On 23 March 2017 the Chairman of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Belarus Petr Miklashevich held a meeting with the Rapporteur on Belarus of the Committee on Political Affairs and Democracy of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) Andrea Rigoni

Petr Miklashevich noted that the Republic of Belarus, with the adoption of the Constitution of 1994, which determines the structure of society and the mechanism of the government, the fundamental human rights and freedoms, the interaction of the society and the individual, for more than two decades has been developing on the constitutional basis as a democratic social state based on the rule of law.
The Constitutional Court, exercising its constitutional functions, in the Message “On Constitutional Legality in the Republic of Belarus in 2016” paid special attention to the principle of the rule of law providing that the State and all the bodies and officials thereof shall operate within the confines of theConstitution and acts of legislation adopted in accordance therewith.
The parties exchanged their views on the constitutional and legal aspects of the application of death penalty, its abolition. At the same time, attention is drawn to the fact that the Constitutional Court still adheres to the position stated earlier in the Judgement of 11 March 2004 on the recognition of the certain provisions of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Belarus as unconstitutional due to the absence of indications on the temporary character of the death penalty, as well as to the possibility to decide the issue of abolishing this type of punishment or declaring a moratorium on its application by means of the decision by the Head of State and the Parliament.
Petr Miklashevich emphasised that there is a number of objective factors, such as the level of social development, the understanding by the society of the nature of the death penalty, the crime rate, legal order and legality that are key factors when deciding whether to declare a moratorium or completely abolish this type of punishment. The analysis of the above-mentioned factors for the past period allows to conclude that there have been some positive trends.

Mr. Rigoni expressed his gratitude for the opportunity to hold this meeting and underlined that evolution in such an important issue as the application of death penalty and the declaration of the moratorium certainly will take time, but he welcomes the fact that there is a growing awareness in Belarusian society that this type of punishment should be considered as a temporary measure and that progress has been recently made in this field.

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