2012 02/01
Павал Левінаў, Віцебск

Paval Levinau, Vitsebsk

Vitsebsk human rights activist Paval Levinau tried to defend the rights of individuals, who were under administrative process, for release from responsibility in connection with the expiry of periods of limitations. For this he has appealed to the Constitutional Court. However, the court didn’t start to investigate, whether the norms of the current Code of Administrative Violations contradict the Constitution.

“The Constitutional Court is not authorized to initiate proceedings and to make conclusions on the grounds of citizens’ appeal” – is written in the response received by the human rights activist.

In fact, periods of limitations had disappeared from the Administrative Code after the law of December 28, 2009 “On making amendments and additions to some codes of the Republic of Belarus on the issue of criminal and administrative responsibility” entered into force. According to this law, part 2 of Article 7.6 of the Code of Administrative Offences was accepted in the new version.

In the previous version of the article mentioned a specified period from the date of the offense was stated. In the new investigation of a case after the court’s repeal of a decree as the result of an appeal or protest, the administrative penalty could be imposed only in this period. There is no mentioning of such a period in the current edition of the article. There is only a period mentioned, which is calculated from the date of withdrawal of the regulation.

“In the course of monitoring of the court sessions, there were cases revealed when courts have repeatedly repealed a decision in the cases of administrative violations and sent the case for retrial. Citizens have to pay for their appeals with public customs duty, etc. which is considerably larger than an administrative penalty, and – to defend their innocence all the time “- says Paval Levinau.

“Currently, the Criminal Code of the Republic of Belarus discharges persons from criminal liability in connection with the expiry of periods of limitations, and the Code of Administrative Offences of Republic of Belarus – doesn’t! Isn’t it ridiculous? The period of limitation is defined in the Civil Code of the Republic of Belarus “, – says the human rights activist.

The head of the secretariat of the court, Aliaksandar Karavay, who signed the response received by the human rights activist for his appeal to the Constitutional Court gave the following explanation: “For the citizens there is an indirect access to constitutional justice is defined – with the initiative to test the constitutionality of the act they address the bodies and persons who have rights to make proposals to Constitutional Court of the Republic of Belarus about the constitutionality of acts”.

Thus, as we see from the answer of Aliaksandar Karavay, when a human rights activist wants the Constitutional Court to check anything for compliance with the Constitution, he or she should first address one of the subjects of legislative initiative. These persons are the President, Members of the House of Representatives, the Council of the Republic, Government, and citizens who have the right to vote, not less than 50 thousand people.

Quoting “For Human Rights”,
Prepared by Ales LETA,
Belarusian Legal Portal,

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