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CONCLUSION OF THE CONSTITUTIONAL COURT OF THE REPUBLIC OF BELARUS

of March 11, 2004 No. Z-171/2004

About compliance of the Constitution of the Republic of Belarus and to international treaties of the Republic of Belarus of the provisions of the Criminal code of the Republic of Belarus providing application as punishment of capital punishment

Constitutional court of the Republic of Belarus as a part of the chairman - the Chairman of the Constitutional Court Vasilevich G. A., vice-chairman Maryskin A. V., Vorobey G. A. judges., Kenik K. I., Podgrusha V. V., Sarkisovoy E.A., Tikovenko A. G., Filipchik R. I., G.B. Cone, Shuklina V. Z.

with participation of representatives:

The Houses of Representatives of National assembly of the Republic of Belarus - Kibaka I. A., vice-chairman of the Permanent commission of the House of Representatives of National assembly of the Republic of Belarus on homeland security; Nareyko A. I., member of the Permanent commission of the House of Representatives of National assembly of the Republic of Belarus on the industry, fuel and energy complex, transport, communication and entrepreneurship; Domorada A. A., head of department of international law of the Main expert legal department of the Secretariat of the House of Representatives of National assembly of the Republic of Belarus;

Council of the Republic of National assembly of the Republic Belaruskarpovich N. A., chief of the Main expert legal department of the Secretariat of Council of the Republic of National assembly of the Republic of Belarus

considered in proceeding in open court case "About compliance of the Constitution of the Republic of Belarus and to international treaties of the Republic of Belarus of the provisions of the Criminal code of the Republic of Belarus providing application as punishment of capital punishment".

Took part in judicial session:

Miklashevich P. P. is the First Deputy Chairman of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Belarus; Ivanovsky A. V. - deputy attorney general of the Republic of Belarus; Petrash A. S. - First Deputy Minister of Justice of the Republic of Belarus.

The House of Representatives of National assembly suggested the Constitutional Court to draw the conclusion about compliance of the Constitution of the Republic of Belarus and to international treaties of the Republic of Belarus of the provisions of the Criminal code of the Republic of Belarus providing application as punishment of capital punishment.

Having heard the judge-speaker Sarkisova E. A., agents of the parties, having analysed provisions of the Constitution of the Republic of Belarus, international treaties of the Republic of Belarus, other international legal acts, regulations of the Criminal code of the Republic of Belarus (further - UK) and practice of their application, having estimated line items of state bodies and scientists, having studied other materials, the Constitutional Court established the following.

It is provided in article 24 of the Constitution accepted on March 15, 1994 that everyone has the right to life. The state protects human life from any illegal encroachments. Capital punishment before its cancellation can be applied according to the law as exceptional measure of punishment for especially serious crimes and only according to the court verdict.

This regulation of the Constitution for the first time in the Republic of Belarus affirmed the inalienable right of each person to life and obligation of the state to provide protection of human life against any illegal encroachments. For the purpose of ensuring protection of human right on life the Constitution allowed application of punishment in the form of capital punishment, having specified at the same time its exceptional and temporary nature.

According to part one of article 8 of the Constitution the Republic of Belarus recognizes priority of the conventional principles of international law and provides compliance to them of the legislation.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights as the priority right of each person proclaimed the right to life (Article 3). This right is proclaimed and guaranteed by other international acts.

In particular, it is provided in article 6 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights ratified by the Republic of Belarus that the right to life is the inalienable right of each person. This right is protected by the law. Nobody can be randomly deprived of life. In the countries which did not abolish the death penalty death penalties can be pronounced only for the most serious crimes according to the law which was effective during crime execution (Items 1, of 2).

By the pact it is determined that capital punishment shall have exclusive character, its application is justified only for the most non-capital offenses and in case of the limited group of people to which this punishment can be applied. The aspiration of the states to cancellation of this punishment is also enshrined in the Pact and development of their legislation in this direction is kept.

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