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March 2nd, 2007. Posted in Author's articles

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In Belarus in a new legislation will involve in the administrative responsibility. In process will not suppose legal experts

Since March, 1st, 2007 have come into force the remedially-executive code of Belarus about administrative offences and the new code of Belarus about administrative offences.

If the remedially-executive code of Belarus about administrative offences has been accepted by the House of Representatives on November, 9th, 2006 and approved by Council of Republic on December, 1st, 2006 the new code of Belarus about administrative offences has been accepted by the House of Representatives of 17 more December, 2002 and approved by Council of Republic on April, 2nd, 2003, but has come into force only in March, 2007. The new administrative code became not only the champion on duration of term almost in 4 years from the moment of its acceptance before coming into force, but also on frequency of changes in not come into force law. For this time twenty five times were made changes and additions to the given code. Here such paradox. The law has not come into force, and already twenty five times “repaired” it.

As a whole it is possible to welcome acceptance of new codes. For example, in the remedial code are in more detail painted the order of attraction to the administrative responsibility, the appeal of decisions about attraction to the administrative responsibility, norms of punishment below the minimal punishment for those who has repented are entered and has compensated harm.

There is also an essential lack of the remedially-executive code – represent interests of the physical person, subjected to the official penalty, the lawyer that deprives practically with an opportunity involved to the administrative responsibility of a real legal protection can only. Well-known, what render legal aid in Belarus the “state” lawyers can only. The institute of private lawyers is liquidated. Therefore legal aid in Belarus is expensive and ineffective. Earlier interests of the person involved in the administrative responsibility, legal experts and other persons at the choice of made answerable could represent. Restriction of the rights of the person involved in the administrative responsibility in a choice of the defender, obviously discrimination measure since even in criminal trial attraction as the defender of the relative from the sanction of court is supposed.

Unfortunately, restrictions of the rights of the citizen on protection in criminal, and now and administrative process, is the general tendency of legislative policy of our state.

Attentively having studied the given codes, the impression that they are written well, even in view of the international norms is made, but there is a deposit, that we are deceived somewhere. And where we shall see, when codes will start to apply in full?

For example, in the new administrative code there is no responsibility for distribution of the leaflets directed to protection of the rights of citizens. Earlier this norm was, though and in the camouflaged kind. There are no also other ant constitutional measures of the administrative responsibility which were earlier in the administrative code. It guards. It is not trusted, that our state will suddenly refuse the most severe reprisals for attempt of realization of the rights of citizens on freedom of peace processions, assemblies and demonstrations, on a freedom of speech, statements of opinions, etc. All in codes too correctly and is beautifully written, but is somehow artificial. Most likely, enforcement practice will put all an expert on the places.

The sums of penalties under the new code, certainly, huge in comparison with our wages at 5-10 base sizes a month. Now the administrative court can seize property on account of maintenance of the future penalty. However, for physical persons the maximal sum of the penalty is limited in 50 base sizes (about 750 US dollars), it is already easier, since A.Lukashenka has entered earlier penalties the decree up to 300 base sizes on heterodoxies of citizens (for meeting, assembly, etc.). It is a lot or a little? Certainly it is much. I shall remind, that before A.Lukashenka’s coming to authority the maximal sum of the administrative penalty imposed on citizens has been established by the law no more than 10 rubles (at an average payment in 180 rubles).

The maximal size of confiscations at citizens is not limited by court of property. It is clear, since at us in Belarus very much a greater network of shops on sale of the confiscated goods. It is the whole industry. This is one of components of Belarus economic “miracle” – confiscation of property under any pretext and its further resale. It is so easier to receive the income, than to build factories and to make production.

Now courts will give as much as possible for 25 day of administrative arrest, instead of 15 day earlier. Perhaps, the legislator considers, that 25 day is better, than 15. And, it is not clear: from what to pay money for contents on day in detention centre if obligatory attraction to paid work of prisoners is absent. What to do, if the citizen does not work, how the majority of Byelorussians today? Will select money at his family and children for the contents in detention centre? Earlier in the administrative code there was a norm about obligatory attraction to paid work of the persons, subjected to the official penalty in the form of administrative arrest. From the earned money he could pay for the contents. And how is it now? Now such norm from the code has cleaned.

“Reefs” in these codes much. We shall hope that lacks of codes will be removed. For now the militia does not know, under what article of the new administrative code to involve citizens for distribution of information leaflets and other propaganda material.

Valery Levaneuski

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Note: Translated by means of machine translation. The original text in Russian is on a site www.levonevsky.org or www.levonevski.net
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