From Vague Ideas to Unclear Reality - the Evolution of Constitutional Control in Belarus in the Context of Its Influence on the Human Rights Situation

University essay from Lunds universitet/Juridiska institutionen

Abstract: The paper aims at discussing the potential of the Belarus’ national mechanism of constitutional control to maintain the adherence of this post-soviet State to national and international human rights standards. At the outset, the paper provides an overview of the theoretical understanding of constitutional control as an appropriate mechanism of protecting and promoting human rights in the context of post-communist societies transiting to the rule of law and outlines the expectations that the respective institutions need to meet in order to be effective to this end. Further, and specifically to the example of Belarus, the paper embraces the process of creation of the national Constitutional Court and follows the evolution of its competence. On the parallel basis, account is made of the development of the human rights related activity of the institution in question at different stages of its existence. As a result of the analysis of these two processes – the evolution of the Court’s status and the institution’s changing commitment to and effectiveness in maintaining the rule of law and the due respect for human rights and freedoms – certain correlations are established between the Court’s competence and its human rights role in the society. Subsequently, the paper provides an overview of the situation of human rights in Belarus, as seen by a number of international human rights mechanisms. This enables us to discuss whether the Belarusian Constitutional Court has succeeded in carrying out its mandate in the field of human rights and whether it moves in the right direction to this end. Ultimately, the paper highlights the principle shortcomings of the Belarusian institution of constitutional control and opens the way for a discussion on how to address these imperfections.

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