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THE JUDICIAL SYSTEM OF THE REPUBLIC OF BELARUS
Under the Constitution of the Republic of Belarus the judicial power in the Republic is vested in courts of law. The judicial system of the Republic is made up of courts of law of three tiers. On the top of the judicial pyramid is the Supreme Court of the Republic of Belarus. It is the highest appellate court of the country. It is headed by the Chairman of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Belarus who is appointed by the President on the consent of the upper house of the National Assembly - the Council of the Republic. The Supreme Court judges are nominated by the President on the advice of the Chairman and must b
Council of the Republic. Once approved, all members of the Court hold office for life. The Supreme Court includes separate divisions for civil, criminal and military cases. The Court has a supervisory function over the work of the lower courts. It also collects and analyses the courts statistics.
The middle tier of the republican judicial system is made up of six regional courts and the Minsk Town Court. The composition of those courts is similar to that of the Supreme Court. All judges of the regional courts including their chairmen are nominated by the President on the recommendation of the Chairman of the Supreme Court and the Minister of Justice for life. These courts deal with major criminal, civil and military cases and hear appeals from inferior courts. The decisions of the regional courts may be appealed only to the Supreme Court.
At the bottom of the judicial pyramid are district and town courts spread all over the country. Most litigation starts in these courts. A district or town court usually consists of a chairman and a number of judges, depending on the size and the population of the district. All judges of these inferior courts are appointed by the President on the recommendation of the Chairman of the Supreme Court and the Ministry of Justice. The first term of office of an inferior court judge is five years; all other judges are appointed for life. District and town courts decide both criminal and civil cases and deal with administrative matters involving disputes between individuals and individuals and government departments. The decisions of district and town courts may be appealed to the corresponding regional courts and further up to the Supreme Court of the Republic of Belarus.
The Constitutional Court of the Republic of Belarus checks the constitutionality of the laws, decrees, orders and other documents which have the force of law.
Task 2. Answer the questions to the text in written form:
1. What are the functions of the Supreme Court of the RB?
2. How are the judges of the Supreme Court appointed?
3. What divisions are the regional courts separated into?
4. What is the term of office of a judge in the RB?
5. How many tiers of courts does the Belarusian judiciary consist of?
6. That is the jurisdiction of the Constitutional court of the RB?