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Opinions & Interviews

5 Apr 2019

Belarus’ Supreme Court told to think strategically

Belarus’ Supreme Court told to think strategically

MINSK, 5 April (BelTA) – The Supreme Court should act strategically, stay ahead of the game, and take the initiative. Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko made the statement during the government conference held on 5 April to improve the operation of general jurisdiction courts, BelTA has learned.

The head of state noted that in the course of reforming the court system the Supreme Court was granted authority to decide on organizational support, human resources, and physical infrastructure of Belarusian courts. The Supreme Court is in charge of all aspects of their operation. “I think no country has a system like that. I made the decision because a court system has to be truly independent. We shouldn’t tie it to some aspen pole to prevent it from getting away. I don’t need it,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

The head of state stressed: “The supreme judicial authority has to act strategically, stay ahead of the game, and, most significantly, take the initiative. It is very important for us.” Aleksandr Lukashenko encouraged Belarusian judges to keep an eye on processes going on in the society, particularly in the wake of their rulings in order to determine what needs to be adjusted.

Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed: “Analytical work should also become a priority for the Supreme Court. It is necessary to fully engage the powerful intellectual potential the court has.”

First of all, Aleksandr Lukashenko is convinced, all Belarusian courts should follow unified approaches to enforcing the law. To accomplish the goal, it is necessary to improve the performance of the Plenum and the Presidium of the Supreme Court. Their views should shape the practice of all the law enforcement agencies.

Aleksandr Lukashenko said he would like the new Palace of Justice to regularly host events involving not only Belarusian judges but representatives of other government agencies. This large-scale building was designed to host such meetings, conferences, and roundtable sessions. “You see we’ve built this palace with room to grow for a reason. I’ve rejected several drafts. First of all, I wanted the building to resemble the Palace of Independence. I wanted the same style. I wanted everything here to be genuinely Belarusian,” the president explained.

The head of state also reminded that the Supreme Court had recognized the need to develop a uniform Civil Procedure Code. “But we’ve made no headway into accomplishing this goal over the course of five years. It is understandable that not only the judges should be involved in this work. But since you were the ones to come up with the intuitive and admitted it has to be done, then you should give a nudge to other agencies or at least give me a tip,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said. He is convinced it is time to step up efforts in order to finish the development of the Civil Procedure Code soon.

The president encouraged top officials of the Supreme Court to analyze what was left unfulfilled in the course of the court system reform. The head of state mentioned some of the gaps: “I know that mediation – the opportunity for the sides to reach an amicable agreement before a court ruling – is not very popular. It is an important thing. If it was popular, you would have less work to do. The demand for court of arbitration is low. Let’s try it at last.” Apart from that, according to Aleksandr Lukashenko, Belarus needs a publicly available digital databank of court rulings.

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