Good school for law makers
House of Representative deputies and Council of the Republic members recently gathered at the Oval Hall for a seminar entitled ‘Law Making Processes in the Republic of Belarus’
By Ignaty Alexeevsky
It aimed to inspire the new convocation in its work and, of course, ‘new’ deputies benefit especially. Naturally, the Constitution describes all details of legislation and can be learnt by heart but discussion is always a more effective method.
Addressing all present, the Chairman of the House of Representatives, Vladimir Andreichenko, noted that voters expect laws to be useful and well-considered, reflecting the modern needs of our innovative economy. Dialogue between the law making institutions and, importantly, between deputies and voters, needs to become more efficient. Mr. Andreichenko specified, “In practice, we are yet to reveal the potential of such avenues as parliamentary hearings and extended sessions of standing commissions (including with participation of scientists and public figures). We need to use the Internet more widely, placing the most important laws on our sites and organising public discussion.”
The Deputy Head of the Presidential Administration, Valery Mitskevich, believes that Parliament is responsible for the topicality of adopted laws and their viability. Deputies need to think creatively in response to our changing society, with the law reflecting the needs of today’s complicated public relations.
Around 60 draft laws are currently being studied, with work beginning on another 30 next year. The Director of the National Centre for Legislation and Legal Research, Vadim Ipatov, notes that most are initiated by the President and the Council of Ministers, with only a few initiatives received from deputies. A shift in this ratio would add authority to Parliament, so standing commissions should give this some thought.
Importantly, Parliament plans to ensure that all draft laws are passed within a year of their first hearing, to avoid them becoming outdated and needing almost immediate amendment; naturally, this wastes time.