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, 27 1996. English,

Constitution of the Republic of Belarus of 1994. (with alterations and amendments adopted at the republican referendums of November 24, 1996 and of October 17, 2004)

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Constitution of the Republic of Belarus of 1994

 

(with alterations and amendments adopted at the republican referendums of November 24, 1996 and of October 17, 2004)

We, the People of the Republic of Belarus, (of Belarus), proceeding from the assumption of responsibility for the present and future of Belarus, recognizing ourselves as a full-fledged subject of the international community and conforming our adherence to values common to all mankind, founding ourselves on our inalienable right to self-determination, supported by the centuries-long history of development of Belarusian state-hood, striving to assert the rights and freedoms of every citizen of the Republic of Belarus, desiring to maintain civic concord, stable foundations of government by the people and a state based on the rule of law, hereby adopt and enact this Constitution as the Fundamental Law of the Republic of Belarus.

Section 1. Principles of the Constitutional System
Article1.The Republic of Belarus is a unitary, democratic, social state based on the rule of law.

The Republic of Belarus exercises supreme control and absolute authority over the whole of its territory, and shall implement an independent internal and foreign policy.

The Republic of Belarus shall defend its independence and territorial integrity, its constitutional system, and safeguard legality and law and order.
Article2.The individual, his rights, freedoms and guarantees for their attainment manifest the supreme goal and value of society and the State.

The State shall bear responsibility towards the citizen to create the conditions for the free and dignified development of his identity. The citizen bears a responsibility towards the State to discharge unwaveringly the duties imposed upon him by the Constitution.
Article3.The people shall be the sole source of state power and the repository of sovereignty in the Republic of Belarus. The people shall exercise their power directly through representative and other bodies in the forms and within the bounds specified by the Constitution.

Any actions aimed at changing the constitutional system and seizing state power by forcible means or by way of any other violation of the laws of the Republic of Belarus shall be punishable by law.
Article4.Democracy in the Republic of Belarus shall be exercised on the basis of diversity of political institutions, ideologies and views.

The ideology of political parties, religious or other public associations, social groups may not be made mandatory for citizens.
Article5.Political parties and other public associations acting within the framework of the Constitution and laws of the Republic of Belarus, shall contribute towards ascertaining and expressing the political will of the citizens and participate in elections.

Political parties and other public associations shall have the right to use state mass media under the procedure determined by the legislation.

The creation and activities of political parties and other public associations that aim to change the constitutional system by force, or conduct a propaganda of war, social, ethnic, religious and racial hatred, shall be prohibited.
Article6.State power in the Republic of Belarus is exercised on the principle of division of powers between the legislature, executive and judiciary. State bodies within the confines of their powers, shall be independent: they shall co-operate among themselves acting on the principle of checks and balances.
Article7.The Republic of Belarus shall be bound by the principle of supre-macy of law.

The State and all the bodies and officials thereof shall operate within the confines of the Constitution and the laws enacted in accordance therewith.

Legal enactments or specific provisions thereof which are deemed under procedure specified in law to be contrary to the provisions of the Constitution shall have no legal force.

Enforceable enactments of state bodies shall be published or promulgated by some means specified in law.
Article8.The Republic of Belarus shall recognize the supremacy of the universally acknowledged principles of international law and ensure that its laws comply with such principles.

The Republic of Belarus in conformity with principles of international law may on a voluntary basis enter interstate formations and withdraw from them.

The conclusion of international treaties that are contrary to the Constitution shall not be permitted.
Article9.The territory of the Republic of Belarus shall be the natural condition of the existence and spatial limit of the people’s self-determination, and the basis for its prosperity and the sovereignty of the Republic of Belarus.

The territory of Belarus shall be unified and inalienable.

The territory shall be divided into regions (oblasts), districts, cities and other administrative-territorial units. The administrative-territorial division of the State is determined by the legislation.
Article10. A citizen of the Republic of Belarus shall be guaranteed the protection and patronage of the State both on the territory of Belarus and beyond.

No one may be deprived of citizenship of the Republic of Belarus or the right to change his citizenship.

A citizen of the Republic of Belarus may not be extradited to a foreign state, unless otherwise stipulated in international treaties to which the Republic of Belarus is party.

Citizenship shall be acquired or lost in accordance with the law.
Article11.Foreign nationals and stateless persons on the territory of Belarus shall enjoy rights and liberties and execute duties on equal terms with the citizens of the Republic of Belarus, unless otherwise specified in the Constitution, the laws and international treaties.
Article12.The Republic of Belarus may grant the right of asylum to persons persecuted in other states for political or religious beliefs or their ethnic affiliation.
Article13.Property may be the ownership of the state or private.

The State shall grant equal rights to all to conduct economic and other activities, other than those prohibited by law, and guarantee equal protection and equal conditions for the development of all forms of ownership.

The State shall promote the development of co-operation.

The State shall guarantee to every one equal opportunities for free utilisation of abilities and assets for business and other types of economic activities which are not banned by the law.

The State shall regulate economic activities on behalf of the individual and society, and shall ensure the direction and co-ordination of state and private economic activity for social purposes.

The mineral wealth, waters and forests are the sole and exclusive property of the State. The land for agricultural use is the property of the State.

The law may specify facilities that may be the property of the State alone, or specify the special terms for their transition to private ownership, or grant the State an exclusive right to conduct certain types of activity.

The State shall guarantee the workers the right to participate in the management of enterprises, organizations and establishments to enhance their efficiency and improve social and economic living standards.
Article14.The State shall regulate relations among social, ethnic and other communities on the basis of the principles of equality before the law and respect of their rights and interests.

The relations in the social sphere and in labour between the organs of state management, associations of employers and trade unions shall be exercised on the principles of social partnership and interaction of parties.
Article15.The State shall bear responsibility for preserving the historic, cultural and spiritual heritage, and the free development of the cultures of all the ethnic communities that live in the Republic of Belarus.
Article16.Religions and faiths shall be equal before the law.

Relations between the State and religious organizations shall be regulated by the law with regard to their influence on the formation of the spiritual, cultural and state traditions of the Belarusian people.

The activities of confessional organizations, their bodies and representatives, that are directed against the sovereignty of the Republic of Belarus, its constitutional system and civic harmony, or involve a violation of civil rights and liberties of its citizens as well as impede the execution of state, public and family duties by its citizens or are detrimental to their health and morality shall be prohibited.
Article17.The Belarusian and Russian languages shall be the official languages of the Republic of Belarus
Article18.In its foreign policy the Republic of Belarus shall proceed from the principles of the equality of states, the non-use of force or the threat of force, the inviolability of frontiers, the peaceful settlement of disputes, non-interference in internal affairs of states and other universally acknowledged principles and standards of international law.

The Republic of Belarus pledges itself to make its territory a neutral, nuclear-free state.
Article19.The symbols of the Republic of Belarus as a sovereign state shall be its national flag, national emblem and national anthem.
Article20.The capital of the Republic of Belarus is the city of Minsk. The status of the city of Minsk shall be determined by the law.

Section 2. The Individual, Society and the State

Article21.Safeguarding the rights and liberties of the citizens of the Republic of Belarus shall be the supreme goal of the State.

Every individual shall exercise the right to a dignified standard of living, including appropriate food, clothing, housing and likewise a continuous improvement of necessary living conditions.

The State shall guarantee the rights and liberties of the citizens of Belarus that are enshrined in the Constitution and the laws, and specified in the state’s international obligations.

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