2010 16/02
Cуд без судзьдзі ... Рашэньне - без вырашэньня

Court - without justice. Decision - ...

As it became known, as soon as on 11.02.2010 at 10-30, the day after the pre-trial proceedings, practically on the fly, without even letting the applicants to undress after entering the court room, Judge of Zhodzina Town Court Tatsiana Tratsiuk announced her final decision.

In her decision, the judge, refusing to hear the case on the merits of the presented facts of offenses and obstacles in implementing the right of Belarusian language education (which is obvious and requires only a timely response from the court and prosecutors as the means of protection of the abused Constitutional right), ignoring the offenses by officials of different levels listed by the applicants, focusing exclusively on the procedural rule (which, incidentally, can be considered only in case of rejection of the claim by the parents of Yanka Lapitski and its treatment as a common complaint with significantly more procedural restrictions), in fact refused to consider the claim of by the parents of deprived of their right to educate their son in the native state language.

Thus, Zhodzina court decided to close its eyes to the facts of alleged offenses and the requests made during the process demanding the restoration of the right to education and not to consider them as a full-scale claim of legal proceedings, focusing on one of the illegal documents, decision № 928 by Zhodzina executive committee, to consider the claim as a complaint, which could then simply be remove without awaiting one month after receiving a negative response from a higher authority in the course of a binding non-judicial appeal.

Moreover, according to the participant of the process Aliaksei Lapitski, there was some kind of hastily thrust towards an early completion of the process. After all, the applicants were not even given the opportunity to get acquainted with the new documents submitted by the defendant. No time was allocated for that, the documents were not read out, and the materials of the case were not made public. Because of this, the participants of the process were not provided with a timely opportunity, at the trial, to review and respond to the important document, a letter of instruction from the Head of the Chief Department of Education of Minsk Regional Executive Committee Taisiya Danilevich. This resolution the latter ordered the head of Zhodzina town education department Yauhen Haryda to take measures to eliminate Belarusian-language classes in gymnasium № 1 of Zhodzina.

It was not clear why the applicants of the claim (which is valid for 3 years), who are in the process of judicial protection of abuses by officials at all levels of the right to teach their son in his native state language, throws out an absurd charge of a skipping a one-month procedural term after a negative response to their complaint against Taisiya Danilevich (commissioner or co-author of the abrupt decision) in the course of non-judicial solution to the problem.

The artificiality and the far-fetchedness of the motivation used by Zhodzina court for denying the claim, which was aimed at recognition of the actions and inaction of officials as illegal, impeding the exercise of the right to education in the Belarusian language in Zhodzina, the restoration of the inalienable Constitutional right, is quite obvious . The focus of the court on the adjustment of the judicial procedure to the procedural restrictions proposed by a representative of the executive committee and on redemption of victims’ right to a full judicial protection, is really lamentable.

After making an extremely intelligible in such circumstances decision, the adventure of the applicants in Zhodzina court were not over. In preparation for the cassation appeal of the verdict, it turned out that they did not even have a right to study the transcript of the hearing or make any comments. During the following meetings and talks with Judge Tatsiana Tratsiuk, it became clear that the applicants would not be able to see the minutes until the filing of an appeal (!?).

An inquiry made by Aliaksei Lapitski on 12.02.2010, was replied to on 16.02.2010 by document #2730, in which Judge Tatsiana Tratsiuk explained that the decision to dismiss the complaint had been made due to the skipping of the procedural term and did not require any argumentation because there it was already motivated. In addition, it was allegedly passed on the merits of the claims submitted… (!?) She also stressed that the absence of the trial minutes and the inability to study them were not an obstacle for the timely submission of an appeal. Procedural deadlines would not be suspended because of it. And the applicants should submit an appeal within 10 days after the announcement of the decision, which took place on 11.02.2010…


Thus, Zhodzina Court dismissed the lawsuit by Yanka Lapitski’s parents for restoration of the right to teach their son in the mother tongue. From the outset, the lawsuit focused by the efforts of Judge Tatsiana Tratsiuk was reduced to the status of an ordinary complaint against decision № 928 by Zhodzina executive committee, which allowed using the above-mentioned restricted deadline. This enabled Zhodzina Court to show a clear “pro-government flexibility” and with its “almost invisible” but assertive measures, even at the cost of its own image and violations of procedures, to once again irresponsibly implement the task ordered from above and to announce another negative verdict.

Meanwhile, the court did not take into account explanations by the applicants that, following the reply by Taisiya Danilevich (who, as it was found out later, was also an immediate co-author of all the discriminatory resolutions) the right of the parents to educate their son in Belarusian at Gymnasium № 1 was not actually implemented. For during this time (until late 2009) a compromise agreement was to operate, which compensated the discriminatory contents of Decision № 928. Then the officials committed one-sided and gross violations and did not perform the above-mentioned compromise opportunity. The parents of Yanka Lapitski through applications to high agencies and the prosecutor’s office tried to stop the obstacles in their son’s teaching at school.

Once it became clear that the compromise agreement failed to function and it would be impossible to restore the status quo before the end of the year (validity period of a certificate) through the efforts of non-judicial settlement of the problem, that the right to education continued to be deliberately and with perfect impunity violated (the prosecutor’s office failed to take adequate steps) and the threat of the renewal of the discriminatory decision number 928 was evident, the parents immediately filed a lawsuit in order to protect themselves and their son from continuing discrimination on ethnic, linguistic and political grounds.

In such circumstances, one can only once again regret that the professional expertise and the ability of those who must be principled and vigilant in the protection of civil rights, especially as guaranteed by the Constitution and treaties of the country, in practice were not used as intended.

Professionalism is at the service of the power and its bureaucratic interests. Courts in Belarus, as it can be seen, have not been given any orders, in violation of a universal ideology, to protect the rights of opponents of the long-lasting political regime. They have forgotten, when they last protected the civil rights abused by “always correct” executive power, when they refused to serve the interests of pro-government minority for the sake of common people.

Meanwhile, an official in office almost every day here and there in terms of ideological expediency continues with impunity to restrict the generally accepted democratic standards, civil rights and freedoms, to humiliate the dignity of citizens of Belarus, to steal their dream and inalienable right to live with dignity, peacefully and prosperously in their own polite and hospitable, comfortable home – a free, democratic and legal state.

Documents in Belarusian language:

Yan’s parents plaintiff statement in Zhodzina court from 28.12.2009

Zhodzina court decision from 11.02.2010

Judgement and statements from records of court

Statement after acquainting of court record … with denial of justice

Ліст-прадпісаньне па закрыцьці беларускае клясы ад Таісы Данілевіч (Менск)

Letter from the Head of the Chief Department of Education of Minsk Regional Executive Committee Taisiya Danilevichwith with demand to close Belarusian-language class in Zhodzina Gymnasium #1 of Zhodzina.

Ales Volny,

Belarusian Legal Portal,


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