Belarus: From 1 January 2014 ordinary and commercial courts will be merged into a single system of courts of general jurisdiction.
From 1 January 2014 ordinary and commercial courts will be merged into a single system of courts of general jurisdiction.
On 29 November 2013 the President of Belarus signed a set of statutory acts on judicial reform, namely Decree No. 6, Edict No. 529 and Edict No. 530.
The reform leads to a merger of the Superior Commercial Court with the Supreme Court. This will result in creation of a single superior judicial body in charge of civil, criminal, administrative and economic matters, i.e. the Supreme Court. This will be in charge of a single system of courts of general jurisdiction in Belarus, which will comprise ordinary and commercial courts. Due to the merger, regional commercial courts and the commercial court of the city of Minsk are to be renamed as corresponding economic courts. The Supreme Court is given authority to provide courts of general jurisdiction with organizational support, material and technical supplies as well as personnel. Moreover, the powers with which the Superior Commercial Court is currently invested will be transferred to the Supreme Court.
As stated in Decree No. 6, the reform is aimed to unify law on the judiciary, to improve the quality of administration of justice, to further contribute to the specialization of courts and judges as well as to improve provision of material and technical supplies and personnel.
The reform also leads to creation of a single system of law enforcement bodies with the Ministry of Justice in charge. The powers and duties of ordinary and commercial courts as to law enforcement are to be transferred to law enforcement bodies by means of succession.
The new legislation entered into force on 1 January 2014.
Source: National Legal Internet Portal of the Republic of Belarus (NLIP) 30 November 2013, 1/14651; NLIP 30 November 2013, 1/14649; NLIP 30 November 2013, 1/14650