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The Constitution of our country

The Constitution of our country
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From 1 January to 31 March, an exhibition "The Constitution of our country" timed to the 20th anniversary of the Constitution of the Republic of Belarus and the 95th anniversary of the Byelorussian SSR and the adoption of the first Constitution runs in the Legal Information Reading Room (room 207b).


1 January, 1919 is a date when the Manifesto which proclaimed the Provisional Government of the Byelorussian Soviet Republic was published in Smolensk. It stated that the Republic of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (RSFSR) was separated as an independent government unit and was declared as free and independent, and all workers received equal rights. Minsk was proclaimed the capital of the Soviet Belarus on 5 January, 1919.

In February 1919, the 1st Belarusian Congress of Soviets of workers, peasants and Red Army Deputies adopted the first Constitution which confirmed legally the formation of the republic and the official name of the state – the Soviet Socialist Republic of Belarus (SSRB). The Constitution was based on the first Soviet Constitution of the RSFSR (1918) which served as a model of constitutional law for all Soviet republics and the basic principles of the socialist system and the Soviet form of government. The Constitution contained 32 articles of law and consisted of the Declaration of Rights of the Working and Exploited People of Belarus and three sections: general provisions, structure of the Soviet authorities, coat of arms and flag. The All-Belarusian Congress of Soviets was declared as the supreme authority. The Constitution didn’t regulate the structure and powers of local governments, the law remained very brief and did not cover the basic elements of the state machinery of state. The SSRB Constitution of 1919 confirmed Belarus as a separate independent state.

The Constitution of the Republic of Belarus of 1994 from the beginning of the 20th century was preceded by four constitutions – 1919, 1927, 1937, 1978.

15 March, 2014 marks the 20th anniversary of the first Constitution of the sovereign Republic of Belarus. Changes and additions to the Constitution were amended three times (always through a referendum). Distinguishing features of the current Constitution of the Republic of Belarus are: consolidation of the diversity of ownership as the economic basis, establishment of equality among the state and citizens, with they having mutual obligations; legislation focuses on generally recognized principles of international law; separation and interaction of powers; direct nature of the Constitution.

The Constitution of the Republic of Belarus is the supreme power for all other legal acts. It is the core of the legal system of the state, and it is the basis for development of the legislation.

The exposition contains over 50 documents: books, brochures and periodicals.

The exhibition includes the following sections:

  • Establishment of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Belarus;
  • The main historical stages of development of the Constitution of Belarus;
  • The Constitution of the Republic of Belarus as a basis for state lawfulness.

The exhibition is recommended for researchers, teachers, graduate students and students of law and historical faculties, political scientists and everyone who are interested in the history of state and law, political history.

Telephone: (+375 17) 293 27 28.

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