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of December 18, 2003 No. 13

About application by courts of the legislation on responsibility for offenses against ecological safety and the environment

(as amended on 29-09-2022)

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 environmental protection 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 environmental protection 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 environment.

2. Courts should mean that feature of the precepts of law establishing responsibility for violation of the legislation on environmental protection 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 environmental protection are: The code of the Republic of Belarus about the earth, the Code of the Republic of Belarus about subsoil, the Forest code of the Republic of Belarus, the Water code of the Republic of Belarus; the laws of the Republic of Belarus of November 26, 1992 No. 1982-XII "About environmental protection", of July 10, 2007 No. 257-Z "About fauna", of November 15, 2018 No. 150-Z "About especially protected natural territories", of December 16, 2008 No. 2-Z "About protection of atmospheric air", of June 14, 2003 No. 205-Z "About flora", of May 26, 2012 No. 385-Z "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 No. 399-Z "About the state environmental assessment, strategic ecological assessment and environmental impact assessment", of November 12, 2001 No. 56-Z "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 regulatory legal act 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 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. No. 6 is excluded according to the Resolution of the Plenum of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Belarus of 29.09.2022

7. Draw the attention of courts that documents, and also things which are the tool or means of making of administrative offense, found in case of administrative detention, personal search or survey 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. If pollution of natural object was caused by non-compliance with safety requirements in case of production, storage, use, transportation, burial or other address with radioactive, bacteriological, chemicals or production wastes and consumption, then the deeds shall attract administrative or criminal liability only for abuse of regulations of safety in case of the treatment of ecologically dangerous substances and waste. If during the designing, placement, construction, commissioning, preservation, dismantle, demolition or in use industrial, scientific or other facilities violations of requirements of ecological safety were allowed that entailed spoil of lands, pollution of waters, the woods, atmospheric air, entailed the death of the person or disease of people on imprudence, or caused damage in especially large size, then responsibility of perpetrators shall come according to Art. 265 of the Criminal code of the Republic of Belarus (further – UK).

In case of making of one act which caused pollution of several natural objects (lands, waters, the woods, atmospheric air), the deeds in the presence of the bases and conditions of responsibility forms set of the corresponding offenses.

9. No. 9 is excluded according to the Resolution of the Plenum of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Belarus of 27.09.2018

10. No. 9 is excluded according to the Resolution of the Plenum of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Belarus of 27.09.2018

11. No. 9 is excluded according to the Resolution of the Plenum of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Belarus of 27.09.2018


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