of December 18, 2003 No. 13
About application by courts of the legislation on responsibility for offenses against ecological safety and the environment
Having discussed practice of consideration by courts of cases on responsibility for offenses against ecological safety and the environment, for the purpose of ensuring the correct and uniform application of the legislation the Plenum of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Belarus
1. Draw the attention of courts that strict observance of the legislation on protection of the surrounding environment is condition of providing ecological safety and rational use of natural resources. Owing to this fact by hearing of cases about violation of the law about protection of the surrounding environment it is necessary to provide comprehensive and complete investigation of circumstances of illegal act, to consider nature of the come effects, not to allow unreasonable release of guilty persons from responsibility, and also from compensation of the damage caused by harmful effects on the surrounding environment.
2. Courts should mean that feature of the precepts of law establishing responsibility for violation of the legislation on protection of the surrounding environment is their referential and blanket nature. Therefore in case of their application it is necessary to address the regulatory legal acts and international treaties of the Republic of Belarus governing the relations in the field of protection and rational use of natural objects and also procedure for compensation of damage suffered.
3. The main regulatory legal acts in the field of protection of the surrounding environment are: The code of the Republic of Belarus about the earth, the Code about subsoil, the Forest code, the Water code; Laws of the Republic of Belarus: of November 26, 1992. "About environmental protection" (with subsequent changes and amendments), of July 10, 2007. "About fauna", of October 20, 1994. "About especially protected natural territories" (with subsequent changes and amendments), of December 16, 2008. "About protection of atmospheric air", of June 14, 2003. "About flora", of May 26, 2012. "About legal regime of the territories which underwent to radioactive pollution as a result of catastrophic crash on the Chernobyl NPP" of July 18, 2016. "About the state environmental assessment, strategic ecological assessment and environmental impact assessment", of November 12, 2001. "About protection of ozone layer", and also the resolutions of Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus, acts of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection accepted according to them and other representatives on that state bodies.
4. In procedural documents (the protocol on administrative offense, the resolution on imposing of administrative punishment, the resolution on attraction as the person accused, the action for declaration, to motivation part of the judgment (in case of its creation), sentence) it shall be specified what requirements of the regulation are not observed in what violations of the nature protection legislation what harm is done were specifically expressed or it could be caused to the surrounding environment or its separate objects. At the same time the illegality of act caused by blanket sign is determined taking into account provisions of regulatory legal act which was effective on the date of act making.
5. Courts need to establish causal relationship between committed actions (failure to act) and the come harmful effects or between act and emergence of threat of causing physical or ecological harm and to find out whether these effects are caused by other factors and whether they came regardless of the established violation, and also whether actions in emergency condition are made is equal.
Elimination by perpetrators of effects of violation and reduction of natural object in initial condition is not the basis for release them from responsibility for the allowed offense. If the damage suffered was not eliminated or compensated before consideration of the case, the court shall take measures for its compensation.
6. Courts should mean that the basis of criminal liability for crimes with signs of administrative pre-judiction is intentional making guilty the act prohibited by the penal statute. Making in such cases of act on imprudence within year after imposing of administrative punishment for the same violation, in the absence of effects in the form of disease of people, death or damnification in large size, attracts the administrative responsibility.
7. Draw the attention of courts that documents, and also things which are the tool or means of making of administrative offense, found during detention, personal inspection or examination of things shall be taken to court together with the protocol on administrative offense or remain the body which constituted it before consideration of the case in court. In case of pronouncement of the resolution they are subject to attaching to case papers, the non-paid address to property of the state or destruction.
8. Explain to courts that it is necessary to understand change of quality of fertile layer of earth, external and structural condition of the wood, receipt in water object of pollutants (the household, production waste, sewage) breaking structure and properties of water as the pollution of lands, waters, the woods, the atmosphere attracting approach of administrative or criminal liability, including owing to operation at the companies of defective treatment facilities, abuses of regulations of transportation, storage, use of mineral fertilizers and other medicines, receipt in the atmosphere with exceeding of the established standard rates of the maximum permissible or temporarily approved emissions of pollutants, ionizing radiation, and also electromagnetic, noise or other harmful effects on it with exceeding of standard rates of maximum permissible level.
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