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Belarus President Administration on its vision of new Code on Administrative Offences

MINSK (BelTA) – A number of sanctions and law enforcement practices will be revised in the new Code on Administrative Offences, Deputy Head of the Belarus President Administration Olga Chupris said at a national session to discuss fight against crime, BelTA has learned.

According to Olga Chupris, the new Code on Administrative Offences and the Procedural Law Code for Administrative Offences are in the works now. The work involves heads of government agencies, MPs, scientists and lawyers.

“We believe these will be two absolutely new codes. We need to decide on how administrative offences will be grouped. They will be divided in several categories like in the Criminal Code: grave felonies and less grave felonies.

The new Code on Administrative Offences will ease sanctions for a number of offences. Some offences might be considered insignificant and will be decriminalized altogether. Such a practice is already in place, but it does not function properly.

Prosecution practices are under scrutiny now. Experts believe that the administrative process should be faster and easier. “If a person is ready to pay a fine right away, the offence he/she committed should not ruin his/her career prospects: this person has admitted the wrongdoing and this is not the type of offence that should have serious repercussions for him/her,” Olga Chupris said.

In addition to that, a separate chapter of the code will bring together all norms related to using crime detection technology. “These norms are scattered now. If they are put together, the practice will be implemented differently,” she noted.

A reminder, Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko hosted a meeting on 16 December to discuss the application of administrative measures. The president stressed that everyone should clearly understand that the main criterion of work is not the number of violations and fines issued, but the preventive impact and real reduction in the number of administrative offenses.

He noted that the current Code on Administrative Offences applies a predominantly punitive approach to resolving any conflict situation, as was the case in Soviet times. “The public perceives it as excessive strictness and even cruelty of the authorities, and often the obvious unfairness of the practice of applying administrative sanctions,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

For the 12 years that the Code on Administrative Offences has been in force, Belarus has passed 115 laws and introduced more than 1,400 amendments. This devalues the respect for the law, the president believes. In his opinion, it is important to ensure the stability of administrative legislation and to implement proactive measures to prevent wrongdoing.