Constitutional Court Decides for Death Penalty Moratorium

2004 2004-03-12T10:00:00+0200 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

On 11 March the head of the Constitutional Court Ryhor Vasilevich gave publicity to the conclusion of the court about the possibility of moratorium on death penalty or even its complete abolishment. He added that the head of the state and the parliament could take the appropriate decision.

According to REF/RL, on hearing the verdict the initiator of the inquiry to the Constitutional Court Andrey Nareyka said:

“Of course, I’m satisfied. I consider it the best decision possible and think it is worth to apply to the Chamber of Representatives within the limits of the decision of the Constitutional Court concerning enforcing of amendments to the Criminal Code. Now it is the turn of the parliament to express its opinion.

So, on 11 March there appeared juridical reasons to continue the struggle for the moratorium on death penalty or its complete abolishment. It’s worth mentioning that according to the results of the so-called referendum, held in 1996, about 80% of the population voted against death penalty. However, the conclusion of the Constitutional court reads that the voting was advisory and that at the time of voting Belarusian legislation didn’t contain the alternative in the form of life sentence.

According to the law, decisions of the Constitutional court are final and can’t be complained against. A correspondent of RFE/RL asked the member of the Constitutional court Mikhail Pastukhow what would happen in the case if the Chamber of Representatives didn’t support the court conclusion. M. Pastukhow answered that in this case the issue would remain unsolved. He added that it could be solved for abolishment of death sentence only in the case if president agreed to it and initiated the process.