MINSK, 24 October (BelTA) – An exhibition dedicated to the 455th anniversary of the Statute of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania of 1566 opened in the National Library of Belarus on 25 October, BelTA learned from the library.
“In November 1551 Grand Duke Sigismund II Augustus gave his consent to set up a legislative committee to improve the Statute of 1529. Mikalaj Radziwill Chorny was put in charge of the commission. The work on the second Statute lasted more than ten years,” the National Library informed. “The second edition of the Statute incorporated the norms of almost all branches of law that existed at that time; they were reflected in 14 sections and 267 articles. The document was larger in volume than the Statute of 1529, better in the systematization of materials and the level of codification techniques. The Statute of 1566 was written in Belarusian, a language understood by the common people, and was translated several times into Latin, Polish, German, Russian and other languages.”
There are 58 handwritten texts of the Statute: 13 in Belarusian, 40 in Polish, and 5 in Latin. “This document served as a model for the systematization of legislation for a long time. Many of its provisions were far ahead of their time and had a pronounced programmatic and forward-looking character, making it one of the most progressive European laws of its time,” the library said.
The exposition comprises over 70 documents, including books, periodicals, electronic optical disks. Thematic sections of the project provide information about the history of drafting and adopting the Statute, its role in the development of domestic constitutional law, the development of the judiciary system, the legal regulation of the main institutions of civil and family law in Belarus under the Statutes of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania.
The exhibition caters for everyone interested in the national history of state and law, including researchers, teachers, graduate students and students of law and history departments, political scientists.