Opinion: Belarus' constitutional reform should draw on best domestic, foreign practices

When amending the Constitution, it is necessary to rely on the country’s own experience and best international practices, member of the Constitutional Commission, Honored Lawyer of Belarus, Professor Grigory Vasilevich told the SB. Belarus Segodnya newspaper.

“It must be borne in mind that the Constitution is not a code, it is not some ordinary law. The Constitution contains principles and norms that are of fundamental importance, that determine the scope of authority of legislators and any policy-makers. Naturally, it should take on board the opinion of young people, women, and representatives of public associations, political parties, and other population groups. Based on the results of the discussion, it would be appropriate to prepare a summary and publish it so that the general public can study it. It is easier to do this now, in the age of advanced information technology. The draft amendments to the Constitution will be submitted for public debate. People will have a say and take the final decision. This is the highest degree of legitimacy of the decision,” Grigory Vasilevich said.

The expert also believes that it is necessary to rely on the country’s own experience and best international practices. “The constitutional text relies on the international documents that make up the International Bill of Human Rights. We can use the best European practices in administration of constitutional law. Some of the issues can be resolved outside the Constitution, but it is important that every official, the entire society have no doubts that the Constitution is a document that must be impeccably followed. Illegal actions and decisions should not be allowed,” the member of the Constitutional Commission emphasized.