DECISION OF THE CONSTITUTIONAL COURT OF THE REPUBLIC OF BELARUS
the 20 of January, 2015 No D-975/2015
On Constitutional Legality in the Republic of Belarus in 2014
 
 
 
President
Republic of Belarus
House of Representatives National Assembly
Republic of Belarus
Council of the Republic National Assembly
Republic of Belarus
 
MESSAGE
OF CONSTITUTIONAL COURT OF THE REPUBLIC OF BELARUS
 
ON CONSTITUTIONAL LEGALITY
IN THE REPUBLIC OF BELARUS IN 2014
 
The Constitution of the Republic of Belarus is the basis of the strategy of sustainable development of the society and state. The principles and rules enshrined therein shall guarantee not only the rights and freedoms of individuals but also the stability of the constitutional system, which permits to determine the perspectives of the development of the Republic of Belarus as a democratic social state based on the rule of law.
Evolutional constitutional development is based on the fundamental constitutional principles of priority of the human rights and freedoms and guarantees of their implementation, mutual responsibility of the State and individuals, democracy, separation of state power and interaction of its bodies, the rule of law, equality and justice, as well as on other principles directly enshrined in the Constitution or resulting from its provisions.
In modern conditions dynamic and often unpredictable development of social relations provides for an appropriate legal regulation on the basis of the Constitution. Revealing multifaceted content of constitutional principles, their consistent and purposeful application to changing legal relations, their implementation in the legislation and law-enforcement are necessary conditions for ensuring the dynamism of the constitutional and legal regulation.
The Constitutional Court protecting the constitutionally guaranteed human rights and freedoms, the constitutional order, ensuring the supremacy of the Constitution formulates legal positions in its judgments and decisions by interpreting the constitutional principles and rules with regard to specific legal relations. This activity of the Constitutional Court contributes to effectiveness of the constitutional and legal regulation, strengthening of constitutional legality.
 
I
The constitutional provisions on the Constitutional Court as the body to review the constitutionality of normative acts in the state were developed in 2014 in the Code of the Republic of Belarus on Judicial System and Status of Judges as well as in the Law of the Republic of Belarus “On the Constitutional Proceedings”. At the same time legal regulation of the procedure of consideration of cases by the Constitutional Court, making judgments and decisions upon them and their execution, performance of procedural actions by the participants of constitutional proceedings was improved.
On the basis of the constitutional provisions and mentioned legislative acts in the exercise of the obligatory preliminary review of the constitutionality of laws adopted by the House of Representatives of the National Assembly of the Republic of Belarus and approved by the Council of the Republic of the National Assembly of the Republic of Belarus before their signing by the President of the Republic of Belarus the Constitutional Court verified their compliance with the Constitution and international legal instruments ratified by the Republic of Belarus.
In the exercise of the obligatory preliminary review in 2014 the Constitutional Court reviewed the constitutionality of 55 laws act on the premise that consistent implementation therein of the constitutional provisions on the individual, his rights and freedoms and guarantees of their realisation as the supreme value and purpose of society and the state, the development of other constitutional values in laws, ensuring of effective mechanisms for the implementation of constitutional principles and rules in the legislative regulation are the basis of constitutional legality.
Through systematic analysis of the constitutional provisions and clarification of the constitutional legal meaning of legal provisions in accordance with international treaties of the Republic of Belarus the Constitutional Court formulated its legal positions which served as the basis of its decisions.
1. A number of legal positions of the Constitutional Court are aimed at establishing conformity of the reviewed laws to the provisions of the Constitution defining the human rights and freedoms and guarantees of their realisation as the highest values and goals of the society and the state, enshrining other bases of the constitutional system of the Republic of Belarus and being the basis of stability and progressive development of the society and the state.
1.1. When reviewing the constitutionality of the Law «On Making Alterations and Addenda to Certain Laws of the Republic of Belarus on Defining a Living Wage» in its Decision of 2 May 2014 the Constitutional Court noted that improvement of legal regulation of the procedure for determination and approval of the living wage, specification of socio-demographic groups for which the living wage is calculated provided for by this Law shall strengthen legal guarantees for the realisation of the constitutional human right to a decent standard of living. These rules are aimed at improving the efficiency of the state policy in this field, specification of targeted measures on social protection of the population and achievement of a balance of interests of individuals, society and state. This ensures the execution of state obligations under the Constitution and international treaties of the Republic of Belarus on further development of the social function of the state in order to continuously improve the conditions for a decent standard of living.
1.2. In the Decision of the Constitutional Court of 7 July 2014, adopted following the review of the constitutionality of the Law «On Making Alterations and Addenda to Certain Laws of the Republic of Belarus on Pension Provision» it is stated that legal regulation of pension provision shall meet the obligations of the Republic of Belarus as a social state to establish, with regard to existing economic resources, the procedure and conditions of pension provision that would compensate the natural (age-related) loss of labour capacity and self-reliance to the individuals concerned in the amount guaranteeing their general financial security at the level necessary to satisfy the basic necessities of life.
According to the Constitutional Court, legal regulation providing for an increase in minimum period of compulsory insurance contributions for the emergence of the right to a retirement pension, including the right to a pension prior to the general retirement age, complies with one of the basic principles of the state social insurance – compulsory participation of employers and workers in the formation of state non-budgetary funds of social insurance for payment of pensions. The payment of compulsory insurance contributions for a certain period established by the legislator as a condition of emergence of the right to a pension permits the state to guarantee the proper execution of this right.
The legislator in the exercise of constitutional powers on determination of fundamental concepts and principles of exercise of the rights, freedoms and duties of citizens, basics of social security (Article 97.1.2 of the Constitution) is entitled to establish the general mechanism of pension provision as well as conditions for the emergence of the right to a pension, to timely update them and to guarantee thereby the right of individuals to a certain type of pension complying with its nature and purpose.
1.3. In the Decision of the Constitutional Court of 19 December 2014 «On the Сonformity of the Law of the Republic of Belarus «On Making Addenda and Alterations to the Law of the Republic of Belarus «On Mass Media» to the Constitution of the Republic of Belarus» it is stated that Internet information resources hold a significant place in the total volume of distributed information. The extension of the scope of the reviewed Law «On Mass Media» on such resources and their owners is aimed at proper ensuring of the constitutional rights of users of information, which complies with Article 13.5 of the Constitution and does not derogate the freedom of thoughts and beliefs and their free expression enshrined in Article 33.1 of the Constitution. These legislative provisions are intended to establish a legal mechanism for the adoption by an authorised state body of the necessary measures, including preventive ones, for the protection of the constitutional rights of individuals, including the right to reliable information, and for execution i of the respective obligation of state bodies specified in Article 59 of the Constitution.
1.4. In the Decision of 26 December 2014 «On the Сonformity of the Law of the Republic of Belarus «On Making Addenda and Alterations to the Criminal Code, Code of Criminal Procedure, Criminal Executive Code of the Republic of Belarus, Code of the Republic of Belarus on Administrative Offences and Procedural Executive Code of the Republic of Belarus on Administrative Offences» to the Constitution of the Republic of Belarus» the Constitutional Court noted that establishment by virtue of this Law of the institution of pre-trial agreements on cooperation is aimed at improving efficiency of the fight against crime, including organised criminal activity, full and efficient investigation, extension of the possibility for compensation caused by crime (damage) and ensuring thereby protection of the constitutional rights and freedoms of individuals, rights and legitimate interests of legal entities, public and state interests and the established legal order from criminal offences.
The Constitutional Court also drew attention to the fact that legal regulation of legal compensation established by the reviewed Law is designed to guarantee the imposition of punishment on the person who had committed the crime and other measures of criminal liability which are necessary and sufficient for his reformation, their adequacy to socially dangerous consequences resulting from commission of the crime and to ensure thereby the balance of the human fundamental rights and public interest which consists in protecting individuals, the society and the state against crimes.
With regard to the new wording of Article 30 of the Criminal Procedure Code of the Republic of Belarus (hereinafter – the CPC), which establishes that the court, prosecutor or investigator with the consent of the prosecutor shall have the right to terminate the criminal proceedings and release the person from criminal liability, including in connection with the absence of public danger, and that the decision to release the person from criminal liability on the grounds not related to the reconciliation with the victims, does not depend on the will of the victim, the Constitutional Court expressed its legal position according to which the constitutional obligation of the state to protect the human rights and freedoms, and therefore of the victim of crime does not mean that the victim in public prosecutions shall be granted the right to predetermine the necessity of criminal prosecution of the specified person. This right in the mentioned category of criminal cases can belong only to the state through its bodies and officials entitled to prosecute.
2. In order to ensure the most complete implementation of the provisions of the Constitution in rule-making and law enforcement decisions of the Constitutional Court revealed the content of the constitutional principles and rules as basic regulations defining the basis of the individual’s legal status.
2.1. Thus, analysing the content of Article 55 of the Constitution, according to which protection of the environment shall be the duty of everyone, the Constitutional Court in its Decision of 21 April 2014 «On the Сonformity of the Water Code of the Republic of Belarus to the Constitution of the Republic of Belarus» noted that the duty is, first of all, a moral (ethical) category.  Being given in the constitutional legal form it obtains the quality of legal ought, acquires the legal meaning of a compulsory imperative of objective and subjective nature ensured by State in order to create appropriate conditions for the realisation of the constitutional right to a conducive environment. This constitutional provision serving as the compulsory legal imperative does not reveal the content of the duty to protect the environment as well as does not set forms and methods of its implementation. According to the meaning of the Article 55 of the Constitution identified by the Constitutional Court the implementation of the duty of every person to protect the environment may be put into effect directly or indirectly, in various forms and various methods, including using of legal methods. With respect to ecological relations the duty, taking the dominant position as an ethical requirement (imperative), motivates a person to fulfil environmental rights aimed at the protection of nature and, in the meanwhile, ensuring, guaranteeing the implementation of the right of everyone to a conducive environment. Fixation of environmental rights by law presumes the corresponding actions of individuals aimed at the realisation of these rights, what imparts to the ethical requirement the quality of compulsory legal imperative.
This approach of the Constitutional Court is based on the constitutional principle of mutual responsibility of the state and the individual.
2.2. In the Decision of 20 June 2014 «On the Сonformity of the Law of the Republic of Belarus «On Making Alterations and Addenda to Certain Laws of the Republic of Belarus on Improvement of Economic Judicial Proceedings» to the Constitution of the Republic of Belarus» the Constitutional Court stated that the implementation of the constitutional provision according to which justice shall be administered on the basis of the adversarial proceedings and equality of the parties to the trial (Article 115.1) presupposes legal proceedings whereby parties to court trial are vested with equal procedural opportunities to vindicate their rights and legitimate interests, including a real opportunity to covey one’s position to a court. In this case solely the right to a fair, complete and effective judicial protection is ensured.
3. The necessary criterion for assessing the constitutionality of legal regulation in various fields of public relations by the Constitutional Court is obsevamce of the constitutional principles of equality and justice by the legislator as a condition of constitutional legality in a state based on the rle of law. These principles presuppose that the law embodies justice, and its rules are equally addressed to all subjects of legal relationship, they are mandatory for all, and are equally protected by the state. The above-mentioned principles also require proportionality in setting the privileges and limitations, their consolidation only by the law and proportionality to the protected constitutional values, state, public and private interests, that ensures their balance.
3.1. When reviewing the constitutionality of the Law of the Republic of Belarus «On Urban Electric Transport and Metro», the Constitutional Court in the Decision of 2 May 2014 with regard to Article 30 of the Law establishing prohibition of strikes as one of the features of labour relations in the field of urban electric transport and metro noted that this fact limits to some extent the right of workers to protect their economic and social interests, including the right to strike (Article 41.3 of the Constitution). However, the possibility of restriction of the right to strike of certain categories of workers with regard to their activities and consequences of termination of work derives from the Constitution, according to which everyone shall respect dignity, rights, freedoms and legitimate interests of others (Article 53); restriction of personal rights and freedoms shall be permitted only in the instances specified by law, in the interests of national security, public order, protection of the morals and health of the population as well as rights and freedoms of other persons (Article 23.1).
Restriction of the right to strike does not contradict the generally recognised principles and rules of the international law. The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights stipulates that this Article (Article 8.2) shall not prevent the imposition of lawful restrictions on the exercise of these rights by members of the armed forces or of the police or of the administration of the State. (Article 2, paragraph 8), and for other people the right to strike, provided that it is exercised in conformity with the laws of the particular country (Article 8.1.d).
Urban electric transport and metro are very important components of the urban economic infrastructure for timely and quality ensuring the needs of individuals in transportation, continuous functioning of the municipal economy. Any circumstances that may disturb the normal functioning of urban electric transport and metro affect the interests of individuals, state bodies and other organisations, so imposition of restrictions of the right to strike of workers in these fields of transport, according to the opinion of the Constitutional Court, is grounded and complies with Article 23.1 and Article 53 of the Constitution.
Similar conclusions were made by the Constitutional Court in its Decision of 24 December 2014 when reviewing the constitutionality of the Law «On Making Alterations and Addenda to Certain Laws of the Republic of Belarus on Railway Transport» providing that workers of public railway transport ensuring direct transportation are not entitled to take part in strikes.
3.2. In the Decision of 16 April 2014 «On the Сonformity of the Law of the Republic of Belarus «On Making Addenda and Alterations to the Law of the Republic of Belarus «On Measures to Prevent the Legalisation of Proceeds from Crime and Financing of Terrorism» to the Constitution of the Republic of Belarus» the Constitutional Court, proceeding from the content Article 23.1 of the Constitution permitting restriction of the human rights and freedoms with regard to the provision of Article 44.6 of the Constitution, according to which the exercise of the right of property shall not be contrary to social benefit and security or infringe upon the rights and legally protected interests of others, formulated the legal position that the right of property may be restricted by the legislator in accordance with the general legal principle of proportionality to the extent necessary for achievement of constitutionally significant goals.
According to the Constitutional Court refusalto participants of financial transaction of its execution and its suspension in case of its compliance with criteria of identification and signs of suspicious financial transactions affect the constitutional right of property of the participants of a financial transaction, but they are legitimate as they are provided by law and comply with requirements of proportionality and admissibility. By establishing such restrictions, the legislator creates a legal mechanism for prevention of legalisation of proceeds from crime and financing of terrorism, that meets the interests of national security, public order, protection of the rights and freedoms of others.
3.3. When reviewing the constitutionality of the Law «On Making Addenda and Alterations to Certain Laws of the Republic of Belarus on Road Safety» the Constitutional Court took into account the importance of improving legal regulation of administrative liability for offences in the field of road safety and use of transport as vehicles are the source of increased danger. In the Decision of 2 July 2014 the Constitutional Court noted that addenda introduced by this Law are aimed at strengthening administrative liability in the field of road safety and use of transport taking into account harmful effects of the offences, ensuring proportionality of an administrative penalty to an administrative offence. These addenda are aimed at execution of the State's obligation to take all measures at its disposal to establish the domestic order necessary for the full exercise of the rights and freedoms of the citizens of the Republic of Belarus established by Article 59 of the Constitution.
3.4. In the Decision of 22 December 2014 «On the Сonformity of the Law of the Republic of Belarus «On Making Addenda and Alterations to the Civil Code of the Republic of Belarus» to the Constitution of the Republic of Belarus» when reviewing provisions of this Law according to which legislative acts may establish other restrictions on the transfer of property in pledge besides ones set forth in Article 317.1 of the Civil Code of the Republic of Belarus, the Constitutional Court proceeded from the fact that the right to carry out entrepreneurial and another economic activity not prohibited by law may be restricted by the legislator. However, such a restriction shall be in accordance with Article 23.1 of the Constitution stipulating that restriction of personal rights and freedoms shall be permitted only in the instances specified by law, in the interests of national security, public order, protection of the morals and health of the population as well as rights and freedoms of other persons.
In this regard the Constitutional Court noted that the legislator exercising in the future legal regulation of these relations, including restriction of the rights of participants in civil commerce to carry out entrepreneurial activities should use as basis the constitutional principles and rules including Article 23 of the Constitution.
4. Observance of the constitutional principle of the rule of law in the legislative process involves the creation of a single internally coherent legal system in which normative legal acts comply with each other, they do not contain gaps and collisions.
In a number of its decisions the Constitutional Court has underlined the importance of the principle of legal certainty for the effective implementation of the constitutional principles and rules in laws to be adopted, ensuring the constitutionality of law-enforcement. As one of the essential elements of the constitutional principle of the rule of law, it provides for a systematic and comprehensive legal regulation of public relations, clarity, accuracy, consistency and logical coherence of legal rules ensuring the possibility of their uniform application in practice.
4.1. In the Decision of 5 June 2014, adopted on the results of the review of the constitutionality of the Law «On Making Alterations and Addenda to Certain Laws of the Republic of Belarus on Placement of Individuals in Activity Therapy Centres and Conditions thereof», the Constitutional Court confirmed its previously stated legal position which provides that in order to establish the obligation of the convicted to pay damages (to compensate for harm) caused to a correctional institution by his illegal actions, it is necessary to prove damage and its extent, illegal actions of the convict, causal relationship between such activities and damage that is possible only as a result of a judicial settlement of the claim.
The Constitutional Court concluded that Article 2.16 of the Law providing for compensation for damage through the executive endorsement does not fully take into account this legal position of the Constitutional Court. The legislator is proposed in the course of further improvement of the legislation to be based on the need to ensure the constitutional right to judicial protection enshrined in Article 60 of the Constitution, which guarantees that everyone shall be guaranteed protection of his rights and freedoms by a competent, independent and impartial court within the time limits specified by law.
4.2. When reviewing the constitutionality of the Law «On Making Addenda and Alterations to the Law of the Republic of Belarus «On Combating Trafficking in Human Beings» the Constitutional Court in its Decision of 8 December 2014 noted that that the introduction by the legislator of additional criteria in determining the mentioned terms is intended to criminalize a wider scope of socially dangerous acts related to trafficking in human being and various forms of exploitation of individuals, including their formerly unpunishable manifestations. It aims to strengthen the legality and legal order and complies with the constitutional obligation of the state to protect the life of individual against any unlawful infringements, safeguard personal liberty, inviolability and dignity (Article 24.2, Article 25.1 of the Constitution). The extension of content of the term “trafficking in human beings” by indication of acts committed with the purpose of exploitation of minors regardless of use of such means as deception, abuse of confidence, threat or use of force is aimed at the protection of interests of minors and the highest possible ensuring of safeguards of their well-being. It conforms to the rule of Article 32.1 of the Constitution prescribing that the childhood is placed under the protection of the state as well as ensures due execution by the Republic of Belarus of international commitments.
At the same time the Constitutional Court draws attention of the legislator to the necessity of making timely amendments to the Criminal Code of the Republic of Belarus in order to specify criteria of appropriate corpus delicti with the view of guaranteeing unambiguous understanding of terms introduced by the Law and ensuring uniform law enforcement practice.
4.3. In the decision of the Constitutional Court of 30 December 2014 it is noted that the Law of Belarus «On Making Addenda and Alterations to Certain Laws of the Republic of Belarus on Donation of Blood and Blood Components» enshrines additional conditions and possibilities for individuals to exercise their constitutional right to health care.
The Law makes alterations to the Law of the Republic of Belarus «On Donation of Blood and Blood Components» providing that the Single Database of Donation of Blood and Blood Components shall include information permitting to identify the donor and the recipient, as well as other information which, according to the Constitutional Court, permit to identify, directly or indirectly, the person. At the same time the Law stipulates that the procedure for creating and maintaining the Single Database of Donation of Blood and Blood Components, using and granting of information in this database shall be established by the Ministry of Public Health of the Republic of Belarus.
In accordance with the Law of the Republic of Belarus «On Information, Informatization and Information Protection»data permitting to identify an individual are the personal data; personal data shall be protected from disclosure from the moment when these data were communicated by an individual; the procedure of receiving, transferring, collection, processing, accumulation, storage and disclosure of personal data, as well as their use shall be established by legislative acts of the Republic of Belarus.
In this context the Constitutional Court drew attention of the legislator to the fact that the provisions of the Law on use and provision of data from the Single Database of Donation of Blood and Blood Components that is in fact the personal data of donors and recipients do not provide guarantees of its protection and do not fully comply with the relevant provisions of the Law «On Information, Informatization and Information Protection».
5. The Constitutional Court also pointed outsuch a necessary condition for the implementation of the principle of legal certainty as the unity of terminology in normative legal acts which may be provided,among others, by eliminating redundancy and collisions of legal rules enshrining the definitions of terms used therein.
5.1. In the Decision of 10 November 2014adopted as a result of the review of constitutionality of the Law «On Making Alterations and Addenda to the Law of the Republic of Belarus «On Medicines» the Constitutional Court, based on the requirements of the economy of legal regulation, the most appropriate presentation of legal prescriptions and elimination of their redundancy, drew attention of the legislator to the fact that the need of interpretation of the terms arises only when rare or little-used foreign words, reconsidered common words and words leading to ambiguous interpretation of the term and to a variety of semantic associations are used therein.
5.2. In the Decision of the Constitutional Court of 6 June 2014 «On the Сonformity of the Law of the Republic of Belarus «On Belarusians Living Abroad» to the Constitution of the Republic of Belarus» it is noted that the definition of «Belarusians Living Abroad» provided by Article 1.2 of this Law includes two categories of individuals: individuals permanently living outside the Republic of Belarus and identifying themselves as Belarusians, and those who are permanently living outside the Republic of Belarus and coming from the territory of the modern Republic of Belarus. At the same time Article 4 of this Law in addition to the above-mentioned categories rates citizens of the Republic of Belarus among Belarusians living abroad. However, citizens of the Republic of Belarus include individuals who do not identify themselves as Belarusians in terms of ethnicity and do not come from the territory of the modern Republic of Belarus. As a result of this legislative approach the notion of Belarusians living abroad in accordance with Article 4 of the Act is wider than specified in Article 1.2 of the Law.
According to the Constitutional Court the detailed definition of the legal category in a special Article of the Law excludes the narrow definition of the same notion in another Article. Such an approach will contribute to the logical construction and internal coherence of the normative legal act, exact understanding of the content of all its provisions, uniformity of the law-enforcement practice.
In the Decision of the Constitutional Court it is also noted that the use of the notion «national rights» in the Law «On Belarusians Living Abroad» points out existence of legal uncertainty with regard to the fact that this Law, other legislative acts, as well as the legal doctrine do not contain its detailed definition that impedes elaboration of legal instruments for protection of these rights. The Constitutional Court concluded that in the course of the further improvement of legal regulation of the state policy in the field of relations with Belarusians living abroad it is necessary to eliminate this legal uncertainty by specifying the individual and collective rights of Belarusians living abroad who need their ensuring by the Republic of Belarus.
6. The Constitutional Court, specifying and developing the constitutional principles and rules with regard to the features of certain fields of social relations, in a number of its decisions formulated legal positions on the need to observe other constitutional principles (mandatory character of court rulings, freedom of enterprise, etc.) in case of legal regulation of relations, as well as orienting the legislator to the appropriate ways of improving his rule-making activities.
6.1. As noted in the Decision of the Constitutional Court of 2 July 2014, adopted on the results of the review of the constitutionality of the Law «On Making Alterations and Addenda to the Law of the Republic of Belarus «On Price Formation», analysis of the constitutional provisions providing that the State shall  grant equal rights to all to conduct economic and other activities, except for those prohibited by law, and guarantee equal protection and equal conditions for development of all forms of ownership, the State shall guarantee to all equal opportunities for free utilisation of abilities and property for entrepreneurial and other types of economic activities which are not prohibited by law, the State shall regulate economic activities in the interests of the individual and society (Articles 13.2, 13.4, 13.5), it can be concluded that favorable conditions for the functioning of the economic system in whole, including through the establishment of the legal basis for the price formation policy should be created in the Republic of Belarus.
According to the Constitutional Court, that implies first of all the freedom of enterprise which is a universal (integrated) constitutional and legal principle uniting several relatively independent principles of legal regulation of relations in the field of entrepreneurship (the principles of equality, inviolability of property, freedom of contract, freedom of competition, etc.).
6.2. In the Decision of the Constitutional Court of 20 June 2014 adopted on the results of the review of the constitutionality of the Law «On Making Alterations and Addenda to Certain Laws of the Republic of Belarus on Improvement of Civil Proceedings» the Constitutional Court stated that it follows from Articles 21.3, 60.1 and 115.2 of the Constitution, according to which the State shall guarantee the rights and freedoms of citizens of Belarus that are enshrined in the Constitution and laws, and specified by the State's international obligations, everyone shall be guaranteed protection of his rights and freedoms by a competent, independent and impartial court within the time limits specified by law, the court rulings are binding upon all citizens and officials, taking into account their correlation to the provisions of international instruments, that the constitutional right to judicial protection includes not only the possibility of judicial recourse, but also the timely and full execution of court decisions.
According to the Constitutional Court the execution of court decisions and other acts to be carried out is one of the basic conditions for realisation of the constitutional right of everyone to judicial protection. In order to ensure effective protection of the violated rights of the individual the legislator shall regulate social relations in this field ensuring the realisation of the constitutional principle of mandatory judicial decisions and timely execution of other executive documents.
7. Taking into account the need to ensure the constitutionality of the law-enforcement practice, the Constitutional Court formulated a number of legal positions addressed to law-enforcement bodies, that reveal the constitutional and legal meaning of legal provisions.
In the Decision of 5 June 2014 2014 «On the Сonformity of the Law of the Republic of Belarus «On Making Alterations and Addenda to the Law of the Republic of Belarus «On Healthcare» to the Constitution of the Republic of Belarus» the Constitutional Court noted that Article 18.1 of the reviewed Law enshrines the right of a medical specialist to refuse to make the induced abortion by informing the head of the healthcare body in written form, if the refusal does not threaten directly the life and (or) health of the woman; after receiving the written notice of a medical specialist the head of the healthcare body shall ensure the induced abortion by another medical specialist. However, the legislator does not establish the reasons being the basis of refusal of a medical specialist to make the said medical procedure.
The Constitutional Court stated its legal position according to which such a refusal of a specialist is possibleif there are reasonable excuses, in particular the ethical and moral principles, religious or other beliefs. At the same time it was noted that in some cases the duration of pregnancy is important for selecting the way of its interruption and for possible consequences for the woman's health, including reproductive health, so a medical specialist, the head of the healthcare body, other healthcare professionals involved in the process of replacing a medical specialist shall act as quickly as possible in order to prevent violations of the rights and legitimate interests of the pregnant woman.
In this Decision the Constitutional Court also noted that, in accordance with Article 1.30 of the said Law Article 38.1 of the Law «On Healthcare»shall reserve the general rule on providing the citizens of the Republic of Belarus with medicines and medical devices at the expense of the republican and (or) local budgets on the basis of clinical protocols or methods of health care in public hospitals. According to the Constitutional Court, Article 38.1 of the Law «On Healthcare»shall extend its scope on cases where the clinical situation of a particular patient may deviate from the approved general requirements for health care delivery, that is objectively due to the individual characteristics of the patient and aims the health-care organisation to find and use individual approaches, including selection of medicines for every patient, providing thereby that citizens of the Republic of Belarus shall be guaranteed the right to health care, including free treatment at state health care institutions (Article 45.1 of the Constitution).
Thus, the practice of obligatory preliminary review of the constitutionality of laws shaws various aspects of the content of the constitutional principles and rules, their importance for ensuring the stability and dynamism of legal regulation of public relations, coordinated functioning of various fields of the legislation of the Republic of Belarus and the unity of law-enforcement.
Decisions of the Constitutional Court and its legal positions are aimed at ensuring integrated influence of the Constitution on social relations, ongoing development of which depends largely on the scope of realisation and observance of the balance of the constitutional principles in laws to be adopted. The Constitutional Court notes the orientation of the legislator to the specification and development of the constitutional principles and rules, providing reasonable stability of legal regulation and acting as the guarantee of the constitutionality of these laws.
 
II
1. In accordance with Article 116.4 of the Constitution and Article 22.1 of the Code on Judicial System and Status of Judges the Constitutional Court shall, on the proposals of the President of the Republic of Belarus, the House of Representatives and the Council of the Republic of the National Assembly of the Republic of Belarus, the Supreme Court of the Republic of Belarus, the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus deliver judgements on the constitutionality of normative legal acts in the state. This function is executed by the Constitutional Court in the exercise of subsequent constitutional review in accordance with the Law «On the Constitutional Proceedings».
In 2014 the House of Representatives of the National Assembly made a proposal the Constitutional Court to review the constitutionality of Articles 29.1.7 and 303.1.1 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.
The initiative application submitted to the House of Representatives was the ground for the proposal to the Constitutional Court. The applicant expressed his opinion that the termination of the criminal case on non-rehabilitating grounds without the consent of the close relatives of the deceased as well as its possible legal consequences significantly affected the honour and good name of the deceased and legitimate interests of his close relatives, that violates the provisions of Articles 26 and 60 of the Constitution enshrining the presumption of innocence and the right of everyone to judicial protection.
When reviewing the constitutionality of the above-mentioned rules of the CCP the Constitutional Court took into account both their literal meaning and the meaning with regard to the practice of their application. Full and objective consideration of the case was ensured by participation in the hearing of representatives of the President of the Republic of Belarus, the House of Representatives and Council of Republic of the National Assembly of the Republic of Belarus, as well as representatives of the Supreme Court, the General Prosecutor Office of the Republic of Belarus, the Investigative Committee of the Republic of Belarus and the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Belarus in the Constitutional Court.
The representatives of the House of Representatives on the basis of Article 19.3 of the Law «On the Constitutional Proceedings» had enlarged the scope of the proposal submitted to the Constitutional Court, having explained that the constitutionality of other interconnected provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure regarding a situation when close relatives of a deceased do not agree with the termination of criminal case should be reviewed.
The Constitutional Court in its Judgment of 12 June 2014 recognised provisions of Articles 29.1.7, 250.1, 279.1, 303.1.1 of the Code of Criminal Procedure stipulating that criminal proceedings in respect of a deceased shall not be instituted and in case of proceedings already instituted the preliminary investigation and criminal proceedings shall be terminated by a judge in assigning a day for court session or at trial, except instances when a conduct of criminal proceedings is required for the rehabilitation of the deceased, as not conforming to Articles 25.1, 26, 28 and 60 of the Constitution of the Republic of Belarus providing that the State shall safeguard personal liberty, inviolability and dignity; no one may be found guilty of crime unless his guilt is proven under the procedure specified by law and established by a court sentence that has come into legal force; everyone shall have the right to protection against unlawful interference with his private life, including encroachments on the privacy of his correspondence and telephone and other communications, and on his honour and dignity; everyone shall be guaranteed protection of his rights and freedoms by a competent, independent and impartial court within the time limits specified by law.
The Constitutional Court found that these provisions were not conform to the Copnstitution to the extent that they entitle a prosecuting body in case of the death of a suspect or accused to refuse to institute criminal proceedings and to terminate proceedings already instituted without the consent of his close relatives.
The principles enshrined in the Law «On the Constitutional Proceedings», including legality, judicial independence, publicity, Adversarial character of the proceedings and equality of the parties, contribute to the realisation of the constitutional guarantee of judicial protection of individual's rights and freedoms, effective execution of the tasks of the Constitutional Court in strengthening constitutional legality.
2. In 2014 the Administration of the President of the Republic of Belarus, the House of Representatives and the Council of Republic of the National Assembly of the Republic of Belarus, the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus received 101 initiative applications. Information from the Supreme Court of the Republic of Belarus as a body that in accordance with Article 22.3 of the Code on Judicial System and Status of Judges also has the power to consider the initiative applications about such applications still has not been transmitted to the Constitutional Court due to the absence of due registration of such applications in the system of courts of general jurisdiction.
Initiative applications raised questions on the need to review the constitutionality of certain provisions of the codes, laws and other normative legal acts affecting labour, civil, housing, tax, land rights of individuals and their rights to health protection, education, rights arising from the administrative procedure, criminal procedure, criminal executive relations and others.
Only one of these applications led to the proposal made by an authorised body to the Constitutional Court. In the future the potential of initiative applications as an effective factor in strengthening constitutional legality should be used more actively by the authorised bodies.
The Constitutional Court notes that individuals turn to the authorised bodies with the initiative to review the constitutionality of the act pointing violation of their rights, in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution guaranteing judicial protection of the rights and freedoms that involves consideration of initiative applications according to the procedure established by the legislation.
In this regard it requires a legislative definition of limits and procedure of evaluation of sufficiency of grounds by the authorised body for making proposals to the Constitutional Court on the review of constitutionality of a normative legal act on the basis of the criteria of rationality and sufficiency making no doubt about the very possibility of realisation of the right to judicial protection. Such a measure will help to expand the use of the mechanism of indirect individual access to constitutional justice, strengthen its role in ensuring the constitutional legality.
Furthermore, at present provisions of Article 112.2 of the Constitution are not executed in fact. The absence of an effective legal mechanism to initiate the constitutional review of normative legal acts to be applied by the general courts when considering specific cases, impedes the due settlement of issues concerning the review of constitutionality of normative legal acts and do not meet the expectations of individuals. This fact shows the need for the establishment of the procedure for courts of general jurisdiction to address a preliminary (prejudicial) question on the constitutionality of the normative legal act to be applied to the Constitutional Court at the legislative level.
On 14 March 2014 at the meeting of the President of the Republic of Belarus with the judges of the Constitutional Court proposals on further extension of the possibilities of the constitutional review were supported. Attention was drawn to the need of elaboration of an effective legal mechanism of indirect individual access to constitutional justice, including by means of the authorised bodies, filling it with real content, as well as enshrining an effective procedure of the recourse of general courts to the Constitutional Court in order to review the constitutionality of normative legal acts.
 
III
In 2014 the Constitutional Court received 760 applications of individuals and legal entities. These applications contained over 800 legal issues, including the constitutionality of normative legal acts, neccessity to make alterations and addenda to normative legal acts, to eliminate legal gaps, collisions and legal uncertainty, and proposals on interpretation of normative legal acts, execution and interpretation of the decisions of the Constitutional Court.
The power of the Constitutional Court to make decisions on elimination of legal gaps, collisions and legal uncertainty in normative legal acts is enshrined in Article 22.3.8 of the Code on Judicial System and Status of Judges. According to Article 158 of the Law «On the Constitutional Proceedings» applications of state bodies, other organisations, individuals including individual entrepreneurs containing information on existence of legal gaps, collisions and legal uncertainty in normative legal acts submitted to the Constitutional Court shall be the ground for initiation of the proceedings on elimination of legal gaps, collisions and legal uncertainty in normative legal acts.
In case of initiation of the proceedings on elimination of legal gaps, collisions and legal uncertainty in normative legal acts the Constitutional Court proceeds from the fact that shortcomings of a particular normative legal act lead to its interpretation and application, that violate or may violate the constitutional rights and freedom, impede ensuring the guarantees of their realisation.
In 2014 the Constitutional Court adopted a number of decisions on on elimination of legal uncertainty in normative legal acts. Proceedings were initiated by the Constitutional Court with regard to the applications of individuals and a non-governmental organisation submitted to the Court that contained information on legal gaps, collisions and legal uncertainty in normative legal acts.
1. Thus, the case «On Legal Uncertainty in the Legal Regulation of Personal Identification when Granting a Pension by Labour, Employment and Social Protection Bodies» was initiated by the Constitutional Court in accordance with Article 158 of the Law of the Republic of Belarus "On the Constitutional Proceedings" on the basis of the individual’s application who was refused a pension due to the fact that the applicant had refused to receive the passport due to the religious beliefs. In the Decision of the Constitutional Court of 9 July 2014 it was noted that the existing procedure of granting pensions and submission of appropriate documents for it was specified at the level of a normative legal act of the Ministry that provides for the mandatory presentation of a passport when applying for a pension. This procedure limits the realisation of the constitutional right to a pension, guaranteed by the state, for individuals who can not submit their passport because of the refusal of its receipt due to their religious beliefs, despite the fact that they had acquired this right by their labour activity and fulfillment of other conditions specified in the Law of the Republic of Belarus «On Pension Provision».
In order to ensure the proper realisation of the constitutional right to social security as well as the principle of social justice, the Constitutional Court recognised it necessary to eliminate legal uncertainty. The Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus was proposed to prepare an appropriate resolution in order to ensure, through legal regulation of the procedure for the submission and processing of documents for granting a pension by labour, employment and social protection bodies, the possibility of personal identification in exceptional cases not only by the passport of the citizen of the Republic of Belarus but also by other documents.
2. In the Decision of the Constitutional Court of 10 July 2014 «On Legal Regulation of the Amount of Payment for the Period of Enforced Idleness to the Employee Reinstated in his Former Job» , adopted on the basis of the application of a joint stock company, it was stated that the labour legislation determines payments that are subject to registration (or not included) while calculation of the average wage for the period of enforced idleness. At the same time the labour legislation when determining the amount of payment for the period of enforced idleness to the employee to be reinstated in his previous work does not contain provisions on the setoff of payments in case of dismissal of an employee, that is, the possibility to reduce the calculated average wage for the period of his enforced idleness for a certain amount. The Constitutional Court also noted that the provisions of the Resolution of the Plenum of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Belarus of 29 March 2001 № 2 «On Some Issues of Application of the Labour Legislation by the Courts» that determines payments to be set off while determination of the amount of payment for the period of enforced idleness by the court could not be considered as appropriate instrument of legal regulation.
In order to ensure the constitutional principle of the rule of law and to eliminate legal uncertainty the Constitutional Court recognised it necessary to make alterations to the Labour Code (hereinafter – LC) of the Republic of Belarus concerning the regulation of the issue on set-off of payments received by the employee in case of dismissal when determining the amount of payment for the period of enforced idleness.
3. The Decision of the Constitutional Court of 18 September 2014 «On the Definition of “Unmarried Mother” in Labour Relations» was made on the basis of the individual’s application in which the applicant pointed out that the Labour Code of the Republic of Belarus establishes guarantees for unmarried mothers in case of the conclusion or termination of the labour contract with them, but does not contain the definition of the notion «unmarried mother». For this reason the applicant is unreasonably deprived of the guarantees of employment in spite of the fact that the applicant is a divorced woman who is bringing up two minor children without any help from their father in their maintenance.
In order to ensure the constitutional principle of the rule of law, guarantees of the protection of the constitutional rights of individuals having family obligations in labour relations the Constitutional Court recognised it necessary to eliminate legal uncertainty in the Labour Code of the Republic of Belarus caused by the absence of a clear and precise definition of the circle of individuals having the right to the guarantees for unmarried mothers in case of the conclusion or termination of the labour contract proceeding from the requirements of the Constitution and taking into account the legal positions of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Belarus stated in this Decision.
In that way Article 158.1 of the Law «On the Constitutional Proceedings» stipulating that applications of state bodies, other organisations, individuals including individual entrepreneurs containing information on existence of legal gaps, collisions and legal uncertainty in normative legal acts submitted to the Constitutional Court shall be the ground for initiation of the proceedings on elimination of legal gaps, collisions and legal uncertainty in normative legal acts is considered by the citizensof the Republic of Belarus and other subjects as the possibility of direct access to constitutional justice and, accordingly, of the realisation of their constitutional right to judicial protection. The decisions of the Constitutional Court on the necessity to eliminate legal gaps, collisions and legal uncertainty having constitutional and legal significance in normative legal acts shows the increasing role of the principle of legal certainty as the most important element of the constitutional principle of the rule of law in the regulation of social relations and strengthening of the constitutional legality. This fact makes for further legislative improvement of the constitutional proceedings concerning this category of cases.
 
IV
Article 24 of the Code on Judicial System and Status of Judges stipulates that the judgements and decisions of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Belarus shall be final and not subject to appeal or protest; the judgements and decisions of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Belarus have the direct effect and do not require confirmation by other state bodies, other organisations, officials; the judgements and decisions of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Belarus shall enter into force on the date of their adoption unless other term is fixed in these acts (Article 24.7-9). According to Article 85.17 of the Law «On the Constitutional Proceedings» the decision of the Constitutional Court on elimination of legal gaps, collisions and legal uncertainty in normative legal acts shall be mandatory for consideration by state bodies, officials in accordance with their competence.
In a number of decisions taken by the Constitutional Court it is noted the necessity of making alterations or addenda to the legislation, elimination of legal gaps, collisions and legal uncertainty in normative legal acts, adoption of new normative legal acts, ensuring uniform law-enforcement practice. In most cases the decisions of the Constitutional Court are executed on timely basis.
1. In 2014 8 decisions the Constitutional Court, including those taken in the exercise of obligatory preliminary review of the constitutionality of laws, were executed.
1.1. Thus, when reviewing the constitutionality of the Law «On the Budget of the State Non-Budgetary Fund of Social Security of the Population of the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection of the Republic of Belarus for 2011» the Constitutional Court in its Decision of 11 October 2010 pointed out the inconsistence of the name of the Law, as it should approve the budget of the state non-budgetary fund of social security of the population of the Republic of Belarus and the text should contain a provision that the Fund of Social Security of the Population of the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection of the Republic of Belarus is the administrator of the assets of this state non-budgetary fund.
The legal position of the Constitutional Court was taken into account in the Law of 14 July 2014 «On Making Addenda and Alterations to Certain Laws of the Republic of Belarus» where the name of the Law «On Compulsory Insurance Contributions to the Fund of Social Security of the Population of the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection of the Republic of Belarus» was introduced as follows: «On Compulsory Insurance Contributions to the Budget of the State Non-Budgetary Fund of Social Security of the Population of the Republic of Belarus».
1.2. In the Decision of 8 July 2013 «On the Сonformity of the Law of the Republic of Belarus «On Making Addenda and Alterations to Certain Codes of the Republic of Belarus on Development of Mediation» to the Constitution of the Republic of Belarus» the Constitutional Court pointed out the inconsistency of the provisions of the Commercial Executive Code of the Republic of Belarus (hereinafter – the CEC) and the Law of the Republic of Belarus «On Mediation» concerning the conciliation procedure (mediation). In order to establish a uniform legal regulation of relations with the use of mediation, the legislator was asked to make alterations to the CEC in order to harmonise its provisions with the Law «On Mediation» providing for the participation in the negotiations of the parties of the disinterested person (the mediator) they have to choose by mutual consent in order to assist them in the settlement of the dispute (disputes).
The position of the Constitutional Court was partially taken into account in the Law accounted for in the Law of 1 July 2014 «On Making Alterations and Addenda to Certain Laws of the Republic of Belarus on Improvement of Economic Judicial Proceedings», according to which the CEC is supplemented with Article 1551 providing for the right to the parties to choose a conciliator in case of the conciliation procedure. However, the Constitutional Court draws attention of the legislator on the need to clarify other rules of the CEC according to which a conciliator shall be appointed by the court dealing with economic affairs.
1.3. In the Decision of 26 December 2013 taken in the issue of the review of the constitutionality of the Law «On Making Alterations and Addenda to Certain Laws of the Republic of Belarus on Notarial Activity» the Constitutional Court noted that the constitutional right of everyone to judicial protection includes not only the right to judicial recourse, but also providing assistance by competent persons in realisation of this right in accordance with the legislation, including securing of written evidence by the notaries for consideration of cases by the courts.
The legal position of the Constitutional Court was taken into account in the Law of the Republic of Belarus of 1 July 2014 «On Making Addenda and Alterations to Certain Laws of the Republic of Belarus on Improvement of Civil Judicial Proceedings». According to the addendum made to Article 234 of the Civil Procedure Code of the Republic of Belarus (hereinafter – the CPC), prior to the initiation of judicial proceedings securing of written evidence can be provided by the notaries according to the procedure established by legislative acts.
2. The execution of the decisions of the Constitutional Court on the elimination of legal gaps, collisions and legal uncertainty in normative legal acts taken in accordance with its powers provided for in Article 22.3.8 of the Code on Judicial System and Status of Judges is very important for strengthening of the constitutional legality.
2.1. In particular, the Decision of the Constitutional Court of 27 May 2010 «On the Exercise of the Right to Judicial Appeal against Applied Sanctions by the Convicted to Arrest, Confinement, Life Imprisonment, by the Detainees and Persons under Administrative Arrest» drew attention to a gap in the legal regulation of the procedure of judicial review of complaints of the convicted to arrest, confinement, life imprisonment, by the detainees and persons under administrative arrest against applied sanctions that does not fully ensure the realisation of the constitutional right of individuals to access to justice. In this regard the Constitutional Court recognised it necessary to establish at the legislative level the procedure and features of consideration of complaints of these categories of persons by the courts on applied disciplinary measures.
In order to establish the procedure of consideration of these complaints by the courts the Law of 1 July 2014 «On Making Addenda and Alterations to Certain Laws of the Republic of Belarus on Improvement of Civil Judicial Proceedings» the Chapter 29 of the CPC is supplemented with paragraph 62 regulating features of consideration and settlement of individual’s complaints against notification on the possibility of their placement in an activity therapy centre and complaints of individuals placed in an activity therapy centre against the order on application of disciplinary measures in their relation.
2.2. In the Decision of 16 February 2012 «On Legal Regulation of Release from Criminal Punishment or Mitigation of Punishment in case of Disease» the Constitutional Court, on the basis of the constitutional principle of equality before the law, formulated a legal position that individuals suffering from a serious desease that impedes further serving of the punishment should be guaranteed judicial review of the possibility of their release from serving punishment or mitigation of punishment taking into account the gravity of the crime, the personality of the convicted person, the nature of the disease and other factors regardless of the time of development of a disease: before or after sentencing.
This Decision of the Constitutional Court was executed by making alterations to Article 92 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Belarus by the Law of 5 January 2015 «On Making Addenda and Alterations to the Criminal Code, Code of Criminal Procedure, Criminal Executive Code of the Republic of Belarus, Code of the Republic of Belarus on Administrative Offences and Procedural Executive Code of the Republic of Belarus on Administrative Offences». The said Law establishes the possibility of release from serving punishment or mitigation of punishment for the individual suffering from a serious desease that impedes further serving of the punishment regardless of the time of development of a disease.
2.3. When taking the Decision of 11 December 2013 «On Legal Regulation of Settlement of Disputes Related to Investigation of Occupational Accidents» the Constitutional Court concluded that the Government of the Republic of Belarus while exercising its powers to establish the procedure of investigation and registration of occupational accidents and occupational diseases delegated to it by legislative acts was not entitled to ensure legal regulation of judicial proceedings including establishment of conditions for realisation of the constitutional right to judicial protection.
The Constitutional Court also noted that the Rules of investigation and registration of occupational accidents and occupational diseases, approved by the Resolution No. 30 of the Council of Ministers on January 15, 2004 (hereinafter – the Rules) make the exercise of the constitutional right of the victim and other persons concerned to judicial protection dependent on the opinion of the state labour inspector after investigation of the occupational accident. The possibility of judicial recourse for these persons in case the state labour inspector does not made his opinion was not provided by the Rules that does not ensure their constitutional right to judicial protection.
In order to ensure the constitutional principle of the rule of law, the constitutional right of everyone to judicial protection and in order to eliminate legal uncertainty the Constitutional Court made the proposal to the Council of Ministers to harmonise the Rules of investigation and registration of occupational accidents and occupational diseases with provisions of the Labour Code of the Republic of Belarus and other legislative acts of the Republic of Belarus concerning legal regulation of settlement of disputes related to investigation of occupational accidents.
The position of the Constitutional Court was implemented in the Resolution of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus of 14 April 2014 No. 348 «On Making Addenda and Alterations to the Resolution No. 30 of the Council of Ministers of 15 January 2004». The new wording of para 78 of the Rules stipulates that the issues related to the refusal of the employer, insured, organisation to establish an appropriate act (including the non-recognition of the fact of an accident, refusal to carry out its investigation), or disagreement of the victim or the individual representing his interests, person committing violation of acts of the labour legislation and labour protection, technical normative legal acts, local normative legal acts, that led to the accident, the insured with the content of the said act shall be considered upon their application directly in the court session. Taking into account the alterations made to para 80 of the Rules the opinion of the state labour inspector also shall be subject of appeal in court in accordance with the legislation.
An alteration was made to the Rules providing for the possibility of abolition of the opinion of the state labour inspector directly by the court (para 82). In much the same way the procedure of settlement of disputes concerning occupational diseases and investigation and registration of fatal occupational diseases and group occupational diseases (para 84) was modified.
3. The execution of the Decision of the Constitutional Court of 7 April 2011 «On the Position of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Belarus on the Act of the Republic of Poland on the Pole’s Card» made in the exercise of its powers to state its position on conformity of the documents adopted (issued) by foreign states, international organisations and (or) their bodies and affecting the interests of the Republic of Belarus to generally recognised principles and rules of international law upon proposals of the President of the Republic of Belarus, the House of Representatives and the Council of the Republic of the National Assembly of the Republic Belarus, the Council of Ministers of the Republic Belarus.
Thus, the conclusions of the Constitutional Court were taken into account in the laws of the Republic of Belarus of 4 January 2014 «On Making Alterations and Addenda to Certain Laws of the Republic of Belarus on the Activities of the Internal Affairs Bodies of the Republic of Belarus», of 1 July 2014 «On Making Alterations and Addenda to Certain Laws of the Republic of Belarus on Military Service (Service)», of 11 July 2014 «On Making Alterations and Addenda to the Laws of the Republic of Belarus on the Activities of the State Control Committee Bodies», of  31 December 2014 «On Making Alterations and Addenda to Certain Laws of the Republic of Belarus».
The rules of these laws prohibit the deputies of local councils of deputies, employees of the internal affairs bodies, employees of bodies and units for emergency situations, employees of financial investigation bodies and military men (except for individuals performing military service under conscription) from receiving documents from foreign countries granting the right to privileges and benefits due to political views, religious beliefs or national origin, as well as from enjoying such benefits and privileges, unless otherwise is provided by international treaties of the Republic of Belarus.
The Constitutional Court, analysing the practice of the execution of its decisions, draws attention to the necessity of its timely and full execution and, thereby, of maintaining public confidence in the justice and activities of state bodies that would indicate observance of the constitutional requirements on the protection of the human rights and freedoms and ensuring the guarantees of their exercise by the rule-making bodies (officials). The constitutional review as one of the most important instruments for the formation of the state based on the rule of law, focuses the rule-making and law-enforcement bodies on the realisation of the constitutional provisions, consistent implementation of the principles and rules of the Constitution, prevention of legal uncertainty legal gaps and collisions in the rule-making and law-enforcement, and thereby contributes to ensuring the constitutional legality and formation of the legal culture in the public consciousness.
 
V
1. When assessing the constitutional legality in rule-making and law-enforcement, the Constitutional Court notes the positive trends of the system ensuring of the supremacy of the Constitution in the legislation and the constitutional legal order in all fields of the state and public life.
The analysis of the cases and other materials examined and considered by the Constitutional Court shows observance and development of the constitutional principles and rules in the legislative process, ensuring the rule of law, improving the efficiency of the constitutional legal regulation.
2. 55 laws adopted by the House of Representatives of the National Assembly of the Republic of Belarus and approved by the Council of the Republic of the National Assembly of the Republic of Belarus before their signing by the President of the Republic of Belarus were reviewed by the Constitutional Court in 2014 in the exercise of the preliminary review and were recognised in general as conforming to the Constitution.
Legal gaps, legal uncertainty and collisions revealed in some laws shall be eliminated by the legislator in the course of further improvement of legal regulation of appropriate relations.
3. The dynamism of social and economic processes determines the need for timely and sometimes anticipatory legal regulation of social relations. It should be taken into account that the stable fundamental constitutional provisions on the constitutional order, human rights and freedoms are the constitutional basis for a promising and dynamic legislative regulation.
Legal regulation of social relations need taking into account the fundamental constitutional principle of the priority of human rights and freedoms, the rule of law, equality and justice, that will consistently guide the legislative process on the development of constitutional values ​​and the achievement of constitutional goals.
4. At present the requirement of certainty of legal rules, full and consistent enshrining of normative will becomes more and more important and that is an important condition for the ordering of social life, conscious subordination of the individual to the law.
The Constitutional Court has consistently drawn attention of rule-making bodies to the need for unconditional observance of the principle of legal certainty, according to which any normative legal act shall be definite, effectively influence the public relations and establish proportionate legal regulation. At the same time precise, clear and unambiguous statement of legal rules setting exact requirements for the actions of individuals and legal entities, limits of possible, due and prohibited conduct is required.
5. Legislative and organisational measures adopted in recent times in order to improve the judicial system and legal proceedings are aimed at ensuring fair justice, expansion of the individual’s access to judicial protection of their rights and legitimate interests.
In the decisions of the Constitutional Court it has repeatedly stated that free and unimpeded access to justice enshrined in international instruments is an achievement of modern civilisation, an integral part of the fundamental constitutional right of individuals and legal entities to judicial protection.
The Constitutional Court finds that at present in order to ensure free access to justice, it is reasonable to publish legislative acts affecting the human rights and freedoms in two state languages ­– Belarusian and Russian – in accordance with Article 17 of the Constitution on the equality of the two official languages.
6. The legislation shall ensure consistency of legal regulation on the basis on the fundamental constitutional values ​​and constitutional principles, form the people's confidence in law.
With the entry of the Republic of Belarus in the Eurasian Economic Union issues of predictability of legal regulation, correlation of national and supranational legislation have become actual.
Therefore the Constitutional Court draws attention of the legislator to the necessity of absolute observance of the supremacy of the Constitution in the legislative process, consistent development of constitutional values and principles that permits to achieve a flexible, dynamic and extremely precise modern legal regulation which meets at most the needs of the society and the State..
7. In order to ensure constitutional legality constant purposeful activity of all state bodies and officials on management of state affairs and human life in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution, and on the part of individuals ‒ faithful and responsible execution of constitutional duties are required.
At the same time creation of appropriate conditions and equal opportunities for implementation of the rights and freedoms of individuals, legitimate interests of legal entities is an essential function of democratic social state based on the rule of law, formation of which has consistently carried out in the Republic of Belarus.
 
The present Message was adopted at the session of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Belarus on 20 January 2015.
 
Presiding Officer – Petr P. Miklashevich
Chairman of the Constitutional Court Republic of Belarus

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