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The Judicial System of the Republic of Belarus. Legal Professions in Belarus

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Words and expressions

1. to resolve disputes

2. People’s assessors

3. district

12. regional

13. chairman

14. on the consent of...

4. courts of first and second instances 15. legal adviser

5. o pronounce verdicts 6. courts of cassation 7. participate in drawing up 8. concluded (with) 9. counsel for the defence 10. public prosecutor 11. investigator 16. to be incorporated 17. all our citizens are equal before the law 18. the defendants are guaranteed the right to defence


Belorussian courts are judicial organs of government, which resolve disputes of civil and criminal cases on the territory of Belarus. The Constitution of Belarus (Articles 151-161) provides the system of election of judges and People’s assessors and the collective order of trying criminal and civil cases in courts.

In general the court system is divided into 3 stages – district (municipal) People’s courts, regional courts and Minsk city court and the highest one –

the Supreme Court of the Republic of Belarus. It is the highest appellate court in our country. It is headed by the Chairman who is appointed by the President on the consent of the Counsel of the Republic.

Criminal and civil courts are distinguished as courts of first and second instances. Courts of first instance pronounce verdicts in criminal cases and pass judgement in civil cases after trial.

Courts of second instance are courts of cassation and can control the legality and justification of verdicts or judgement pronounced by courts of first instance.

In national economy lawyers are entrusted the control on the legality of orders and instructions issued by governing body: they participate in drawing up different agreements and contracts, which are concluded with other enterprises; lawyers also inform workers on the current legislation and give help in legal matters, conduct their cases in courts. So you may work as a judge, an advocate, a counsel for the defence, public prosecutor, procurator, notary, investigator, and legal adviser.

In addition to this professional group there are non-professional legal counsellors who give advice on various legal problems and are often employed by business firms.

All lawyers in our country are incorporated either in the national or regional bar. Members of the bar work at legal advisory offices, which function in every town administrative district.

All our citizens are equal before the law. Judges are elected for a term of 5 years. Not only professional lawyers but also the representatives of the population hear all criminal and civil cases having equal authority.

The defendants are guaranteed the right to defence. Proceedings of all courts are open. All people before the court are presumed innocent, until the court, having observed all procedural guarantees, finds them guilty. Only then is the sentence pronounced. An appeal can be made against the ruling to a higher court, right up to the Supreme Court.

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