on the grounds established by this Constitution and in line with the procedure set forth by legislation.
  5. In accordance with international legal acts ratified by the Republic of Belarus, every person has the right to apply to international organizations in order to protect their rights and freedoms. The decisions of international organizations, adopted on the substantive part of citizens’ appeals, are published in the Republic of Belarus and are mandatory for implementation by public authorities.

Article 18. Punishment Exclusively on Legal Grounds

  1. No one shall be recognized guilty of a crime if their guilt is not proven in the manner prescribed by the law and is not established by a court verdict that has entered into legal force.The accused person does not have to prove their innocence.
    2. No one shall be forced to provide evidence or testimony against oneself, their family members, or close relatives.Evidence obtained in violation of the law shall have no legal force.
  2. No one shall be convicted for committing an action or inaction that was not an act of crime according to the legislation current at the time of its commission. Nor may a heavier punishment be imposed than the punishment that had to be imposed at the time of the commission of the criminal act.

Article 19. Right to Legal Assistance

  1. Everyone shall have the right to legal assistance for the exercise and protection of rights and freedoms, including the right at any time to use the assistance of lawyers and other representatives in court, other state bodies, local self-government bodies, in institutions, organizations, in relations with public officials and citizens. In the cases stipulated by law, legal assistance and, if the person does not understand or speak the language used in court, an interpreter’s assistance are provided at public expense.

Article 20. Right to the Respect of Private and Family Life

  1. Everyone shall have the right to the inviolability of private life, including personal and family secrets, the secrecy of records, correspondence and negotiations using any means.
    2. Everyone shall have the right to independently decide what information about him can be transferred to other persons and under what circumstances, as well as, in the cases provided for by legislation, to ensure the confidentiality and integrity of personal information stored by other persons.

Article 21. Freedom of Thought, Conscience, Religion, and Beliefs

  1. Everyone shall have the freedom of thought, conscience, religion, and beliefs, including the right to practice, individually or in community with others, any religion, or not to practice any religion, to manifest one’s religion in public or in private, to benefit from religious assistance in their place of residence, to freely choose, possess and disseminate religious and other worldview-related beliefs and act in accordance with them.
  2. Religions and religious confessions are equal before the law. No religion may be established as a state or mandatory one. Freedom for the activities of religious organizations is guaranteed within the framework of the Constitution and the laws.

Article 22. Freedom of Opinion

  1. Everyone shall have the right to freely express their opinion.This right includes the freedom to receive, extract from publicly available sources and disseminate information and ideas, regardless of state borders.
    2. Restricting access to the Internet or to any part of it for the entire population or for individual communities or slowing down operations on the Internet as a whole or in any part of it is not allowed.
  2. Mass-media shall be guaranteed freedom of speech. Monopolization or mass-media by the state, organizations or individuals shall not be allowed. Censorship shall be prohibited.

Article 23. Freedom of Association

  1. Everyone has the right to freedom of association, including the right to form and join associations and participate in their activities in order to express and protect their interests.The exercise of that right does not require prior permission.
  2. Citizens shall be entitled to form political parties and to participate in their activities. Political parties facilitate the identification and expression of the political will of citizens and have the right to participate in elections.
  3. Pluralism of ideologies and opinions shall be recognized in the Republic of Belarus, and no ideology may be established as a state or mandatory one.
    4. No one may be forced to join or withdraw from any association.

Article 24. Freedom of Assembly

  1. Freedom of assembly, peaceful rallies, street processions, demonstrations and picketing is an inalienable right of citizens.
  2. Everyone has the right, without prior permission, to organize meetings and other public events, to participate or not to participate in them.
  3. The law may provide for advance notification of executive authorities or local self-government bodies if a meeting or other mass event is held in places of transport traffic.

Article 25. Marriage and Family

  1. Upon reaching marriageable age everyone shall have the right to create a family and to enter into marriage.The necessary prerequisites for entering into marriage and the consequences of entering into it, as well and the preconditions for and consequences of its dissolution shall be regulated by the law. Spouses are equal in family relations.
  2. Parents or individuals who substitute them shall have the right and obligation to raise children, care for their well-being, development, and education. Children of majority age are obligated to care for their unemployable parents, as well as for individuals who substitute them, and to provide them with assistance.
  3. Children may be separated from their family against the will of their parents and other individuals who substitute them only on the basis of a court decision, if the parents or other individuals who substitute them do not fulfil their duties and if such separation is necessary for keeping the best interests of the child.
  4. Marriage, family, motherhood, fatherhood and childhood shall be under the protection of the state.

Article 26. Rights of the Child

  1. 1. Every child exercises human rights and freedoms in accordance with his age and level of maturity.
    The child has the right to the special protection of his life and health, to the possibility of comprehensive development of the child’s personality under the conditions of freedom and respect for his dignity. A child cannot be subjected to cruel treatment or humiliation, or to be involved in work that may cause harm to his physical, mental or moral development.
  2. Children shall be guaranteed special protection against social, economic, physical, mental or other exploitation or abuse. The rights of the child are supported and protected by the state in accordance with international standards and a special law.

Article 27. Prohibition of Discrimination

No one shall be subjected to unfair treatment or discrimination, directly or indirectly, based on actual or perceived personal characteristics or circumstances, including on the basis of sex, age, colour of one’s skin, race, origin, gender identity, sexual orientation, culture, nationality, citizenship, language, religious beliefs, ideology, political or philosophical views, civil status, economic and social status, occupation, education level, disability, mental or physical characteristics, pregnancy, as well as on other grounds.

Article 28. Equality

  1. Everyone shall be equal before the law and shall have the right, without any discrimination, to equal protection of rights and legitimate interests.
  2. No one shall enjoy advantages and privileges that are in contradiction with the Constitution.
    3. Women and men shall have equal rights and freedoms and equal opportunities for exercising them.
  3. The state promotes gender equality, gender education and training, takes other necessary measures, including through the issuance of special laws, for the effective implementation of the equality of women and men in all spheres of life.

Article 29. Freedom of Movement

Every person legally staying in the country shall have the right to move freely and choose a place of residence within the Republic of Belarus, as well as to leave it. Citizens and individuals who have the right to reside in the Republic of Belarus are guaranteed the right to freely return to Belarus.

Article 30. Right of Property

  1. The right to private property, the inviolability of property, the right to inherit it are protected by the law.
    2. Everyone shall have the right to own property, to possess, use and dispose of property both individually and jointly with other persons.
  2. The law may specify items that may be owned only by the state or local self-government bodies, or for which a special procedure has been established as related to their transfer into the ownership of private individuals. The state exercises control over the rational use of land and other natural resources.
  3. In the Republic of Belarus, confiscation of property acquired illegally shall be allowed by a court decision.
  4. Compulsory alienation of property shall be allowed only for reasons of social necessity, on the basis of and in the manner prescribed by the law, andsubject to prior and full compensation of the value of the alienated property.
  5. Every person whose property has been alienated without their consent shall have the right to take legal action to contest the alienation and to resolve the issue of compensation or of its amount.

Article 31. Inviolability of the Home

  1. The home is inviolable.
  2. No one has the right to enter the residence or other property of citizens against the will of the owner andwithout a legal basis.

Article 32. \Right to Participate in the Management of Societal and Public Affairs

  1. Citizens have the right to participate in the management of public affairs and the affairs of local self-government through their elected representatives, as well as directly in the cases provided for by the Constitution and the law.
  2. Direct participation of citizens in the management of societal and public affairs is ensured by means of holding referendums, public discussions of draft laws and issues of state and local importance, and by other methods specified by the law.

Article 33. Right to Vote

  1. Citizens have the right to freely elect and be elected to state bodies and bodies of local self-government.
  2. The electoral rights of citizens are established by the Constitution and the law.

Article 34. Right to Hold Office in State Bodies and Bodies of Local Self-Government

  1. Citizens, in accordance with their abilities and professional training, have the right to equal access to any position in state bodies and local self-government bodies.
  2. The positions of the President, Chairperson of the Supreme Council, and Prime-Minister may not be held by citizens of Belarus who are simultaneously citizens of a foreign state.

Article 35. Right of Appeal

  1. A person who is a citizen of the Republic of Belarus has the right to petition in person, as well as to send individual or collective complaints to state bodies and local self-government bodies.
  2. State bodies, local self-government bodies, as well as public officials are obliged to review the complaint and provide a substantive answer within a reasonable time-frame, as determined by the law. A refusal to review the submitted petition must be substantiated.

Article 36. Right to Access to Public Information

  1. Citizens have the right to receive, store and disseminate complete, reliable and timely information on the activities of state bodies, institutions and organizations, local government bodies, including information about the decisions they make and about the use of financial means.
    2. Every person is guaranteed access to the regulatory legal acts of the Republic of Belarus.
  2. Government agencies, institutions and organizations, bodies of local self-government and public officials are obliged to provide any person with an opportunity to familiarize himself with the material that affects their rights and interests, and ensure that everyone has access to the information, which was collected in relation to him by public authorities or other entities.

Article 37. Right to Work and to Choose an Occupation

  1. Every person shall have the right to work and to choose an occupation, the right to freely dispose of his or her aptitudes for work, to choose an occupation and profession in accordance with their vocation, aptitudes, education and professional training, as well as to healthy and safe working conditions.

The state creates conditions for dignified work that is free, safe, socially protected, that does not demean the dignity of a person and that facilitates the development of one’s personality.

  1. Citizens have the right to protection from unemployment. In the event a person becomes unemployed for reasons beyond their control, they are guaranteed to receive retraining and advanced training, as well as to receive an unemployment allowance that is not less than the level of the minimum cost of living for the able-bodied population.
  2. Workers have the right to rest and leisure.  Employees who work under an employment contract are guaranteed to have statutory duration of the work week, weekends and holidays, and annual paid vacations.
  3. Employees who work under an employment contract have the right to fair remuneration for the work performed but not less than the minimum amount established by the state. Women and men, adults and minors, have the right to equal remuneration for work of equal value.
  4. Forced labour is prohibited, except for work or service determined by a court ruling or by the law on a state of emergency and martial law. Any measures of compulsion to labour, including those of a normative, economic, psychological nature, are also prohibited.

    Article 38. Right to the Protection of Economic and Social Interests

  5. All people have the right to the protection of their economic and social interests, including the right to freely associate in trade unions, conclude collective contracts/agreements and the right to strike.
  6. Dismissal of employees on the initiative of the employer in connection with their participation in a collective labour dispute or strike is prohibited.
  1. Relations in the social labour sphere are conducted using the principles of social partnership.

    Article 39. Right to Personal Initiative and Freedom of Entrepreneurship

  2. Everyone has the right to personal initiative and freedom of entrepreneurship.
  3. The entrepreneurial activity of deputies, officials of public agencies and local self-government bodies may be limited by the law.
  4. The law may provide for the exclusive right of the state to conduct certain types of activity.
  5. Unfair competition, restriction of competition, and abuse of one’s dominant position on the market shall not be allowed. Activities of natural monopolies shall be regulated by the law.
  6. The state creates equal economic conditions for all business entities, stimulates fair competition, encourages entrepreneurship and citizens’ business initiatives, supports the openness of domestic and foreign trade and investment. The law protects the rights of business entities and sets forth liability for legislative violations.
  7. Consumer rights are protected by the law.

Article 40. Right to Education and Academic Freedom

  1. Every person has the right to education.
  2. The value of education is recognized in the Republic of Belarus, and favourable conditions are created for the implementation of educational activities.Education is of secular nature.
  3. Citizens are guaranteed the accessibility of free preschool, general secondary and vocational education.
  4. Education is mandatory until the age of 18 or until general secondary education has been received. Parents or persons who substitute  them ensure that children receive general secondary education.
  5. Vocational secondary and higher education is available to all in accordance with their abilities. Citizens can, on a competitive basis, receive an appropriate education at public expense.
  6. Higher education institutions enjoy academic freedom and autonomy.
  7. Students in higher education institutions have the right to create student self-government bodies.
  8. The state sets state standards for education, supports various forms of education and self-education.

Article 41. Right to Healthcare

  1. Citizens have the right to health protection, including free treatment in healthcare institutions in the manner prescribed by the law.
  2. The state protects the health of individuals, encourages everyone to care about their health and facilitates the spread of a healthy lifestyle. The state facilitates the development of medicine, its preventative orientation, and creates conditions for accessible and high-quality medical service provision.
  3. The right to health protection is also ensured by the development of physical education and stimulates each person to care about the state of their health and facilitates the spread of a healthy lifestyle.

Article 42. Right to Social Security and Voluntary Guardianship

  1. Citizens have the right to decent social security in old age, in the case of illness, disability, disablement, loss of a breadwinner and in other cases stipulated by the law.
  2. The state recognizes and encourages voluntary guardianship and guardianship by non-profit organizations and local self-government bodies.

Article 43. Rights of Persons with Disabilities
1. Persons with disabilities are guaranteed all possible assistance in the exercise of their rights and freedoms on an equal basis with other people. The state provides people with disabilities with decent conditions for treatment, rehabilitation, training, employment, adaptation, mobility, accessibility of social infrastructure and services; it takes the necessary measures to remove obstacles and barriers to their full participation in society.

  1. Persons with disabilities and representatives of their communities are guaranteed participation in the adoption of laws and programs that affect their rights.

Article 44. Right to Housing

  1. Everyone has the right to housing. This right is ensured by the development of state, communal and private housing stock, and by the provision of assistance to citizens in purchasing housing.
  2. Citizens in need of social protection are provided with housing by the state and local self-government bodies free of charge or at an affordable fee in accordance with the legislation.
  3. No one can be arbitrarily deprived of housing.

Article 45. Use of the Achievements of Culture and Artistic Freedom

  1. Everyone shall have the right to take part in cultural life. This right is ensured by the general accessibility of the national and world cultural heritage in the possession of the state and public foundations, by the development of a network of cultural and educational institutions.
  2. Freedom of artistic, scientific, technical creativity and teaching shall be guaranteed.
  3. The state shall take measures on preserving and popularizing historical, cultural, and spiritual heritage of the people of Belarus, and shall facilitate the development of culture.

Article 46. Right to the Protection of Intellectual Property

  1. Intellectual property is protected by the law.
  2. The person who is the author has the inalienable right to their work.

Article 47. Right to a Favourable Natural Environment

  1. Everyone has the right to a favourable natural environment.
    2. Each person is given the right to influence decision-making in person or jointly with other citizens on issues that relate to their living environment.

Article 48. Protection of Sovereignty

  1. Each citizen has the right and duty to participate in the defense of independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity of the state.
  2. Every person has the right to refuse military service on the grounds of religious or other beliefs and have it replaced with alternative service or with military training.
  3. The procedure for military service, the grounds and conditions for exemption from military service or its replacement with alternative service or military training, as well as military service on a contract basis are determined by the law.

Article 49. Right to Disobey

Citizens have the right to disobedience and non-compliance with unlawful orders and instructions, as well as with orders that violate their fundamental rights and freedoms.

Article 50. Duties of a Taxpayer and the Duty to Comply with Legislation

  1. Every person who is staying in the territory of the Republic of Belarus is obliged to observe its Constitution and laws, participate in the funding of state and local expenditures by paying taxes, duties, and other charges determined by the law.
  2. No one shall be forced to fulfil obligations not provided for by the Constitution of the Republic of Belarus and its laws, or to renounce their rights.

Article 51. Interpretation of Fundamental Rights

The provision of fundamental rights and freedoms in the Constitution of the Republic of Belarus should not be interpreted as a denial or diminution of other universally recognized human rights and freedoms.

Article 52. Restrictive Norms

  1. Restriction of human rights and freedoms is permissible only in accordance with the procedure established by the law in the interests of national security, public order, protection of morals, public health, rights and freedoms of other persons and must not be of discriminatory nature, must not distort or belittle the essence of the rights and freedoms which are being restricted, and must be proportionate to the significance of the restricted rights and freedoms and to the values and objectives protected by the Constitution.
  2. The restrictions allowed in paragraph 1 of this Article shall not be applied to the human rights and freedoms provided for by Articles 12, 14 – 19, and 27 – 28 of the Constitution.

Article 53. Suspension of Obligations during Emergencies

  1. The exercise of human rights and freedoms provided for by this Constitution may be suspended or subjected to additional restrictions only in a state of emergency or martial law in the manner and within the limits determined by the Constitution and the law and only insofar as required by the situation, in accordance with international obligations.
    2. When implementing special measures during a state of emergency or martial law, the effect of Articles 12, 14 – 19, and 27 – 28 of the Constitution may not be suspended.

SECTION III. ELECTIONS. REFERENDUM 

 

CHAPTER 1. ELECTIONS

Article 54. Universal Suffrage

  1. Elections of the President and of deputies by the people shall be universal: citizens of the Republic of Belarus who have reached the age of eighteen have the right to elect.
  2. Citizens who are recognized by the court as incapable of exercising their electoral rights due to a psychiatric disorder do not participate in elections.
  3. Citizens who are held in places of deprivation of freedom based on a court sentence that has entered into effect, cannot participate in elections as candidates for the post of a deputy or for the post of the President.
  4. Foreign citizens shall be able to participate in elections to local self-government bodies on the basis of interstate agreements.

Article 55. Equal Suffrage

Elections are held based on the principle of equality:

  1. a) Voters have an equal number of votes;
  2. b) Electoral districts are formed on an equal basis;
  3. c) Candidates for the post of the President and candidates to be elected as deputies participate in elections on equal terms.

Article 56. Direct Suffrage

Elections are direct: the President and deputies of all levels are elected by citizens directly.

Article 57. Free Elections

Elections are free:

  1. a) The voter personally decides whether to participate in the elections and for whom to vote;
  2. b) Candidates and political parties conduct election campaigns in the forms permitted by the law, without discrimination, undue influence, administrative or bureaucratic interference.

Article 58. The Openness and Publicity of Elections

Elections are open and public:
a) The preparation and conduct of elections are carried out publicly;

  1. b) Information on candidates is available in accordance with the law;
    c) Conditions are established for national and international observation;
  2. d) Full and prompt information about the voting results is provided.

Article 59. Secret Ballot

Voting in elections is by secret ballot: control over the expression of the will of voters during voting is prohibited.


Article 60. Procedural Guarantees and the System for Contesting Decisions

  1. The procedure for voting, vote counting and tabulation of results provides for protection against fraud or manipulation and provides an accurate reflection of the will of voters in the election results.
  2. Obstruction of the free exercise of citizens’ electoral rights and freedoms, the falsification of the election results are impermissible and entail liability established by the law.
  3. Decisions of election commissions that violate the electoral rights of citizens can be contested in court proceedings.
  4. The decision of the Central Election Commission on the recognition of elections as valid or invalid can be contested atthe Supreme Court by electoral associations, as well as by at least five percent of the voters who have taken part in the voting.

Article 61. Financing of Elections

  1. Expenses for the preparation and conduct of elections are covered by state and local self-government bodies within the funds specifically allocated for these purposes. The allocated funds must ensure sufficient and timely financing of the elections.
  2. In the manner established by law, apart from the funds allocated by state and local self-government bodies, candidates and electoral associations can utilize own funds and voluntary contributions from organizations and individuals.

Article 62. Organization of Elections by Impartial Bodies

  1. Preparation and conduct of elections, assistance in the implementation of electoral rights of citizens and control over their implementation are carried out by electoral commissions in accordance with the competencies established by the Constitution and the law.
  2. The Central Election Commission of the Republic of Belarus is a permanent collegial government body that performs the preparation and conduct of elections and national referendums in the Republic of Belarus in accordance with the competence established by the law.
  3. Two-fifths of the members of the Central Election Commission are elected by the Supreme Council. Two-fifths of the members of the Central Election Commission are appointed by the Supreme Court. One-fifth of the members of the Central Election Commission are appointed by the President.
  4. Members of the Central Election Commission work on a permanent basis.
    5. The term of office for the members of the Central Election Commission is six years. One and the same person cannot be appointed to the Central Election Commission more than twice. The procedure and grounds for early dismissal of members of the Central Election Commission are established by the law. Every three years, a half of the members of the Central Election Commission are renewed. A member of the Central Election Commission continues to work at the Central Election Commission upon the expiration of their term of office until a successor is appointed.
  5. The members of the Central Election Commission elect from among themselves the Chairperson of the Central Election Commission by secret ballot for a term of three years.
  6. Lower-level election commissions are formed by the higher-level election commission and are accountable to the Central Election Commission. Formation of an election commission, where more than a half of the listed members are representatives or employees of the same organization is not allowed.
  7. Election Commissions are independent in the exercise of their powers. Interference in the activities of election commissions in order to influence their decisions, as well as obstruction of the activities of election commissions in any other form entails liability under the law.
  8. Decisions of election commissions, adopted within their competence, are binding on executive authorities, local self-government bodies, public officials, voters, other persons and organizations specified in the law.

Article 63. The Procedure for Regulation and the Stability of Electoral Legislation

  1. The Central Election Commission shall set the dates for the election of the Supreme Council, the President and the representative bodies of local self-government.
  2. Elections are considered valid at any turnout of citizens who have the right to vote. In accordance with the law, the decision in an election is adopted using the number of voters who took part in voting.
  3. Elections are not held during a state of emergency or martial law.
  4. The procedure for holding elections is set forth by the Constitution and an organic law.
  5. Changes to the law on holding elections are adopted by the Supreme Council by two votes, separated by elections to the Supreme Council. The law on holding elections is considered adopted if the subsequent composition of the Supreme Council in the first reading votes for its adoption without changes. The law on holding elections may not be changed in circumstances of martial law or a state of emergency.
  6. In the event the Supreme Council makes the decision to change the law on holding elections as a matter of urgency, that change of the law on holding elections shall be adopted by a majority of two-thirds of the elected deputies.

CHAPTER 2. THE REFERENDUM

Article 64. The Principles for Holding Referendums

  1. National and local referendums (popular vote) can be held to resolve the most important issues of state and public life.
  2. Referenda are held through universal, free, equal voting and by secret ballot. All constitutional guarantees that pertain to elections apply to referenda.
  3. Citizens who have the right to vote participate in referendums.

Article 65. National Referendums

  1. National referendums are called by the President upon the proposal of the Supreme Council or upon the proposal of no less than 250 thousand citizens who have the right to elect, and according to territorial representation as defined by the law.
  2. The constitutionality of the wording of questions submitted for a nation-wide referendum is verified by the Constitutional Court prior to holding the referendum.
  3. The legal effect of a decision taken at a national referendum – either advisory or legally binding – is determined by the President while calling the referendum in compliance with the conditions set forth by the law, the proposal of the initiator of the referendum, and the opinion of the Constitutional Court.
  4. Decisions adopted at a national referendum are signed by the President.

Article 66. Local Referendums

Local referendums are called by the relevant representative bodies of local self-government on their own initiative or upon the proposal of at least five percent of citizens who have the right to vote and who live in the respective territory.

Article 67. The Procedure for Holding Referendums

  1. The procedure for holding national and local referendums is determined by the Constitution and an organic law.
  2. The law determines the grounds for holding a mandatory referendum, as well as a list of questions that may not be voted on at a referendum. A referendum on changing the Constitution is held exclusively within the framework of the procedure set forth in Section 9 of the Constitution.
  3. A decision on calling or refusing to call a referendum may be contested in court by an action group of citizens for the referendum, by at least one-fifth of the total number of elected deputies of the Supreme Council for a national referendum and one-fifth of the total number of elected deputies of a local self-government representative body for a local referendum.
  4. A referendum is considered valid at any turnout of citizens who have the right to vote. A decision shall be deemed adopted by a referendum, if more than a half of the citizens who took part in the vote voted in support of it.
  5. The decisions adopted by a referendum may be repealed or amended only by a referendum, unless otherwise determined by the referendum.
  6. A repeat referendum is not allowed for two years from the day of the official publication of its results.

SECTION IV. LEGISLATIVE, EXECUTIVE AND JUDICIAL POWER 

CHAPTER 3. THE SUPREME COUNCIL OF THE REPUBLIC OF BELARUS 

(Options for the name of the Parliament: 1) The Supreme Council; 2) The Verkhovna Rada; 3) The Soym; 4) The National Assembly. The final decision will be adopted after a survey of citizens.)

Article 68. The Status of the Supreme Council

  1. The Supreme Council of the Republic of Belarus – the Parliament – is the highest representative and legislative body of state power of the Republic of Belarus.

Article 69. Composition and Elections

  1. The Supreme Council consists of, elected in accordance with the law on the basis of universal, free, equal, and direct suffrage by secret ballot.
  2. A citizen of the Republic of Belarus who has the right to elect and who has reached the age of twenty-one may be elected a deputy of the Supreme Council.
  3. Scheduled elections to the Supreme Council are held on the second Sunday of April in the final year of the term of office of the Supreme Council.
  4. The election of deputies to the Supreme Council is conducted using the mixed system, where some deputies are elected on a personal basis in majority constituencies, and the others are elected using electoral associations’ lists proportionately to the votes received.
  5. The Supreme Council is deemed quorate if at least two-thirds of the constitutional composition of the Supreme Council have been elected to it.

Article 70. The Term of Office

  1. The term of office of the Supreme Council is four years.
  2. The beginning of the term of office of the Supreme Council is the first meeting of the newly elected composition of the Supreme Council.
  3. The term of office of the Supreme Council lasts until the opening of the first meeting of the Supreme Council of the new convocation.
  4. The term of office of the previously elected deputies of the Supreme Council expires at the beginning of the first meeting of the Supreme Council of the new convocation.

Article 71. Early Elections

  1. In exceptional cases, the Supreme Council by a majority of at least two-thirds of the votes of the elected deputies, may decide on early elections to the Supreme Council.
  2. The President of the Republic of Belarus may adopt a decision on early elections to the Supreme Council in the cases stipulated in paragraph 5 of Article 102 and in paragraph 8 of Article 103 of the Constitution.
  3. Early elections to the Supreme Council of the Republic of Belarus cannot be called:
  4. a) During the period of martial law and a state of emergency introduced in the Republic of Belarus;
  5. b) In the last six months of the term of office of the President of the Republic of Belarus;
  6. c) During the period when the Supreme Council decides on the early release, dismissal or removal from office of the President of the Republic of Belarus.
  7. Early elections to the Supreme Council shall be held no later than within three months of making the decision on early elections. The date of early elections to the Supreme Council is set by the Central Election Commission within ten days of the time of making the decision on early elections to the Supreme Council.

Article 72. A Deputy’s Independence

  1. A deputy of the Supreme Council is at the service of the entire nation rather than of merely those people who have elected him. He is not bound by instructions, is guided by his conscience and convictions, and cannot be recalled.
  2. Deputies of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Belarus work on a permanent professional basis and receive remuneration in the amount established by the law.

Article 73. Incompatibility

A deputy of the Supreme Council may not be a deputy of a representative body of local self-government, hold the post of the President, a judge, or any other civil service position, may not engage in business activities related to the receipt of profits from state property or local self-government units. The requirements concerning the incompatibility of a deputy’s mandate with other types of activity are set forth by the law.

Article 74. Termination of Powers

  1. The powers of a deputy of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Belarus are terminated in the event of: 
    a) Termination of the powers of this composition of the Supreme Council;
    b) Resignation following the submission of a personal notice;
    c) Withdrawal of the mandate by a decision taken by a majority of three-fifths of the total number of elected deputies of the Supreme Council if the deputy, without a valid excuse, missed more than a half of the scheduled meetings within a session;
  2. d) Loss of the right to elect or be elected.
  3. Whenever a Supreme Council deputy’s seat becomes vacant, the vacancy shall be filled in the manner prescribed by the law.

Article 75. A Deputy’s Immunity

  1. A deputy of the Supreme Council does not bear legal responsibility for his or her statements, votes, and activities carried out while fulfilling their duties.
  2. A deputy of the Supreme Council cannot be arrested orotherwise deprived of their personal freedom without the consent of the Supreme Council, except in the cases of apprehension at the scene of a grave or especially grave crime.
  3. A criminal case against a deputy of the Supreme Council may be initiated exclusively by the Prosecutor General.

Article 76. Sessions and meetings

  1. The Supreme Council regularly convenes for sessions and meetings in line with the procedure established by the law.
  2. At the request of at least one-fourth of the total number of elected deputies of the Supreme Council or the Council of Ministers, a special session is convocated, and in the course of a scheduled session – a special meeting is convocated.

A special meeting of the Supreme Council is held only for the agenda set by the initiator and is closed upon its depletion.

  1. In the event martial law or a state of emergency is announced, the Supreme Council within 24 hours convenes for a special session that lasts until the cancellation of the said state.
  2. Meetings of the Supreme Council are considered quorate if more than a half of the elected deputies of the Supreme Council take part in them.
  3. Meetings of the Supreme Council are held openly and publicly. The Supreme Council, by a three-fifths majority of the elected deputies, may decide to hold a closed meeting in the cases stipulated by the law. Laws and resolutions of the Supreme Council may not be adopted in a closed meeting.
  4. The first meeting of the Supreme Council after the elections is convened by the Central Election Commission no later than thirty days after the announcement of the final results of the elections.
  5. The first meeting of the Supreme Council is opened by the oldest deputy.

Article 77. Chairperson and Deputy Chairpersons of the Supreme Council

  1. For the duration of its term of office, the Supreme Council, from among the deputies of the Supreme Council, elects the Chairperson, First Deputy Chairperson and deputies of the Chairperson.
  2. The Chairperson of the Supreme Council, First Deputy Chairperson and deputies of the Chairperson are elected by the deputies by secret ballot by the majority of votes from the elected deputies of the Supreme Council. The Chairperson of the Supreme Council is accountable to the Supreme Council.
    3. The Chairperson of the Supreme Council conducts overall management of the activities of the Supreme Council and represents the Supreme Council in relations with other bodies and organizations. At the instruction of the Chairperson of the Supreme Council, First Deputy Chairperson and deputies of the Chairperson of the Supreme Council fulfil some of his or her duties and replace the Chairman of the Supreme Council in the event of his absence or in the event of his inability to fulfil his duties.

Article 78. The Presidium, Commissions, and Factions

  1. To organize the work of the Supreme Council, the Presidium of the Supreme Council is established, which includes the Chairperson of the Supreme Council, deputy chairpersons, chairpersons of standing commissions, and leaders of factions. The Presidium of the Supreme Council is headed by the Chairperson of the Supreme Council.
  2. From among the deputies the Supreme Council elects standing commissions and other bodies for conducting legislative work, preliminary consideration and preparation of issues related to the jurisdiction of the Supreme Council, and exercising control over the implementation of laws and resolutions.
  3. Deputies may unite into parliamentary factions. The procedure for forming and operating a faction and its rights are determined by the Rules of Procedure of the Supreme Council.
  4. In the cases stipulated by the law and the Rules of Procedure of the Supreme Council, as well as at the request of at least one-fourth of the total number of elected deputies of the Supreme Council, an investigative commission or other temporary commissions are formed in Parliament. In a temporary commission, parliamentary factions shall be represented by at least one member of each faction, and the representation of the parliamentary majority shall not exceed a half of the total number of the members of the commission.

Article 79. Inquiries and Interpellation

  1. A deputy, as well as a parliamentary commission have the right to to submit a question, inquiry or request to bodies of the Supreme Council, to the Council of Ministers, or to individual ministers, heads of other state agencies and local self-government bodies, as well as to the heads of state institutions and organizations regardless of their subordination who are obligated to provide a response to them.
  2. A parliamentary faction, commission or group consisting of no less than one-fifth of the total number of elected deputies of the Supreme Council is entitled to address by way of interpellation a request to the Council of Ministers or a Supreme Council body that are obligated to reply to the posed question at a plenary meeting of the Supreme Council within fifteen days of the interpellation notice. The reply may become subject to review by the Supreme Council.

Article 80. Types of Laws

  1. The Supreme Council adopts constitutional, organic, and ordinary laws.
  2. Constitutional laws are laws on making amendments and addenda to the Constitution.
  3. An organic law regulates:
  4. a) Citizenship and the status of foreigners and stateless persons;
  5. b) The organization and conduct of elections and referendums;
  6. c) The organization and activity of the Supreme Council;
  7. d) The procedure for exercising the powers of the President;
  8. e) The organization and activity of bodies of executive power;
  9. f) The organization of courts and the status of judges, the court procedure, the organization and activity of the Prosecutor General’s Office, the organization and activity of the bar association;
  10. g) The basics of civil, administrative, and criminal liability;
  11. h) The basics of local self-government;
  12. i) The administrative-territorial organization of the Republic of Belarus;
  13. j) Standard description of and the procedure for the use of state symbols, the status of the city of Minsk, the procedure for the use of languages;
  14. k) The organization and activity of political parties, non-governmental and religious organizations, and trade-unions;
  15. l) The budget system; the taxation system, taxes and dues; the procedure for forming and repaying government debt;
  16. m) The legal status of property; the basics of the use of natural resources; the legal groundwork and guarantees for entrepreneurship; the rules of competition and standards for anti-monopoly regulation;
  17. n) The basics of social security and pension coverage; the basics of regulating the labour market and employment, marriage and family, gender equality, childhood protection, education, culture and healthcare, and environmental security;
  18. o) The basics of national security, the organization of the Armed Forces and public order provision; martial law and a state of emergency;
  19. p) Other domains for which the Supreme Council has deemed it necessary to adopt organic laws;
  20. Ordinary laws are in effect in all areas of social relations, with the exception of the areas regulated by constitutional and organic laws.

Article 81. International Treaties

The following treaties are subject to ratification by the Supreme Council:

  1. a) Ones that prescribe their ratification as the only method of expressing consent to the binding nature of an international treaty;
  2. b) Ones that are of political or military nature;
  3. c) Ones that pertain to the fundamental human rights and freedoms;
  4. d) Ones about the territorial delimitation of the Republic of Belarus with other states;
  5. e) Ones that require changing or adopting the laws that are necessary for compliance with the assumed international obligations;
  6. f) Ones that impose significant financial burdens on the state;
  7. g) Ones about the participation of the Republic of Belarus in international organizations and interstate entities.

Article 82. Legislative Initiative and the Right to Make Proposals

  1. The right to initiate legislation belongs to:
  2. a) Deputies;
  3. b) Parliamentary commissions and factions;
  4. c) The Council of Minsters;
  5. d) Citizens of the Republic of Belarus who have the right to vote, in the amount of at least 25 thousand people.
  6. Deputies, parliamentary commissions and factions have the right to make proposals on any issue under discussion.
  7. The procedure for submitting draft laws and amendments to them to the Supreme Council is determined by the Rules of Procedure of the Supreme Council.

Article 83. Reviewing Issues at a Plenary Meeting

  1. A review of draft laws is performed in three readings in the course of three separate meetings with at least two days in-between them, unless otherwise specified by the law. The discussion of draft laws includes a review of the general concept, an article-by-article review, and an overall review. A review of draft laws at a plenary meeting must be preceded by the participation of the public in consultations that are allotted a sufficient amount of time for the preparation and presentation of recommendations on the draft laws.
  2. Other issues are reviewed at a plenary meeting in a single reading.
  3. At the initiative of a parliamentary commission, faction or the Council of Ministers, the Supreme Council can announce expedited processing for a draft law or resolution, with the exception of a draft constitutional or organic law.
  4. Legislation on martial law or a state of emergency may not be changed in circumstances of martial law or a state of emergency.

Article 84. Voting

  1. Voting at meetings of the Supreme Council shall be carried out by the deputies in person. Voting for another deputy entails the application to the deputy of penalties established by the law.
  2. An ordinary law is considered adopted if the majority of those participating in the vote have voted for it, but no less than one-third of the total number of the elected deputies of the Supreme Council, unless another procedure is set forth by the Constitution for adopting an ordinary law. An organic law is considered adopted if the majority of the constitutional composition of the Supreme Council has voted for it, provided the Constitution does not set forth another procedure for adopting an organic law. A constitutional law is adopted in line with the procedure set forth in Section 9.
  3. Resolutions and other decisions of the Supreme Council are considered adopted if the majority of the deputies who took part in the voting voted for them.

Article 85. Signing and Publishing a Law

  1. The adopted laws shall be sent by the Chairperson of the Supreme Council to the President of the Republic of Belarus for signature within two weeks of the date of adoption.
  2. Within two weeks, the President signs and officially publishes the law in each official language or returns it to the Supreme Council unsigned with his or her comments and suggestions.
  3. If the law is not returned by the President to the Supreme Council for reconsideration within two weeks, it is considered signed, and it is published by the decision of the Chairperson of the Supreme Council.
  4. If the Supreme Council, within a month from the date of the return of a law not signed by the President of the Republic of Belarus, votes for its adoption in the original version by a majority of three-fifths of the total number of elected deputies of the Supreme Council, the law is considered adopted; it is signed by the Chairperson of the Supreme Council and is published by his decision within five days.
  5. The law comes into force in ten days after its official publication, unless otherwise provided for by the law itself, but not earlier than the day of its publication.

Article 86. Powers of the Supreme Council

  1. The Supreme Council:
  2. a) Adopts and changes the Constitution of the Republic of Belarus in line with the procedure established in Section 9 of the Constitution;
  3. b) Adopts regulatory legal acts: laws and resolutions.
  4. By the majority of the total number of elected deputies, the Supreme Council ratifies, denounces, and suspends the effect of international treaties concluded by the Republic of Belarus and annuls them. Whenever a proposal is submitted to the Constitutional Court on verifying the constitutionality of an international treaty, ratification of the corresponding international treaty is not allowed until the Constitutional Court makes the decision.
  5. By the majority of the total number of elected deputies, the Supreme Council within two days approves Presidential decrees on introducing martial law in the country, on either full or partial mobilization of persons liable for military service, as well as a resolution of the Council of Ministers on introducing a state of emergency.
  6. In the area of appointing and dismissing the top public officials, the Supreme Council:
  7. a) Appoints the Prime Minister in line with Article 102 of the Constitution, accepts the resignation of the Prime Minister, expresses its lack of confidence in him in line with Article 103 of the Constitution;
  8. b) Expresses confidence or lack of confidence in the Council of Ministers in line with Article 103 of the Constitution, and accepts the resignation of the government;
  9. c) Upon the proposal of the President, Chairperson of the Supreme Council, Chairperson of the Supreme Court appoints judges of the Constitutional Court;
  10. d) Upon the proposal of the President appoints the Prosecutor General, Chairperson of the Board of the National Bank, and dismisses them from office on the grounds provided for by the law;
  11. e) Upon the proposal of the Chairperson of the Board of the National Bank approves members of the Board of the National Bank and dismisses them from office on the grounds provided for by the law;
  12. f) Upon the proposal of specialized commissions of the Parliament appoints members of the Chamber of Control, members of the Committee for Supervision over Activities of Intelligence and Security Services, and dismisses them from office on the grounds provided for by the law;
  13. g) Upon the proposal of a competition committee appoints and dismisses from office the Commissioner for Human Rights on the grounds provided for by the law;
  14. h) Accepts the resignation of the President of the Republic of Belarus;
  15. i) Makes a decision on the early dismissal or removal from office of the President of the Republic of Belarus in line with Article 91 of the Constitution;
  16. j) Appoints and dismisses from office other top public officials specified by the law.
  17. By the majority of the total number of elected deputies, the Supreme Council makes a decision on the early elections of a representative body of local self-government in accordance with Article 132 of the Constitution.
  18. In accordance with the Rules of Procedure of the Supreme Council, the Supreme Council conducts a study and discussion of any issues of public interest, resolves other issues referred by the Constitution to the jurisdiction of the Supreme Council.

Article 87. The Procedure for Activities

The procedure for the activities of the Supreme Council, its bodies and deputies is determined by the Constitution, an organic law and the Rules of Procedure of the Supreme Council. The Rules of Procedure of the Supreme Council are approved by the law.

CHAPTER 4. PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF BELARUS

 

Article 88. The Status of the President of the Republic of Belarus

  1. The President of the Republic of Belarus is the head of state.
  2. The President is the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Belarus.
  3. The President represents the Republic of Belarus in relations with other states and international organizations.

Article 89. Electing the President

  1. 1. The President of the Republic of Belarus is elected for five years by the people of the Republic of Belarus on the basis of universal, equal and direct suffrage by secret ballot.
  2. A citizen of the Republic of Belarus of at least thirty-five years of age, who has the right to vote, may be elected President. One and the same person cannot serve as President for more than two terms during their lifetime.
  3. Candidates for the post of the President are nominated by citizens of the Republic of Belarus by collecting signatures of voters in the manner prescribed by the law, as well as by political parties that have a faction in the Parliament.
  4. Regular presidential elections are held on the last Sunday of October of the final year of the President’s term of office.
  5. If the office of the President is found to be vacant, elections must be held no later than three months from the date of the opening of the vacancy. The date of early presidential elections is set by the Central Election Commission within ten days of the date of the vacancy.
  6. The President of the Republic of Belarus shall be deemed elected, if voted for by more than a half of Belarusian citizens who took part in the vote.
  7. If none of the candidates has received the required number of votes, a second round of voting is held within two weeks between the two candidates who received the most votes. The candidate for the post of the President who in the second round of voting has received the largest number of votes of the voters who took part in the voting is considered elected.
  8. If two presidential candidates took part in the first round, the one who has received the largest number of votes of the voters who have taken part in the voting is considered elected.
  9. If only one contender has been nominated for the post of the President and less than a half of the citizens of the Republic of Belarus who have taken part in the election have voted for him or her, a repeat election is held.
  10. The procedure for holding presidential elections is determined by the law.

 

Article 90. The President’s Oath of Office and Term of Office

The President of the Republic of Belarus assumes office after taking the oath of the following content:

Assuming the office of the President of the Republic of Belarus, I solemnly swear to faithfully serve the people of Belarus, respect and protect human and civil rights and freedoms, observe and protect the Constitution of the Republic of Belarus, sacredly and conscientiously fulfil the high duties entrusted to me. Long live Belarus!».

  1. The oath is taken in the Belarusian language, in a solemn atmosphere in the presence of deputies of the Supreme Council, judges of the Constitutional Court andmembers of the Central Election Commission no later than thirty days from the date of the announcement of the final results of presidential elections. The date of taking the oath is set by the Central Election Commission.
  2. As of the moment the newly elected President has taken the oath, the powers of the previous President are terminated.
  3. Taking the oath marks the beginning of the term of office of the President.

Article 91. Early Termination of Powers

  1. The President can resign at any time. The resignation of the President is accepted by the Supreme Council.
  2. In the event of resignation of the President, he does not have the right to participate in presidential elections or elections to the Supreme Council for five years following the resignation.
  3. The President of the Republic of Belarus may be prematurely released from office in case of persistent inability for health reasons to fulfil their duties. The decision to remove the President from office can be taken by a majority of not less than two-thirds of the elected deputies of the Supreme Council on the basis of the conclusion of a specially established commission.
  4. The President can be removed from office in the case of violation of the Constitution of the Republic of Belarus or commission of a grave or especially grave crime. The question about the removal of the President can be raised at the proposal of no less than one-third of the total number of elected deputies of the Supreme Council. The conclusion on the fact of a violation of the Constitution by the President is provided by the Constitutional Court. The conclusion on the fact of high treason or another grave or especially grave crime is provided by the Supreme Court. The decision on removing the President from office is made by a majority of no less than two-thirds of the votes of the total number of elected deputies of the Supreme Council.
  5. The investigation of the charge of high treason or another grave or especially grave crime committed by the President is conducted within a prescribed time-frame by a special prosecutor appointed by the Supreme Council.
  6. For the duration of the investigation and drafting of the indictment, the Supreme Council by a majority of votes of the total number of elected deputies temporarily removes the President from office.
  7. The failure of the Supreme Council to take the decision on removing the President from office within a month of the date of receipt of the conclusion of the Constitutional Court or Supreme Court signifies the cessation of the procedure of removing the President from office. Re-initiation of the procedure for removing the President from office on the same grounds is not allowed.
  8. In the event the President has been removed from office, the Supreme Council by means of an additional vote that requires a majority of two-thirds of the total number of elected deputies may disqualify the President from future work in elected office for the duration of a time period determined by the Supreme Council.

Article 92. Vacancy of Office

In the case of vacancy of the office of the President, an inability to discharge duties on the grounds provided for in the Constitution, his powers are delegated, until the newly elected President takes an oath, to the Chairperson of the Supreme Council. In this case, the powers of the Chairperson of the Supreme Council are transferred to the First Deputy Chairperson of the Supreme Council.

Article 93. Incompatibility and Immunity

  1. The President may not hold other paid positions or engage in business activities.
  2. The President suspends membership in political parties.
  3. The President has immunity during the term of office. During the term of office, arrest or the bringing to criminal or administrative responsibility of the person of the President of the Republic of Belarus is not allowed.

Article 94. Powers of the President

  1. Exclusive powers of the President of the Republic of Belarus:
  2. a) Proposes to the Supreme Council the candidacy of Prime Minister in line with Article 102 of the Constitution; appoints an acting Prime Minister in the cases provided for by the Constitution;
  3. b) Proposes to the Supreme Council candidates for the posts of the Prosecutor General and the Chairperson of the Board of the National Bank;
  4. c) Signs the laws of the Republic of Belarus and the decisions of national referendums; in line with the procedure established by the Constitution is entitled to return to the Supreme Council a law with their objections;
  5. d) Signs international treaties of the Republic of Belarus and sends them to the Supreme Council for ratification;
  6. e) Appoints the date for a national referendum;
  7. f) Makes a decision on early elections to the Supreme Council in the cases provided for by the Constitution;
  8. g) Annually delivers an address to the Supreme Council and the people of Belarus on the state of the country; has the right to participate in the meetings of the Supreme Council and its bodies;
  9. h) Issues pardons or mitigates the punishment of convicted persons;
  10. i) Introduces martial law in the territory of the Republic of Belarus in the event of a military threat or attack, announces full or partial mobilization, and within two days presents this decision for consideration of the Supreme Council;
  11. j) Forms the Office of the President that supports his
  12. On the proposal of the Council of Ministers, the President:
  13. a) Appoints and recalls diplomatic representatives of the Republic of Belarus in foreign states and at international organizations; accepts letters of credence and recall from diplomatic representatives of foreign states and international organizations; confers the highest diplomatic ranks and special titles;
  14. b) Appoints and dismisses the high command of the Armed Forces;
  15. c) Appoints other officials whose positions are determined by the law;
  16. d) Confers the highest military ranks;
  17. e) Awards state awards, confers class ranks, and titles;
  18. Jointly with the Council of Ministers in the cases provided for by the law, the President:
  19. a) Takes measures to protect the sovereignty of the Republic of Belarus, its national security and territorial integrity;
  20. b) Resolves foreign policy issues;
  21. c) Resolves issues of granting citizenship of the Republic of Belarus and revoking it.
  22. The President exercises other powers, conferred upon him by the Constitution.

Article 95. The Security Council of the Republic of Belarus

  1. The President in compliance with the law forms the staff of and heads the Security Council of the Republic of Belarus that coordinates the activities of state authorities in the area of national security and defense.
  2. The Chairperson of the Supreme Council and the Prime Minister are on the staff of the Security Council.
  3. The procedure for establishing the Security Council, its activities and powers are determined by the law.

Article 96. Acts of the President  and the Countersignature

  1. In order to exercise their powers on the basis of and in accordance with the Constitution and laws, the President issues decrees that are regulatory legal acts and are legally binding in the entire territory of the Republic of Belarus, and orders.
  2. Decrees and orders of the President must not contradict the Constitution and laws of the Republic of Belarus.
  3. For the decrees of the President to acquire legal effect, they must be signed by the Prime Minister. A countersignature is not required for the decrees of the President that pertain to the exercise of exclusive powers specified in paragraph 1 of Article 94 of the Constitution.
  4. A presidential decree enters into force as of the day of its official publication, unless otherwise stipulated by the decree itself, but not earlier than the day of its publication.
  5. If, during martial law, the Supreme Council cannot convene for a meeting, the President, at the proposal of the Council of Ministers, issues decrees with the force of law to the extent and within the limits determined by the Constitution and the law. These decrees are subject to approval by the Supreme Council at the nearest meeting.

Article 97. The Procedure for the Exercise of Powers

The procedure for the exercise by the President of their powers, as well as the financial, material and other support of the President are determined by an organic law.

CHAPTER 5. COUNCIL OF MINISTERS OF THE REPUBLIC OF BELARUS

Article 98. The Status and Accountability of the Council of Ministers

  1. The Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus – the government – is the supreme collegial body of executive power.
  2. The Council of Ministers is accountable to and carries shared responsibility for its activities with the Supreme Council.

Article 99. Composition of the Government

  1. The Council of Ministers consists of the Prime Minister, his deputies and ministers.
  2. The work of the Council of Ministers is directed by the Prime Minister.
  3. The Prime Minister and their deputies may also perform the functions of a minister.
  4. The Prime Minister appoints two members of the Council of Ministers who have the right to replace him in his absence or in the event he cannot fulfil his duties. The procedure for the replacement is determined by the Prime Minister, and in the event of an absence of such representation the President instructs a member of the Council of Ministers to replace the Prime Minister for a term of no longer than sixty days.
  5. Every minister in the event of absence or temporary inability to fulfill their duties is replaced by their deputy whose candidacy is approved by the Prime Minister or, if such an approval is absent, by a member of the Council of Ministers who is appointed by the Prime Minister.
  6. The structure of the Council of Ministers and the procedure for its organization and activity are determined by an organic law.

Article 100. Powers of Members of the Government

The powers of the Prime Minister:

  1. a) Appoints and dismisses from office their deputies and ministers;

b)Organizes the work of the Council of Ministers and presides over its meetings;

  1. c) Represents the Council of Ministers;
  2. d) Signs resolutions of the Council of Ministers, intergovernmental agreements, issues orders within the limits of their competence;
  3. e)In the event of a natural disaster, epidemic, natural or man-made catastrophe, as well as riots accompanied with violence by a group of individuals and organizations during which government agencies do not have an opportunity to fulfil their responsibilities in a normal way — introduces a state of emergency either in the entire territory Republic of Belarus or in some areas of it and within two days submits the decision taken to the Supreme Council for review;
  4. f) Performs other functions related to the organization and activities of the Council of Ministers.
  5. The Prime Minister is accountable to the Supreme Council. Once a year he presents to the Supreme Council a report on the progress made in the implementation of the government program, as well as — at the request of the Supreme Council — a report on the progress made in the implementation of individual sections of the government program.
  6. Powers of a minister:
  7. a) Directs a ministry;
  8. b) Ensures interaction between the government and other government agencies on issues related to the activity of the corresponding ministry;
  9. c) Performs other functions stipulated by laws.
  10. Deputy Prime Ministers and ministers are accountable to and bear responsibility before the Prime Minister, as well as under the shared responsibility of the government – before the Supreme Council.
  11. Members of the Council of Ministers can participate in meetings of the Supreme Council and its commissions. If a request for their presence has been submitted, then their participation is compulsory.
  12. The powers of a member of the Council of Ministers cease in the event of resignation, dismissal from office, incompatibility of duties upon the decision of a court, death or a prolonged physical disability.

Article 101. Incompatibility, Immunity and Responsibility of a Member of the Government

  1. A member of the Council of Ministers may not hold other paid positions or engage in business activities, sit on the board or council of a commercial organisation. The law may determine other types of activities that may not be performed by a member of the Council of Ministers.
  2. A member of the Council of Ministers bears responsibility for the legality of official actions performed by him. He also bears responsibility for the decision of the Council of Ministers for which he voted as a member of the Council of Ministers.
  3. A member of the Council of Ministers cannot be arrested or in any other way deprived of personal freedom without the consent of the Supreme Council, except for the cases of being apprehended at the scene of a grave or especially grave crime committed by him.
  4. A criminal case against a member of the Council of Ministers may be initiated exclusively by the Prosecutor General.
  5. Whenever a criminal case is initiated against a member of the Council of Ministers and he is officially charged, the Prime Minister makes a decision on whether that member of the Council of Ministers will be temporarily suspended from duty.

Article 102. Appointing the Prime Minister

  1. A candidacy for the post of the Prime Minister is presented to the Supreme Council by the President following consultations with heads of parliamentary factions no later than one month from the date of the resignation of the Prime Minister. The candidate for the post of the Prime Minister presents to the Supreme Council the new composition of the government. Along with the composition of the government, the Supreme Council also receives the programme of the government. The decision on the approval of the Prime Minister is adopted by the Supreme Council no later than within two weeks of the date of submission of the proposal by the President.
  2. If the candidate for the post of the Prime Minister proposed by the President does not receive the support of the deputies of the Supreme Council, the President, within seven days, proposes another candidate or the same candidate who has to be either approved or rejected within a week.
  3. In the case of a repeated rejection of the candidate presented by the President for the post of the Prime Minister or in the event the President has not proposed to the Supreme Council a candidate for the post of the Prime Minister within the time-frame indicated in paragraphs 1 and 2 of this Article, the right of nomination to the post of the Prime Minister is transferred to the Supreme Council.
  4. The decision to approve the Prime Minister in office is taken by the Supreme Council by the majority of the votes of its constitutional composition.
  5. If, within two weeks of the date of transfer to the Supreme Council of the right to nominate the candidate for the post of the Prime Minister, it does not confirm the Prime Minister in office, the President has the right to make the decision on early elections to the Supreme Council. The decision on that matter is taken by the President after an official consultation with the Presidium of the Supreme Council no later than two months after the right to nominate a candidate for the post of the Prime Minister is transferred to the Supreme Council.

Article 103. Resignation, Expressing Confidence or Lack of Confidence in the Government

  1. The Council of Ministers resigns its powers to the newly elected Supreme Council at its first meeting and continues to fulfil its duties until a new Prime Minister is appointed.
  2. The Council of Ministers or any member of the Council of Ministers is entitled to announce their resignation, if they deem it impossible to discharge the duties entrusted to them. In the event of resignation of the Prime Minister, the entire Council of Ministers resigns.
  3. The Prime Minister may raise before the Supreme Council a question of confidence in the Council of Ministers. The question of confidence may be put to a vote no earlier than seven days and no later than fourteen days from the day of its introduction, and is adopted by the Supreme Council by the majority of the constitutional composition. If the Supreme Council withdraws confidence from the Council of Ministers, the Council of Ministers resigns. In this case, the submission of proposals for a candidate for the post of the Prime Minister is made in accordance with the procedure provided for in Article 122 of the Constitution.
  4. Deputies of the Supreme Council in the amount of at least one-fourth of the total number of elected deputies have the right to raise before the Supreme Council a question of confidence in the Council of Ministers. Along with raising the question of lack of confidence, the initiators nominate a candidate for the post of the Prime Minister, and the candidate for the post of the Prime Minister presents to the Supreme Council a new composition of the government and a program of the government. If the Supreme Council no sooner than seven days and no later than fourteen days after the raising of the question confirms the new Prime Minister in office by the majority of the votes of its constitutional composition, the lack of confidence in the Council of Ministers shall be deemed expressed.
  5. The powers of the Council of Ministers cease as of the time of the appointment of the new Prime Minister.
  6. A repeated proposal on the issue of confidence or lack of confidence in the Council of Ministers may be submitted to the Supreme Council no earlier than six months after the date of submission of the previous proposal.
  7. A vote on the question of confidence or lack of confidence in the Council of Ministers cannot be held in the first three months after the approval of the Council of Ministers and in the last six months of the term of office of the Supreme Council.
  8. When passing a vote of no-confidence in the Council of Ministers twice within a year, the President may call new elections to the Supreme Council. The decision on that issue is taken by the President no later than a month after a repeated vote of no-confidence in the government, following prior official consultations with the Presidium of the Supreme Council.
  9. In the event of voluntary resignation, a vote of no-confidence, death or a prolonged physical disability of the Prime Minister, the President appoints an acting Prime Minister, and the Council of Ministers continues to temporarily exercise its powers until a new Prime Minister is elected in line with Article 102 of the Constitution.

Article 104. Powers of the Government

The Council of Ministers:

  1. a) Takes measures to ensure the implementation of laws and international treaties;
  2. b) develops main directions of domestic and foreign policy and takes measures for their implementation;
  3. c) Develops and presents to the Supreme Council a draft state budget, organizes the implementation of the state budget;
  4. d) Organizes the management of ministries and other organizations accountable to the Council of Ministers;
  5. e) Monitors the legality of activities conducted by bodies of local self-government within the limits and forms specified in the Constitution and the laws;
  6. f) Exercises other powers conferred upon it by the Constitution and the

The Council of Ministers annually presents to the Supreme Council a report on the government’s performance, on the implementation of the state budget, and other reports established by the Constitution and the laws.

Article 105. Acts of the Government

  1. The Council of Ministers, within the limits of its powers, on the basis of the Constitution and the laws, issues resolutions that are legally binding in the entire territory of the Republic of Belarus.
  2. Resolutions of the Council of Ministers are considered adopted if the majority of the total number of members of the Council of Ministers have voted for them.
  3. Resolutions of the Council of Ministers are signed by the Prime Minister and countersigned by the ministers who are obligated to implement them. A resolution of the Council of Ministers enters into force as of the day of its official publication, unless otherwise stipulated by the resolution itself, but not before the day of its official publication.
  4. In the cases determined by the law, decisions of the Council of Ministers in the area of defense and national security are communicated only to the interested institutions.

Article 106. Monitoring the activities of local self-governments 

  1. Ministries, within their areas of activity, and authorized representatives of the Council of Ministers in corresponding administrative-territorial units exercise control over the uniform implementation of regulatory legal acts by bodies of local self-government.
  2. Authorized representatives of the Council of Ministers and ministries do not have the right to interfere in the jurisdiction of the bodies of local self-government, and exercise their powers in accordance with the law.
  3. In the event a body of local self-government adopts a decision that contradicts legislation, authorized representatives of the Council of Ministers and ministries, in line with the established procedure, offer to the body of local self-government to revoke that decision; otherwise, they appeal to court.

SECTION V. JUSTICE

CHAPTER 6. JUDICIAL BRANCH

 

Article 107. The Judicial System

  1. Judicial power in the Republic of Belarus is exercised exclusively by courts.
  2. Courts in the Republic of Belarus are independent.
  3. The judicial system in the Republic of Belarus shall be based upon the principles of territoriality and specialization.
  4. The formation of extraordinary courts is prohibited.
  5. The Supreme Court of the Republic of Belarus is the highest judicial authority that administers justice in civil, criminal, and other cases that do not belong to the jurisdiction of the Constitutional Court, reviews the rulings of lower-level courts, and fulfills other duties in accordance with the law.
  6. The organization of courts, competences, and procedures for hearing cases in courts, and participation of citizens in the administration of justice are determined by an organic law.

Article 108. Judges

  1. Citizens of the Republic of Belarus who have reached the age of twenty-eight, have high moral standards, relevant education in the area of law and who have had mandatory training and successfully passed a qualifying examination for judicial office can work as judges.
  2. Judges may not be members of political parties, nor may they be deputies of the Supreme Council or representative bodies of local self-government, nor may they work in bodies of legislative or executive power. The law may establish incompatibility of the position of a judge in the exercise of official duties with other positions or types of activity.

Article 109. The Appointment of a Judge

  1. Judges, except for the judges of the Constitutional Court, are appointed to office by the National Council of Justice for an indefinite period of time, in the manner prescribed by an organic law.
  2. The law prescribes objective criteria that guarantee the selection and promotion of judges on the basis of their merits and taking into consideration their skills and expertise, conscientiousness, aptitudes, and effectiveness.
  3. The Chairperson and deputy chairpersons of the Supreme Court are elected to office by judges of the Supreme Court in the manner prescribed by the law.

Article 110. The Independence and Immunity of Judges

  1. In administering justice, judges are independent and are subject only to the Constitution of and the laws.
  2. Direct or indirect interference in the activities of a judge in the administration of justice is unacceptable and entails liability established by the law.
  3. Judges enjoy immunity. A judge cannot be detained or arrested on suspicion of committing a crime without the consent of the National Council of Justice, except for the cases when he is caught at the scene of a grave or especially grave crime.
  4. A judge cannot be brought to liability for a court ruling made by him, with the exception of a situation where a crime or disciplinary offense was committed.
  5. A judge’s powers may be terminated in the event of:
  6. a) Resignation or submission of the notice of leaving office on their volition;
  7. b) Appointment/election to another post or transfer to another job with their consent;
  8. c) Expiration of the term of office or when the legislatively-prescribed age has been reached;
  9. d) Cessation of the citizenship of the Republic of Belarus;
  10. e) Lack of consent to be transferred to another court in the event of liquidation or reorganization of the court where the judge holds office;
  11. f) Recognition that the judge is unable for health reasons to perform the duties of a judge; the entering into force of a court decision on recognizing the judge partially or fully incapacitated;
  12. g) Engaging in activities that are incompatible with the position of a judge; committing a substantial disciplinary offense incompatible with the status of a judge; or when non-compliance with the position held has been detected;
  13. h) Violation of the obligation to confirm the legality of the source of income or property;
  14. i) The entering into legal force of a guilty verdict concerning the judge for a crime committed by him;
  15. j) The death of the judge, the recognition of him as deceased or missing by a court decision that has entered into legal force.
  16. A decision on the termination of the powers of a judge, with the exception of a judge of the Constitutional Court, is adopted by the National Council of Justice and that decision may be contested in court proceedings.
  17. A decision on the early termination of the powers of a judge of the Constitutional Court is adopted by a decision of the Supreme Council by a majority of at least three-fifths of the votes of the elected deputies upon the proposal of the Constitutional Court and that decision may be contested in court proceedings.
  18. A judge, members of his family, and their property are under the protection of the state if the safety of the judge is jeopardized as a result of his fulfilment of professional responsibilities.
  19. The guarantees of independence and the legal status of judges are established by an organic law.

Article 111. Legal Proceedings

  1. Cases are heard in courts in open hearings. A case hearing in closed hearings is allowed only in the cases provided for by the law.
  2. Legal proceedings are conducted on the basis of equality of arms and competitiveness of the parties.
  3. The judge’s impartiality may be put into question by the parties or by the judge himself during the fulfilment of his responsibilities in accordance with the law.
  4. Members of the jury participate in a judicial examination of crimes in the cases and in the composition set forth by the law.
  5. Court rulings must be based on specific and detailed arguments, they are announced and published. For the cases examined in a closed court hearing, only the operative part of the court decision is publicly announced and published.
  6. Court rulings are based on the opinion of the majority of the judges who examine the case, and are published. A dissenting opinion of a judge is attached to the case materials and is subject to publication along with the court ruling.
  7. Court orders are mandatory for compliance and have precedence over the decisions of any other bodies of power. Non-compliance with a court decision or obstruction of its implementation is punished according to the law.
  8. The parties and persons participating in the proceedings shall have the right to appeal court rulings with the exception of the cases determined by the law.

Article 112. Issues of Constitutionality

  1. Courts administer justice on the basis of the Constitution, laws and other regulatory legal acts adopted in accordance with them, as well as international treaties.
  2. Courts shall not apply norms that contradict the Constitution.
  3. If a court has doubts or uncertainty arises about the consistency of a law or another regulatory legal act that has been applied or is about to be applied with the Constitution, it makes a decision on suspending the case proceedings and submits to the Constitutional Court an inquiry about the consistency of that regulatory legal act with the Constitution.
  4. During the examination of a case, having established the inconsistency of a regulatory legal act with the law, the court makes a decision in accordance with the law.

 

Article 113. The National Council of Justice

  1. The National Council of Justice is responsible for forming high-skilled judicial staff and ensuring the independence of courts and individual judges.
  2. A half of the members of the National Council of Justice are elected by a congress of judges of the Republic of Belarus, both serving and retired ones. One-fourth of members of the National Council of Justice are elected by the national congress of lawyers. One-fourth of the members of the National Council of Justice are elected by a congress of representatives of law schools, scientific institutions, and non-governmental organizations that conduct activities in the area of law. Eligibility criteria and the procedure for electing members of the National Council of Justice are determined by the law.
  3. The term of office of the elected members of the National Council of Justice shall be four years. A list of grounds for the early termination of the powers of a member of the National Council of Justice is identical to the norms envisaged for the early dismissal of judges.
  4. Members of the National Council of Justice perform their duties on a permanent basis. Upon the expiration of his powers, a member of the National Council of Justice has the right to return to the position he held prior to being elected to the National Council of Justice or to a position of equal worth.
  5. The main objectives of the National Council of Justice are as follows:
  6. a) To form judicial staff and provide career-development for judges;
  7. b) To take measures on preventing violations of the independence and immunity of judges, interference in their activities on the administration of justice;
  8. c) To organize professional training and advanced training;
  9. d) To assess the effectiveness of the activities of judges;
  10. e) To organize and conduct disciplinary proceedings;
  11. f) To protect the image of justice and maintain high standards of judicial ethics;
  12. g) To prepare proposals on the further improvement of legislation in the area of justice and law;
  13. h) Other objectives as determined by the law.

Article 114. The Financial and Organizational Provision of Courts

  1. Courts shall be financed from the state budget.
  2. The National Council of Justice presents to the Council of Ministers information on the budgetary requirements of the court system in the process of preparing a draft state budget, and has the right to address the Supreme Council during the discussion of the draft state budget prior to its approval.

 

CHAPTER 7. CONSTITUTIONAL COURT

Article 115. Judges of the Constitutional Court

  1. The Constitutional Court is composed of fifteen judges, who are appointed for a term of nine years. The Supreme Council on the proposal of the President, the Chairperson of the Supreme Council, and the Chairperson of the Supreme Court appoint five judges each for the Constitutional Court. A decision on appointing a judge for the Constitutional Court is made by the Supreme Council by the majority of votes of the constitutional composition of the Supreme Council by secret ballot.
  2. A citizen of the Republic of Belarus with an impeccable reputation, a degree in Law, publicly acknowledged achievements in the sphere of law and work experience in the legal profession of no less than fifteen years, may be appointed a judge of the Constitutional Court. Repeated appointment to the position of a judge of the Constitutional Court is not allowed.
  3. The judges of the Constitutional Court elect the Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson of the Constitutional Court by secret ballot for a term of three years.
  4. One-third of the composition of the Constitutional Court is renewed every three years. A judge of the Constitutional Court continues to work in the Constitutional Court after the expiration of their term of office until the appointment of their successor. After the completion of their term of office, a judge has the right to return to the position they held before being elected to the Constitutional Court, or to a position of equal worth.
  5. In the performance of their duties, judges of the Constitutional Court are independent and are guided only by the Constitution.
  6. Judges of the Constitutional Court assume office after taking an oath at the Supreme Council.

Article 116. Powers of the Constitutional Court

  1. The Constitutional Court of the Republic of Belarus:
  2. a) Based on a request by the President, or no less than one-fifth of the total number of elected deputies of the Supreme Council, or the Council of Ministers — makes a decision on issues of compliance of regulatory legal acts with the Constitution;
  3. b) Based on a request by the President, or at least one-fifth of the total number of elected deputies of the Supreme Council, or the Council of Ministers — considers the issue of compliance of international treaties with the Constitution;
  4. c) Based on a request by a court — considers the issue of constitutionality of regulatory legal acts that are subject to application by the court during the examination of specific cases and that according to its substantiated assumption may contradict the Constitution;
  5. d) Based on a request by the Commissioner for Human Rights — considers the constitutionality of regulatory legal acts as related to the fundamental human rights and freedoms;
  6. e) In compliance with the law and based on a constitutional complaint of each person — makes a decision on the infringement of his constitutional rights and liberties if the decision on the protection of those rights and liberties is not made by another court;
  7. f) Based on a request by the President, the Supreme Council, the Council of Ministers, the National Council of Justice, the Board of the National Bank, the Central Election Commission, the Commissioner for Human Rights, the Chamber of Control, the Committee for Oversight over Activities of Intelligence and Security Services, or a body of local self-government — considers disputes concerning the powers of the relevant bodies;
  8. g) Based on a request by the President or at least one-fifth of the total number of elected deputies of the Supreme Council – on the constitutionality of the wording of the questions that are put to a national referendum;
  9. h) Based on a request by at least one-third of the total number of elected deputies of the Supreme Council – on a violation of the Constitution by the President;
  10. i) Based on a request by the Supreme Council – on the constitutionality of a decision on calling early elections to a representative body of local self-government;
  11. j) Exercises other powers as specified by the Constitution.
  12. While considering an issue of the non-constitutionality of a regulatory legal act, the Constitutional Court has the right to suspend its effect if the effect of the corresponding act may cause harm or become a cause of violations that cannot be compensated for or restituted.

Article 117. Hearings and Decisions of the Constitutional Court

  1. Issues referred to the competence of the Constitutional Court are reviewed in open hearings.
  2. Decisions of the Constitutional Court are announced publicly, are final, binding for execution and are not subject to appeal.
  3. A regulatory legal act (or a part of it) recognized by the Constitutional Court as non-compliant with the Constitution loses legal force as of the day of the publication of the decision of the Constitutional Court or as of the day specified in the decision of the Constitutional Court. That time-frame cannot exceed eighteen months in the case of a law or twelve months in the case of another regulatory legal act.
  4. Failure to execute, improper execution, or interference with the execution of the decisions of the Constitutional Court entails liability under the law.
  5. The structure of the Constitutional Court and the procedure for the conduct of legal proceedings in it are regulated by an organic law.

CHAPTER 8. PUBLIC PROSECUTOR’S OFFICE IN THE REPUBLIC OF BELARUS

Article 118. Powers of the Public Prosecutor’s Office

  1. The Office of the Public Prosecutor of the Republic of Belarus takes measures to bring to criminal liability those guilty of committing crimes, supports the prosecution in criminal courts, monitors the enforcement of laws in the activities of the bodies of inquiry and preliminary investigation, in pre-trial detention facilities and places of deprivation of freedom, and exercises other powers specified by the law.
  2. The organization of and procedure for the activities of the Public Prosecutor’s Office are determined by an organic law.

Article 119. The Appointment of Prosecutors and Their Term of Office

  1. The Prosecutor General is appointed by the Supreme Council for a term of five years. A candidate for the post of the Prosecutor General is proposed by the President of the Republic of Belarus. One and the same person may not hold the post of the Prosecutor General for more than two consecutive terms.
  2. The subordinate prosecutors are appointed by the Prosecutor General and report to him.
  3. The position of a prosecutor is incompatible with any other public or private position, with the exception of teaching and research activities.
  4. The procedure for appointing and dismissing prosecutors and their status are determined by an organic law.
  5. The Prosecutor General and subordinate prosecutors are independent in the exercise of their powers and are guided solely by the law.

CHAPTER 9. THE BAR ASSOCIATION

Article 120. The Institution of the Bar Association

  1. The bar association is a community of lawyers who provide on a professional basis legal assistance to any persons in order to exercise and protect their rights, freedoms, and legal interests, as well as to ensure access to justice.
  2. The organization and management of the activities of the bar association are conducted by independent self-governed associations of lawyers that represent and protect their interests, facilitate their professional training and maintenance of professional ethical and legal standards.
  3. The funding of the activities of the lawyers who provide legal assistance free of charge in the cases stipulated by legislation is performed from the state budget.

Article 121. The Status of a Lawyer

  1. The decision on awarding or revoking the status of a lawyer and the right to conduct the practice of law is made by an independent body of the bar association in line with the procedure established by the law on the basis of impartiality and openness, with the right to contest in court the decision made.
  2. The law sets forth requirements to a contender for the status of a lawyer, a list of persons who cannot be lawyers, as well as the types of activity that are incompatible of the practice of law.
  3. A lawyer is entitled to conduct the practice of law in the entire territory of Belarus without any additional permission or notification both individually and in legally-prescribed organizational forms of the practice of law.

Article 122. Safeguards for the Practice of Law

  1. Interference in the practice of law that is conducted in accordance with legislation or any obstruction of that practice shall be prohibited.
  2. A lawyer has the right to a personal meeting with their client for the provision of legal assistance in conditions that guarantee confidentiality. Restriction of the number or duration of such meetings shall be prohibited.
  3. Lawyers are guaranteed full access to information, materials and documents that are necessary for the preparation and proper provision of legal assistance.
  4. The confidentiality of lawyer-client relations is protected by the law.

SECTION  VI. LOCAL SELF-GOVERNMENT

Article 123. Hramada

  1. A community of citizens living in the territory of a local self-government unit – a hramada – has the right to, independently and under its own responsibility, resolve issues of local importance.
  2. Local self-government is carried out by a hramada through local self-government bodies, as well as directly in the cases prescribed by the law.
  3. A hramada promotes the development of various direct forms of citizen participation in local self-government.
  4. Each local self-government unit has its own charter.

Article 124. Separation of Powers

The separation of powers between state authorities and local self-government bodies, as well as between local self-government bodies of different territorial levels, is regulated by the law on the basis of the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality of resources to the scope of powers.

Article 125. Forming the Bodies of Local Self-Government

  1. Representative bodies of local self-government are elected by citizens residing in the respective territory. The term of office for a representative body of self-government is four years.
  2. Scheduled elections of a representative body of local self-government are held on the second Sunday of April of the final year of the term of office of the representative body of local self-government.
  3. The date of early elections of a representative body of local self-government shall be set by the Central Election Commission within ten days of the decision on early elections of the representative body of local self-government, and the election shall be held within three months of making the decision on early elections.
  4. The beginning of the term of office of a representative body of local self-government is the first meeting of the newly elected composition of the representative body of local self-government. With the beginning of this meeting, the term of office of the previously elected deputies of the representative body of local self-government expires.
  5. Executive bodies of local self-government are formed by representative bodies of local self-government and are accountable to them.
  6. Local self-government bodies are not a part of the system of the state authority bodies.

Article 126. Exclusive Competence of a Representative Body

  1. The exclusive competence of a representative body of local self-government includes:
  2. a) Approval of the structure of the executive body of local self-government;
  3. b) Election of the head of the executive body of local self-government;
  4. c) Cancellation of decisions of the executive body of local self-government in the case of their inconsistency with the legislation;
  5. d) Approval of the development programs of a local self-government unit;
  6. e) Approval of the local budget and of the report on its implementation;
  7. f) Determination of the procedure for the management of the property of a local self-government unit;
  8. g) Adoption of the charter and establishment of symbols of a unit of local self-government;
  9. h) Establishment of local taxes and dues in accordance with the law;
  10. i) Election of an auditor who exercises control over the use of property and the implementation of the self-government budget;
  11. j) The calling of local referendums.
  12. A representative body of local self-government addresses other issues of local importance that fall within the scope of its responsibilities in accordance with the law.


Article 127. Local Budgets

  1. Revenues of local budgets are formed by state and local taxes, and non-tax receipts in the manner prescribed by the law.
  2. The state, together with local self-government bodies, adjusts the financial situation of administrative-territorial units through taxation and allocation of grants, subsidies and subventions.
    3. Expenses of local budgets related to the exercise of state powers, as well as arising from the actions and decisions of state authorities, are compensated in full at the expense of the state budget.

Article 128. The Binding Nature of Decisions

Decisions of representative and executive bodies of local self-government, adopted within the limits of their authority, are legally binding in the respective territory.

Article 129. The Right to Unite and Cooperate

Local self-government units have the right to cooperate and join associations with other local self-government units in order to accomplish objectives of common interest.

Article 130. Oversight over Compliance with Legislation

Oversight over the observance of the Constitution and laws by local self-government bodies, as well as control over the exercise of powers delegated by the state, is carried out by public authorities in the manner prescribed by the law.

Article 131. Judicial Protection of the Rights of Local Self-Government

Local self-government units and bodies created by them have the right to judicial protection.

Article 132. Early Elections

The Supreme Council, upon the proposal of the Council of Ministers, may make a decision on early elections to a representative body of local self-government in case it violates the Constitution. The decision of the Supreme Council on early elections to a representative body of local self-government comes into force after the verification of its constitutionality in the Constitutional Court.

SECTION VII. CONTROL AND SUPERVISION

 

CHAPTER 10. The Commissioner for Human Rights

 

Article 133. Role and Status

The Commissioner for Human Rights is a public official who acts to protect human rights and freedoms provided for by the Constitution and legislation of the Republic of Belarus.

Article 134. Election to Office and Term of Office

A citizen of the Republic of Belarus who is at least thirty-five years old, who has knowledge in the field of law, experience in human rights protection and possesses high moral standards, may be elected as the Commissioner for Human Rights.

  1. The Commissioner for Human Rights is appointed by the Supreme Council for a period of six years based on the results of an open competition. One and the same person cannot be elected to the post of the Commissioner for Human Rights for more than two terms.
  2. For the period of exercising their powers, the Commissioner for Human Rights suspends membership in political parties.
  3. The Commissioner for Human Rights may not:
    a) Be a deputy of the Supreme Council;
    b) Hold other positions;
    c) Receive, in addition to wages, monetary remuneration, with the exception of teaching activities, royalties for works in the fields of science, literature and art.
  4. The grounds for the cessation of powers and dismissal from office of the Commissioner for Human Rights are established by the law.

Article 135. Independence and Immunity

  1. The Commissioner for Human Rights, while exercising their powers, is independent of any state bodies and officials.
  2. Interference in the activities of the Commissioner for Human Rights with a view to influence his decision, as well as obstruction of the activities of the Commissioner for Human Rights in any other form entail liability under the law.
  3. The Commissioner for Human Rights cannot be held criminally liable, arrested or otherwise deprived of personal freedom without the consent of the Supreme Council, except in the cases of detention at the scene of of a grave or especially grave crime committed by him. A criminal case against the Commissioner for Human Rights can be initiated exclusively by the Prosecutor General.

Article 136. Rights and Powers

  1. The Commissioner for Human Rights has the right:
  2. a) To request and receive information, documents and materials necessary for the exercise of their powers from public authorities, local self-government bodies, and officials;
    b) To receive explanations from officials during the review of a complaint;
    c) To have unobstructed access, independently or together with representatives of competent public authorities, to state bodies, military bases, pre-trial detention and correctional facilities, and other organizations;
  3. d) To send recommendations to any or institutions within their scope of duties;
    e) To apply to a court and other public authorities for the protection of the rights and freedoms violated by the decision or action/inaction of a state body, local self-government body, official, as well as to participate in judicial process in person or through their representative;
  4. f) To apply to the Constitutional Court with a proposal to review the constitutionality of regulatory legal acts;
  5. g) In the case of mass or gross violations of human rights, failure to comply with the conclusions of the Commissioner for Human Rights – to apply to the Supreme Council with a proposal to hold parliamentary hearings or to create a temporary parliamentary commission to investigate the facts of violation of the rights and freedoms of citizens.
    At the end of the calendar year, the Commissioner for Human Rights, on the basis of the materials reviewed, prepares a report on the human rights situation in the Republic of Belarus that is heard at a meeting of the Supreme Council. Reports of the Commissioner for Human Rights are of public nature and are subject to publication. Following the discussion of the report, the Supreme Council adopts a resolution.
  6. The Commissioner for Human Rights may have other rights and powers granted to him by the law.

Article 137. Support for Activities

To support the activities of the Commissioner for Human Rights, an office is created that is a state body with the status of a legal entity.

  1. The Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights is funded from the state budget.  The expenses budget is developed and executed by the office independently.

CHAPTER 11. CHAMBER OF CONTROL OF THE REPUBLIC OF BELARUS

 

Article 138. Role and Status

The Chamber of Control of the Republic of Belarus is the supreme state body of financial control.

Article 139. The Appointment and Term of Office of Members of the Chamber of Control

  1. The Chairperson of the Chamber of Control is appointed by the Supreme Council for a term of ten years upon the proposal of a specialized parliamentary commission from among the persons who possess knowledge and experience in the relevant area.
  2. Members of the Chamber of Control shall possess the skills and moral qualities necessary for the successful implementation of duties assigned to them.
  3. Members of the Chamber of Control work on a professional basis and their professional status is equivalent to that of deputies of the Supreme Council.
  4. The grounds for the cessation of powers of members of the Chamber of Control are established by the law.

Article 140. Accountability and Independence

  1. For its activities the Chamber of Control is accountable to the Supreme Council.
  2. At least once a year the Chamber of Control submits a report on the results of its control activities to the Supreme Council. That report is published.
  3. The expenses budget is developed and executed by the Chamber of Control independently and is reflected in the state budget as a separate item.
  4. In the exercise of its powers, the Chamber of Control is independent of any state bodies and officials and is guided only by the law.
  5. Interference in the activities of the Chamber of Control that undermines its independence and powers entails liability under the law.

Article 141. Rights and Powers

  1. The Chamber of Control:
  2. a) Conducts legal compliance audits, financial audits, and audits of efficiency of the state management of finance and property;
  3. b) Verifies the efficiency of the internal control service of the Council of Ministers and other bodies of public administration, the National Bank, and other state organizations.
  4. c) At the instruction of the Supreme Council — presents an analysis of execution of the state budget, gives an opinion on the draft state budget for the following fiscal year.
  5. The Chamber of Control has the right:
  6. a) To access any documents that pertain to financial management, to request verbally or in writing from an organization that is being inspected any information it considers necessary;
  7. b) Upon detecting violations – to turn to relevant authorities with a request to take the necessary measures and bring those guilty to responsibility;
  8. c) To participate and be heard in meetings of the Council of Ministers and the Board of the National Bank on issues within the scope of its powers.
  9. Other rights and powers, the structure, the organization and operating procedures of the Chamber of Control are determined by the law.

CHAPTER 12. THE COMMITTEE FOR OVERSIGHT OVER ACTIVITIES OF INTELLIGENCE AND SECURITY SERVICES

 

Article 142. Role and Status

The Committee for Oversight over Activities of Intelligence and Security Services is an independent state agency that conducts an assessment of the effectiveness of activities, the impartiality of intelligence and security services and their compliance with the law, the quality of control exercised over them by the executive branch, as well as of their internal control.

 

Article 143. Appointing Members of the Committee and Their Term of Office

  1. Members of the Committee for Oversight over Activities of Intelligence and Security Services are appointed for a term of ten years by the Supreme Council at the proposal of a specialized parliamentary commission from among the persons who possess special authority, expertise, and experience in the corresponding area.
  2. Only a person who has the status of a judge can be the head of the Committee for Oversight over Activities of Intelligence and Security Services.
  3. Members of the Committee for Oversight over Activities of Intelligence and Security Services work on a professional basis.
  4. Members and staff of the Committee for Oversight over Activities of Intelligence and Security Services pass a background check and receive access to information that constitutes state secret.
  5. The grounds for the cessation of powers and dismissal from office of members of the Committee for Oversight over Activities of Intelligence and Security Services are established by the law.

Article 144. Rights and Powers

  1. The Committee for Oversight over Activities of Intelligence and Security Services has the right:
  2. a) To request and receive information that constitutes state secret;
  3. b) To receive annual and any other reports and papers prepared by intelligence and security services;
  4. c) To summon representatives of executive power, employees of intelligence and security services, outside experts, and other persons for providing sworn testimony;
  5. d) To conduct routine and random inspections, to enter without prior notice restricted areas at intelligence and security services and at the same time to receive unlimited access to employees, databases and facilities;
  6. e) To establish temporary investigative commissions;
  7. f) Upon detecting violations – to address an internal body of the intelligence or security service with a recommendation to apply disciplinary measures, or to address the Prosecutor General with a request to initiate criminal prosecution;
  8. g) To address a specialized commission of the Supreme Council, a member of the Council of Ministers responsible for the activities of an intelligence or security service, as well as the Security Council of the Republic of Belarus with information on facts of non-compliance by intelligence or security services with the set requirements, on the detected drawbacks and violations.
  9. The Committee for Oversight over Activities of Intelligence and Security Services sends its yearly reports to the chairperson of a specialized commission of the Supreme Council, as well as to the members of the Council of Ministers responsible for the activities of intelligence and security services.
  10. The Committee for Oversight over Activities of Intelligence and Security Services annually publishes reports on its activities and on the outcomes of its inspections that are intended for open access and do not contain classified information.
  11. The Committee for Oversight over Activities of Intelligence and Security Services may have other rights and powers assigned to it by the law.

Article 145. Accountability and Resolution of Disputes

  1. For its activities the Committee for Oversight over Activities of Intelligence and Security Services is accountable to a specialized commission of the Supreme Council.
  2. In the exercise of its powers, the Committee for Oversight over Activities of Intelligence and Security Services is independent of any state agencies and officials, and is guided only by the law.
  3. A refusal to provide access to information in the jurisdiction of the Committee for Oversight over Activities of Intelligence and Security Services entails liability established by the law.
  4. In the cases when the Committee for Oversight over Activities of Intelligence and Security Services is denied access to information required by it, the disputes are resolved by a special committee that consists of the member of the Council of Ministers who is responsible for the activities of the intelligence or security service, the head of the intelligence or security service, the chairperson of the specialized commission of the Supreme Council, and the head of the Committee for Oversight over Activities of Intelligence and Security Services.

Article 146. Support for Activities

  1. The Committee for Oversight over Activities of Intelligence and Security Services is funded from the state budget. The expenses budget is developed and executed by the Committee for Oversight over Activities of Intelligence and Security Services independently.
  2. The organization of and procedure for the activities of the Committee for Oversight over Activities of Intelligence and Security Services are determined by the law.

CHAPTER 13. THE COMMITTEE FOR THE ETHICS OF CIVIL SERVICE AND ANTI-CORRUPTION

 

Article 147. Role and Status

The Committee for the Ethics of Civil Service and Anti-Corruption is an independent state agency for coordinating, monitoring, and conducting investigative, preventative, and educational activities to fight corruption.

Article 148. Appointing Members of the Committee and Their Term of Office

  1. Members of the Committee for the Ethics of Civil Service and Anti-Corruption are appointed by the Supreme Council for a term of six years following the results of an open competition. Members of the competition commission are selected in accordance with the law from among the candidates proposed by the specialized commission of the Supreme Council, the President, and the National Council of Justice.
  2. Members of the Committee for the Ethics of Civil Service and Anti-Corruption work on a professional basis.
  3. The grounds for the cessation of powers and dismissal from office of members of the Committee for the Ethics of Civil Service and Anti-Corruption are established by the law.

Article 149. Rights and Powers

  1. The main objectives of the Committee for the Ethics of Civil Service and Anti-Corruption are as follows:
  2. a) To coordinate anti-corruption activities between various state and control agencies, as well as to conduct public relations;
  3. b) To develop and introduce codes of ethics for civil service;
  4. c) To implement information and educational programs in order to form non-tolerant attitude to corruption;
  5. d) To exercise control in the areas of conflict of interests and assets declaration by civil servants and judges;
  6. e) To detect and investigate crimes related to bribery and corruption, influence peddling, and abuse of authority;
  7. f) To provide expertise and prepare recommendations on combating corruption and improving legislation in that area;
  8. g) To monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of anti-corruption measures.
  9. The Committee for the Ethics of Civil Service and Anti-Corruption has the right:
  10. a) To conduct law enforcement intelligence-gathering and investigative activities;
  11. b) To demand from any person the disclosure or provision of any data, information about accounts, the release of documents or items that it may require within the scope of powers conferred on it;
  12. c) When detecting violations – to address a state agency with the recommendation to apply disciplinary measures, or to the Prosecutor General with a request to initiate criminal prosecution.
  13. The Committee for the Ethics of Civil Service and Anti-Corruption may have other rights and powers conferred on it by the law.

Article 150. Accountability

  1. For its activities, the Committee for the Ethics of Civil Service and Anti-Corruption is accountable to the Supreme Council.
  2. Public scrutiny over activities of the Committee for the Ethics of Civil Service and Anti-Corruption is performed by the Supervisory Council that is formed in accordance with the law from among representatives of non-governmental organizations.
  3. Every six months, the Committee for the Ethics of Civil Service and Anti-Corruption sends a financial report and a progress report to the Supreme Council, the President, and the Prime Minister, and makes them available for open access.

 

Article 151.  Support for the activities

  1. The Committee for the Ethics of Civil Service and Anti-Corruption is funded from the state budget. The expenses budget is developed and executed by the Committee for the Ethics of Civil Service and Anti-Corruption independently.
  2. The organization of and procedure for the activities of the Committee for Oversight over Activities of Intelligence and Security Services are determined by the law.

SECTION VIII. PUBLIC FINANCE

Article 152. The Budgetary System

  1. The budgetary system of the Republic of Belarus shall include the independent state budget, independent local budgets, and state extra-budgetary funds.
  2. The fiscal year for all budgets in the territory of the Republic of Belarus is established from January 1st to December 31st.
  3. Budget revenues shall be raised from taxes, other mandatory payments determined by an organic law, as well as other proceeds.
  4. The distribution of state taxes and other mandatory payments, proceeds from which are fully or partially allocated to local budgets in accordance with the law, is established taking into account the scope of powers of local self-government bodies.
  5. Inter-budgetary relations between public authorities and local self-government bodies are regulated by an organic law.
  6. In accordance with the law, public extra-budgetary funds may be set up in the Republic of Belarus. Approval of the budgets of state extra-budgetary funds, reports on their execution and monitoring over their use shall be carried out in the manner prescribed for the state budget.

Article 153. The Tax System

  1. The system of taxes and dues collected for the state and local budgets, deductions to state extra-budgetary funds, as well as the system of legal protection of the taxpayer shall be established by an organic law.
  2. The regulation of the introduction, change or abolition of taxes and the provision of tax privileges may not be delegated to bodies of executive power.
  3. Not a single tax or due may be collected if it was not imposed by the law as of the time of the events relating to the taxation.
  4. The level of the tax burden inclusive of deductions to state extra-budgetary funds shall not exceed two-fifths of the gross domestic product. Deviations are allowed in exceptional cases by a decision of the Supreme Court that has been made by a majority of three-fifths of the votes of the elected deputies.

Article 154. The State Budget

  1. The draft state budget shall be drawn up by the Council of Ministers and submitted for consideration to the Supreme Council no later than ninety days before the end of the fiscal year.
  2. When considering the draft budget, the Supreme Council may increase expenditures only if the sources of financing for these expenditures are indicated. Expenses foreseen by laws cannot be reduced prior to the amendment of these laws.
  3. The draft state budget is approved by a law before the start of the new fiscal year.
  4. If the state budget is not approved in a timely manner, its expenditures at the beginning of the fiscal year for each month may not exceed one-twelfth of the state budget expenditures for the previous year. During the fiscal year, the Supreme Council can make changes to the budget. Changes to the budget are made in the same order in which it is drawn up and approved.
  5. A report on the execution of the state budget is submitted by the Council of Ministers for consideration to the Supreme Council no later than five months from the date of the end of the reporting fiscal year, together with information on the state of the national debt, and within ninety days of the date of submission of the report, a corresponding decision shall be made about it.
    The report on the execution of the state budget shall be published together with the regulatory legal acts adopted following the results of a review of the report.
  6. The procedure for drawing up, approving, and executing the state budget and state extra-budgetary funds is determined by an organic law.

Article 155. Debt

  1. The receipt by the state and local self-government units of loans and credits, as well as the provision of financial guarantees and sureties to them, shall be carried out in accordance with the law.
  2. It is prohibited to take loans, credits or provide financial guarantees and sureties, as a result of which the public debt will exceed two-fifths of the gross domestic product. Deviations are allowed in exceptional cases by a decision of the Supreme Court that has been made by a majority of three-fifths of the votes of the elected deputies.

The method of calculating the gross domestic product, as well as the public debt, shall be determined by the law.

Article 156. The National Bank of the Republic of Belarus

  1. The National Bank is the central bank and state body of the Republic of Belarus, which shall be responsible for ensuring price stability, protecting the value of the national currency and the stability of the financial system.
    2. The National Bank shall regulate credit relations, monetary circulation, determine the procedure for making payments, exercise banking supervision and have the exclusive right to issue money.
  2. The National Bank is independent in its activities and independently determines the parameters of monetary policy.
  3. The management of the National Bank is performed by the Board of the Bank consisting of its Chairperson, deputy chairpersons, and members. The Chairperson, his deputies, and members of the Board of the National Bank are appointed by the Supreme Council for a term of seven years.
  4. The Supreme Council annually hears the report of the Chairperson of the National Bank on the state of monetary policy in the country.
  5. The organization and operation procedure of the National Bank, its powers, as well as the legal status of the Chairperson of the Board of the National Bank and the grounds for his dismissal are established by an organic law.

SECTION IХ. AMENDMENT OF THE CONSTITUTION

Article 157. The Right to Initiative

The issue of making amendments and addenda to the Constitution shall be considered by the Supreme Council on the initiative of at least 150 thousand citizens of the Republic of Belarus who possess the right to vote, or of no less than one-fourth of the total number of elected deputies of the Supreme Council.

Article 158. The Procedure for Reviewing and Voting

  1. A draft law on making amendments and addenda to the Constitution shall be submitted to the Supreme Council that shall publish it for a nation-wide discussion. If one draft change to the Constitution has been submitted, any other drafts must be submitted within thirty days. The first reading of the draft law on making amendments and addenda to the Constitution in the Supreme Council shall begin no earlier than thirty days after its publication.
  2. The Law on Amendments and Addenda to the Constitution in the second reading shall be adopted by a majority vote of not less than three-fifths of the elected Supreme Council deputies no earlier than three months after the first reading with its postponement for further adoption through one of the following procedures:
  3. a) In the case of amendments to Section I “Fundamentals of Constitutional Order» and Section IХ“Amendment of the Constitution”, the Law on Amendments and Addenda to the Constitution shall be adopted by a national referendum. An amendment to the Constitution is considered adopted if voted for by at least a three-fifths majority of the voters who have taken part in the voting;
  4. b) If the Supreme Council decides to adopt the Law on Amendments and Addenda to the Constitution as a matter of urgency, the Law on Amendments and Addenda to the Constitution shall be adopted in the third reading no earlier than one month after the second reading and shall be considered adopted if voted for by a three-fourths majority of the elected deputies;
  5. c) In the other cases, the Law on Amendments and Addenda to the Constitution shall be adopted by the next composition of the Supreme Council. The Law on Amendments and Addenda to the Constitution shall be considered adopted if the subsequent composition of the Supreme Council, in the first reading, votes for its adoption without changes by a majority of at least three-fifths of the elected deputies of the Supreme Council.


Article 159. Signing and Publishing

  1. The adopted law on amending the Constitution shall be signed by the President and officially published within five days. The President may not return the law on amending the Constitution to the Supreme Council unsigned in accordance with paragraph 2 of Article 85.
  2. If such a law is not signed by the President within a specified period of time, this law shall come into force after it is signed by the Chairperson of the Supreme Council and is officially published. The law on amending the Constitution shall enter into force no earlier than one month after its adoption.
  3. The new text of the Constitution is published along with the law on making amendments to it.

Article 160. The Limits of Changes

  1. The Constitution of the Republic of Belarus cannot be changed if the changes provide for a violation of the binding provisions of international law.
  2. The Constitution of the Republic of Belarus cannot be changed under conditions of martial law or a state of emergency.
  3. A draft law on making amendments and addenda to the Constitution that was reviewed by the Supreme Council and was not adopted may be submitted to the Supreme Council no earlier than one year from the date of making the decision on that draft law.

SECTION Х. TRANSITIONAL AND FINAL PROVISIONS

Article 161. The Entry into Force of the Constitution

This Constitution of the Republic of Belarus shall be published and shall enter into force the day after the official promulgation of the results of the referendum.

Article 162. Previous Legislation

  1. Laws and other regulatory legal acts or their parts that were in effect in the territory of the Republic of Belarus before the adoption of this Constitution shall be valid insofar as they do not contradict the Constitution and shall remain in effect until they are declared invalid or until they are aligned with the provisions of the Constitution.
  2. Within two years of the entry into force of the Constitution, standing commissions of the Supreme Council and the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus shall provide to the Supreme Council:
  3. a) Draft laws that are subject to adoption due to the entry into force of this Constitution;
  4. b) A list of international treaties that include provisions that are inconsistent with the Constitution.

Article 163. Early Elections to the Supreme Council

  1. Early elections to the Supreme Council must be held no later than three months after the entry into force of this Constitution.
  2. The term of office of the National Assembly of the Republic of Belarus and its deputies shall expire when the elected Supreme Council of the Republic of Belarus convenes for its first meeting.

Article 164. First Election of the President and Limitation of the President’s Term of Office

  1. When holding the first presidential election after the entry into force of this Constitution, contenders for the post of the President are nominated by citizens of the Republic of Belarus by way of collecting voters’ signatures in line with the procedure established by the law. Paragraph 3 of Article 89 with regard to the fact that presidential candidates are also nominated by political parties that have a faction in the Parliament enters into effect as of the time of holding a second election of the President after the entry into force of this constitution.
  2. Paragraph 2 of Article 89 with regard to the fact that one and the same person may not be the President for more than two terms over the course of their lifetime also applies to the terms of office of the persons who performed the duties of the President prior to the entry into force of this Constitution.

Article 165. Appointing Members of the Central Election Commission

  1. The Central Commission of the Republic of Belarus for Elections and National Referendums shall be reorganized into the Central Election Commission of the Republic of Belarus.
  2. When appointing members of the Central Election Commission for the first time after the entry into force of this Constitution, a half of them are appointed for a term of three years, and the rest of them – for a term of six years.
  3. The question regarding which of the members of the Central Election Commission are to be appointed for a term of three years, and which – for a terms of six years, shall be decided by drawing lots.
  4. Paragraph 5 of Article 62 with regard to the fact that one and the same person may not be a member of the Central Election Commission for more than two six-year terms also applies to the terms of office of the persons who were members of the Central Commission of the Republic of Belarus for Elections and National Referendums prior to the entry into force of this Constitution.

Article 166. Re-election of Judges of the Constitutional Court

  1. The term of office of judges of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Belarus expires thirty days after the first meeting of the Supreme Council that has been newly elected after the entry into force of this Constitution.
  2. The judges of the Constitutional Court must be elected no later than thirty days after the commencement of the term of office of the Supreme Council.
  3. During the first appointment of the judges of the Constitutional Court after the entry into force of this Constitution, five of them shall be appointed for a term of three years, five – for a term of six years, and five – for a term of nine years.
  4. The question regarding which of the judges are to be appointed for a term of three years, six years and nine years, shall be decided by drawing lots.
  5. The judges of the Constitutional Court who are to be appointed for a term of three and six years, may, after an intermission of at least three years, take these positions for one more term.

Article 167. Forming the National Council of Justice for the First Time

  1. When forming the National Council of Justice for the first time after the entry into force of this Constitution, one-fourth of the members of the National Council of Justice shall be elected by a congress of judges of the Republic of Belarus, both serving ones and retired ones. One-fourth of the members of the National Council of Justice shall be elected by a congress of lawyers.

One-fourth of the members of the National Council of Justice shall be elected by a congress of representatives of law schools who conduct activities in the area of law. One-fourth of the members of the National Council of Justice shall be elected by the Supreme Council from among international experts upon the proposal of the President.

  1. In the course of its term of office, the National Council of Justice organizes the procedure for confirming the judges’ fitness to their work status according to criteria of ability, professional ethics, and integrity.

Article 168. Forming the Chamber of Control of the Republic of Belarus

  1. The Committee of State Control shall be reorganized into the Chamber of Control of the Republic of Belarus.
  2. The Chairperson and members of the Chamber of Control must be appointed no later than ninety days after the commencement of powers of the Supreme Council.

Article 169. Electing the Commissioner for Human Rights for the First Time

The Commissioner for Human Rights must be elected no later than six months after the commencement of powers of the Supreme Council on the basis of a competition provision approved by a resolution of the Supreme Council.

Article 170. Forming the Committee for Oversight over Activities of Intelligence and Security Services for the First Time

Members of the Committee for Oversight over Activities of Intelligence and Security Services must be appointed by the Supreme Council no later than ninety days after the adoption of the law on the structure of and operation procedure for the Committee for Oversight over Activities of Intelligence and Security Services but no later than two years after the entry into force of this Constitution.

Article 171. Forming the Committee for the Ethics of Civil Service and Anti-Corruption for the First Time

Members of the Committee for the Ethics of Civil Service and Anti-Corruption must be appointed by the Supreme Council no later than ninety days after the adoption of the law on the structure of and operation procedure for the Committee for the Ethics of Civil Service and Anti-Corruption but no later than two years after the entry into force of this Constitution.