Legislation

In accordance with the Constitution, the Republic of Belarus is governed by the rule of law. The state, all its public authorities and officials act within the limits of the Constitution and the legislative acts adopted in accordance with it.

The legislative system consists of regulatory legal acts:

  • Constitution of the Republic of Belarus;
  • Decisions of national referendums;
  • Laws, decrees, and ordinances of the President of the Republic of Belarus;
  • Government resolutions;
  • Resolutions of the Parliament, regulatory legal acts of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Belarus, the General Prosecutor's Office, enacting authorities subordinate (accountable) to the President of the Republic of Belarus;
  • Regulatory legal acts of ministries and other national state administration authorities;
  • Decisions of local referendums, decisions of local councils of deputies, executive and administrative bodies;
  • Regulatory legal acts of other enacting authorities (officials);
  • Technical regulatory legal acts.

The Constitution of the Republic of Belarus is the Fundamental Law of the Republic of Belarus, which has supreme legal force and establishes the fundamental principles and norms of legal regulation of the most important public relations.

The Parliament passes laws – regulatory legal acts that establish the principles and norms of legal regulation of the most important public relations.

A law can be adopted in the form of a code, which is a system-forming regulatory legal act that sets forth the principles and norms of legal regulation of the most important public relations and provides the most complete legal regulation of a certain sphere of public relations.

The President issues ordinances, decrees, and executive orders on the basis of and in accordance with the Constitution of the Republic of Belarus.

In order to systematically address political, social, and economic issues of highest priority, the President may issue policy directives.

Laws, ordinances, and decrees of the President of the Republic of Belarus are legislative acts and have greater legal force in relation to other regulatory legal acts.

The government, ministries, and other national state administration authorities, local councils of deputies, executive, and administrative bodies adopt regulatory legal acts within their scope of reference on the basis of and (or) in compliance with the Constitution of the Republic of Belarus, other legislative acts, or for the purpose of implementing international treaties and other international legal acts.

The system of legislation of the Republic of Belarus is built in accordance with the Unified Legal Classifier of the Republic of Belarus.

This Classifier is designed for harmonization of the acts adopted in the country, and their classification within certain branches and areas of legal regulation. For example, in accordance with the Classifier, the Act No. 204-3 "On public service in the Republic of Belarus" of 14 June 2003 belongs to the category 01.19.01.01, which refers to the section "Constitutional Legislation", subsection "Fundamentals of Public Administration", paragraph "Public Service", and article "General Provisions of Legislation on Public Service". The systematization and codification of legislation are carried out on the basis of the Classifier.

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All acts that constitute the legislation of the Republic of Belarus are included in the National Register of Legal Acts of the Republic of Belarus.

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Every year, the body of Belarusian legislation is updated with more than 10,500 legal acts. A total of 222,899 legal acts were included in the Register as of 1 January 2020.

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Each type of legal acts has its own section in the Register. For example, ordinances, decrees, and executive orders of the President of the Republic of Belarus are included in Section 1, and decisions of local authorities can be found in Section 9.

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The National Center for Legal Information of the Republic of Belarus is responsible for compilation of the Unified Legal Classifier of the Republic of Belarus and the National Register of Legal Acts of the Republic of Belarus. These resources have been maintained since 1999.

Regulatory activity is a state-administered activity involving planning, implementation of regulatory initiatives, preparation, expert analysis, adoption (publishing), official publication, amendment, official interpretation, suspension, resumption, extension and termination of regulatory legal acts.

Regulatory activity includes a number of successive stages, which are collectively called the regulatory process. One type of regulatory process is the law-making process.

Regulatory process in the Republic of Belarus begins when the draft law is submitted to the House of Representatives of the National Assembly.

In accordance with the Constitution of the Republic of Belarus, the right of legislative initiative belongs to:

Any draft law, unless otherwise is stipulated by the Constitution of the Republic of Belarus, is first scrutinized by the House of Representatives, then by the Council of the Republic.

A draft law, with exception to the cases provided for by the Constitution of the Republic of Belarus, becomes a law after adoption by the House of Representatives and approval by the Council of the Republic by a majority vote of the full membership of each chamber.

A law passed by the House of Representatives and approved by the Council of the Republic is submitted to the President for signature within ten days. Before a law is signed it is forwarded to the Constitutional Court for mandatory preliminary examination of its constitutional nature.

The House of Representatives and the Council of the Republic may delegate the legislative authority to issue ordinances having the force of a law to the President upon his proposal if a corresponding law is passed by the majority of the full membership of each chamber. This law should determine the subject of regulation and the term of the President's authority to issue ordinances.

The President of the Republic of Belarus:

  • signs laws;
  • has the right to return a law or its specific provisions with his objections to the House of Representatives in accordance with the procedure established by the Constitution;
  • has the right to repeal acts of the Government;
  • monitors compliance with the legislation by local government and self-governing bodies directly or through the authorities he established;
  • has the right to suspend decisions of local councils of deputies and cancel decisions of local executive and administrative bodies in case of non-compliance with the legislation.
The President coordinates regulatory activities personally and through the state bodies authorized by him within their scope of reference.
  • The President approves annual plans for the preparation of draft laws.
  • The National Center for Legislation and Legal Research provides methodological guidance for regulatory activities, including those related to the application of  regulatory techniques.
  • The Ministry of Justice ensures the coordination of regulatory activity in the Government (in the system of national state administration authorities subordinate to the Government).

In accordance with the Constitution of the Republic of Belarus, regulatory acts of state authorities are subject to publication and distribution. At the same time, acts affecting the rights, freedoms and duties of individuals and legal entities enter into force only after their official publication.

The official publication of legal acts is the presentation of these legal acts to the public via the placement of the texts in full compliance with the signed originals on the National Legal Internet Portal of the Republic of Belarus.