Constitutional Court finds no misfits of Constitution and laws in 5 years
The Constitutional Court have checked the law "On Seed Industry" and the law "On Stock Cattle Breeding" for conformity with the Constitution. No discrepancies or misfits were found. Does the Court really check all laws one by one?
"We check all laws adopted by the House of Representatives, approved by the Council of Republic at the stage before it is signed by the President," the officials in the main court explain.
The checking of all laws is obligatory. As for other legal acts (regulations, decrees, ordinances), the Court cannot check them for conformity with the Constitution by its own wish.
"The Court checks not because we want so, but because we receive a corresponding suggestion."
Six subjects can make this suggestion - the President, the government, two chambers of the Parliament, and two courts - the Supreme Court and the Supreme Economic Court.
Previously, the Constitutional Court did not check all the laws, says judge of the Constitutional Court of the first convocation Mikhail Pastukhou.
"However, later there appeared such a situation that the Constitutional Court had no work to do. Sometimes the citizens appealed, the subjects showed no initiative at all. As it would have been washing one's dirty linen in public, to say there are bad laws. So, all six subjects kept silence."
Therefore, later the Court was obliged to check all laws. It is weird but this obligation was prescribed by the President's decree. It happened on June 26, 2008. Since then, the Court considers all the laws adopted by the Parliament. The Parliament adopts 110-120 laws in a year. In 2012, the Court checked 113 laws for conformity with the Constitution.
Mikhail Pastukhou: "Since June 26, 2008 the Constitutional Court has found no discrepancies between the Constitution and the laws, adopted by the Parliament."
Last year, the Court worded more than 20 legal positions in its decisions. These legal positions clarify the meaning of separate legal norms. 13 of these legal positions have been taken into consideration. Like, they have prolonged the validity term of the power of attorney for receiving a pension. Belarus took such practice from Russia.
Mikhail Pastukhou: "It was decided to issue legal positions as well. However, not a single lawyer can figure out what the judges wanted to say there. It would make sense to study the law and the court's position to understand the nuances, but these positions have no practical salvation, in my opinion."
However, the citizens continue to write appeals, the Court received about a thousand of them annually. One of such appeals even made a precedent. A school graduate wanted to serve in the military under a contract instead of the working assignment, and was forced to pay the compensation. The Court took the decision that the obligatory working assignment could be replaced with serving in the military.
So, why are the citizens deprived of an opportunity to appeal to the Constitutional Court directly?
"If they start complaining about violation of their constitutional rights, which acts will they complain about?", Mikhail Pastukhou answers.
The Parliament issues about 100 legal acts a year, the government - less, the President issues about 600 ordinances and 10-20 decrees annually, says Mikhail Pastukhou.
"Since the moment of dissolution of the first convocation of the Constitutional Court in 1996, the Court has considered no decrees or ordinances issued by the President for conformity with the Constitution."
Chairman of the Supreme Council, MPs, the Prosecutor general, chairmen of the Supreme Court and the Supreme Economic Court addressed to the Constitutional Court of the first convocation. There were so many cases that the judges couldn't consider them all.
"There were more than enough appeals. There was even a stock of cases on the waiting list, we didn't manage to consider them all. Mechyslau Hryb addressed most often, then Sharetski. MPs also addressed to us, about 70 people. The Permanent Commissions, the Prosecutor General, chairmen of the Supreme Court and the Supreme Economic Court could also address to the Constitutional Court."
Also, the Court had a right to initiate hearings on any case which the Court considers non-conforming to the Constitution, Mikhail Pastukhou adds.
"This right was abolished right after the dissolution of the first convocation of the Court, as some Presidential decrees, which concerned human rights in the first place, as you can guess, caught attention."