2008 19/12

Alaksiej LapickiOn 16 December Aliaksei Lapitski, human rights activists from Zhodzina, finally received a reply to his claim to the House of Representatives of the National Assembly of the Republic of Belarus #04-04/307 of 11 November, 2008, signed by M.Samaseika. (see attached materials)

His previous address of 23.12.2008 to the Parliament at the suggestion of the Constitutional Court was left without reply.

It was essential that in the absence of any possibility for Belarusian citizens to appeal to the Constitutional Court directly, the Parliament itself would make such an appeal as an authorized subject of law (according to a reply from the Constitutional Court #05-07/910 of 03.12.2007).

However, in his reply, M.Samaseika failed to mention the opportunity. He only commented on how much the suggested amendments could be technically or legally feasible. Still, there seems to be a general consensus on the essence of the possible amendments (including a number of contradictions and violations of both the Belarusian Constitution and the standards of international legislation in the field of human rights).

At the same time, the reply does not mention the possibility of an individual appeal to the Court, and has nothing to do with amendments to the Constitution, but regular changes of the existing legislation, which is the direct function of the Parliament.

Thus, the reply seems to be another case of bureaucratic runaround.

The Parliament, as a subject of legislative power, being extremely formal in implementing its obligation of replying to individual claims, failed to show awareness of the essence of the matter and evaded assuming the responsibility of initiating hearings on possible amendments to the Constitution to meet the universally acknowledged principles in the field of civil rights and freedoms. Thus, the issues that are in direct competence of the Parliament were left unattended.

The vicious circle is closed. It once again shows that the system of ‘supreme personable agency’ (by the Parliament, the President or the Government) concerning the issues dealing with the personal rights and freedoms of Belarusian citizens has come to a deadlock. The citizen, being a valid subject of law (in the filed of rights and freedoms), is at the same time deprived of any possibility to use a high-quality court control and protection.

Under these circumstances, the law enforcement and judicial system of Belarus cannot function efficiently. The pre-historic procedure of endless redirection on the way to the Constitutional Court turns the system of constitutional control into a meaningless bureaucratic fuss. Meanwhile, the citizens is for no reason deprived of his legitimate right to direct appeal to the authorized judicial body (the Constitutional Court) and therefore of any possibility of efficient protection of his rights.

Thus, the initiative of the human rights activist is unable to break the impenetrable wall of the existing bureaucratic system in the country. His repeat appeal of 18 November 2008 failed to bring any results whatsoever, his bold intention remaining an enthusiast’s dream.

Aliaksei Lapitski’s primary objective is to attract public and expert attention to the initiation of a wide, many-stage dialogue on the above-mentioned issues and the eventual amendments to the existing legislation.

His immediate priority is the legalization of direct individual appeal to the Constitutional Court of Belarus.

Besides, the human rights activist intends to receive a substantial feedback concerning the issue, both from the Constitutional Court and the Parliament.

Supplementary materials (Russian and Belarusian):

  1. Repeat appeal to the Parliament of the Republic of Belarus
  2. Reply from the House of Representatives of the National Assembly of the Republic of Belarus

Ales Volny,


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