2010 24/06
Міжнароднае права правоў чалавеку ...

International low of Human Rights ...

A new periodical devoted to human rights appeared in Belarus. This is a theoretical and practical and informational journal. It is considered that this journal would be interesting for many of those who work with this issue and take interest in international law of human rights, issues of implementation of corresponding international standards of law into national legislation and judicial practice.

Besides of the OHCHR there is also European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg to which citizens of European countries can apply to protect their rights. But so far the Republic of Belarus is not a member of Council of Europe – intergovernmental organization which is aimed to create area of freedom, legitimacy and justice on the European continent. That is why citizens of Belarus do not have an opportunity to submit their complaints to the European Court of Human Rights yet.

Though, existing opportunities of international protection of human rights and freedoms are becoming more real for citizens of the Republic of Belarus. Not being able to find judicial protection inside of the country they apply to the OHCHR. One has to be patient (4-5 years), constantly be in correspondence with both the Committee staff and representatives of Belarusian authorities. However as a rule the result is positive: decision would be taken in favor of a citizen. And with the lapse of time Belarusian authorities will have to implement those decisions …

How should we learn to defend our rights at the national level, and if it does not work out at the national level – at international one? How to learn to do it is one of the main aims of the given bulletin. First of all this periodical is meant to be interesting for people who work with establishment and protection of human rights and freedoms without which democratic constitutional state is impossible. It can be of a certain interest for practicing lawyers, also judges, prosecutors, and police workers. Published materials can also be used for training.

The main aim of the editorial board is legal enlightenment of the population, spreading of knowledge about mechanisms of protection of human rights and freedoms from the legal prospective of international law. Analysis of law enforcement practice shows that courts, even higher courts, do not refer to the international law norms in its decisions. Though, the national law in practice allows doing that. There can be picked out some of the reasons of such behavior.

One of them is that the representatives of the Belarusian Justice do not wish to give priority to the norms of international law when national legislation comes into contradiction with it.

The other one is that many practitioners just do not know the norms of international law because those norms are not in demand. Whereas, the Republic of Belarus recognizes the priority of universally recognizes principles of international law and assures to bring national legislation into correspondence with it (art.8 of the Constitution). In accordance with article 33 of the law “On international agreements of the Republic of Belarus” universally recognized principles of international law and norms of international agreements of the Republic of Belarus which entered into force are the part of the law in force of the Republic of Belarus.

The Republic of Belarus is a member of universally recognized international agreements in the area of human rights and freedoms. This means that the state undertakes to provide the realization of consolidated standards in relation to the people who are under its jurisdiction. Thereby, state guarantees that the activity of state authorities, especially judicial authorities, its decisions and used procedures, will not contradict regulations of the given documents.

But how should be the conformity between international standards and law enforcement practice provided? The answer is obvious: first of all, we should know it, and then – follow it. Therefore, judges, law enforcement agencies, all interested citizens should know texts of international agreements ratified in the Republic of Belarus. Besides of knowing the texts of agreements it is necessary to follow up the interpretation of the norms of international agreements in force which is given by the courts. Thus, the regulations of International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights are interpreted by OHCHR in the form of General Comments in its decisions.

Not less valuable source of international standards is the practice of the European Court of Human Rights. Exactly in its decisions the regulations which give the interpretation of given standards are formulated. Taking into consideration the Belarusian pursuit to enter Council of Europe national law enforcement practice should be verified with the European standards, with the practice of the European Court. Thereupon, I should agree with L. Wildhaber, former President of the European Court of Human Rights, who said that “primary responsibility for providing the protection of human rights and freedoms listed in the Convention laying upon the national authorities, especially courts. That is why it is important that all interested people, representatives of the government, judges and lawyers would be familiar not only with the Convention, but also with the practice of the Court”.

Until now neither considerations of the OHCHR nor the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights has not been published in Belarus. This gap in legal information can be fulfilled by our bulletin. On its pages we are planning to publish the decisions of the OHCHR which are related to the complaints of the Belarusian citizens. In addition to that we will publish the related considerations of the OHCHR. It is supposed to publish some decisions of the European Court of Human Rights which could be interesting for the current legal situation in Belarus. This bulletin is a part of the project “De facto implementation of international obligations of the Republic of Belarus in the field of civil rights and freedoms” which is carried out with the support of Human Rights House Foundation (Norway).

Attachment (rus.)
Human Rights Bulletin №1/2010

Under www.humanrightshouse.org,
prepared by Ales LETA,
Bielarusian Legal Portal,

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