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01 February 2024, 19:39

Optimization of criminal prosecution legislation begins in Belarus

Photo courtesy of the National Center of Legal Information
Photo courtesy of the National Center of Legal Information
MINSK, 1 February (BelTA) – Work has begun in Belarus to optimize laws and regulations on criminal prosecution, the National Center of Legal Information of the Republic of Belarus told BelTA.

An interagency group has been established with this in mind. It includes representatives of the judicial staff, defense, security, and law enforcement agencies, advocates, MPs, and law experts specializing in criminal prosecution. The first session chaired by Deputy Head of the Belarus President Administration Olga Chupris took place on 1 February.

Olga Chupris noted that the working group will have to completely review provisions of the Criminal Code. However, working out a new code is not the idea. “The potential of the existing code has not been exhausted. It was adopted as a document for the transition period. But we’ve achieved a lot with it. We’ve ensured the proper protection of the constitutional system from the point of view of criminal prosecution. We’ve protected the public order and our citizens from criminal encroachments,” the deputy head of the Belarus President Administration said.

At the same time a lot of various adjustments have been made to the document since it was adopted. Some provisions received a lot of attention while some failed to receive due attention.

Olga Chupris reminded that in accordance with the law policy concept approved by Belarus president decree No.196 of 28 June 2023 it is necessary to expand the choice of punishments serving as an alternative to incarceration and the choice of other criminal prosecution measures in response to crimes of minor impact on public security as well as measures in response to misdemeanors. “It is important and necessary to use more flexible approaches to imposing punishments. These approaches have to take into account the degree of public danger of the crime and the person of the accused. In addition to incarceration it is necessary to add community service, fines, and other punishments in some articles or parts thereof. And it is also necessary to tune the severity of punishments, including taking into account the categorization of crimes,” she said.

At the same time the work should not be limited to the tuning of punishments. Time has come to take a closer look at other provisions of the Criminal Code. “Our goal is to improve a number of criminal prosecution regulations in a comprehensive manner but without breaking the foundations,” Olga Chupris concluded.

She encouraged all participants of the meeting to contribute to this work, which is supposed to produce a corresponding draft law.

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